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Industry • Best Practice

How Technology Supports the Nurture Stage of the Client Experience

With the right tech, you’ll understand your clients well enough to keep them engaged even when they’re not in the shop

Every stylist knows a haircut is not just a haircut. Each time a client walks into your beauty business, whether it's for a manicure or a botox injection, they're performing a vulnerable act. They want to feel their best, and they're putting themselves in your hands to make it happen. That's why it's so important that, at each stage of the client experience, beauty businesses work to make clients feel understood and cared for.

The Nurture stage is the sixth and final step in the client experience loop. It’s your last, best chance to demonstrate how deeply you understand your clients. If you do it right, you can retain a register of regulars that keep your business booming. Wondering how to make that happen? Then you’re in luck, as technology from client management to email automation is here to help.

What is the nurture stage, and why is it important?

Say your client just wrapped up their visit, settled up at the front desk, and walked out the door. That was stage 5, the Send-Off, which means they’ve entered stage 6, the Nurture stage. Now’s your chance to make sure they come back for more. And whether this was their first visit ever or their first this week, you now have that much more data about what they want from your business. It’s time to start tailoring your service to their preferences and building a deeper relationship with them.

Prebooking rates have been declining for several years. While businesses still focus on this strategy, it can't be the only way we try and get a client back in. If a client isn't able to book their next appointment before leaving the business then your nurture stage is crucial to bring that client back into your business. Your goals in the nurture stage are to sustain an active line of communication with each client, reinforce that relationship, and convince them that they want to come back in for another round of service. Regulars represent more than a familiar face and a satisfied client. They’re also the most cost-effective way to maintain your business, as new clients are 5-25 times more expensive to acquire than retaining a client

How advanced technology can help

Email marketing

Maybe the most important tool in the beauty business marketer’s toolbox is email marketing. With it, you can loop clients in on important announcements, valuable promotions, birthday messages, and so much more. And while email may not be the newest form of marketing, it may be the most reliable. Research shows its return on investment (ROI) is all but unparalleled: Each dollar spent brings in around $54 of value. Around 27% of clients will go to a company’s website after opening an email from them. Another 9% will visit the brand’s social media presence, and 12% will even visit a physical location.

How do you get in on the fun? Well, plenty of tech can bolster your email marketing efforts. If you integrate your client info database with your booking software, you can automatically add client emails from the booking process to your marketing lists. Marketing algorithms can then look at each client and sort them into the proper segments. For example, if a lash tech’s schedule looks unusually free next Thursday, your marketing software can catch that vacancy and automatically send out a gentle prod to clients who haven’t been back for extensions in a while, or who often book on Thursdays, to help optimize your bookings. You may even start to miss the slow weeks (but not that much).

Algorithms can also pore over data such as email open and clickthrough rates and generate effectiveness reports. These can help you land on the strategy that works best for you, and which campaigns work best with which clients. Boulevard's Marketing platform lets you do all this with beautiful, on-brand emails you can tweak to speak in your voice. It's also packed full of automations that let you focus on the business instead of the BS. Click here to learn more.

Client management

Working hand-in-hand with email marketing is your client management software. Every time a client visits your business, they provide more details on what they care about, how often they care to buy, and more. Client management software lets you store all that information to inform future marketing efforts, personalize bookings, and suggest products and services that may appeal to your clients. Up- and cross-selling in this way can help you maximize the value of each visit even as it makes your clients feel better understood and cared for.

Client management software can also track each client’s lifetime value over all their appointments, keep an eye on their show rates or tendencies to cancel, and provide insight into the average value of their visits.

Loyalty programs

Another great way to keep clients coming back for more is through loyalty programs. These can come in the form of reward points, product discounts, free services, or memberships. Every business will need to find the mixture of loyalty elements that works for them — and technology can help.

At its most basic level, loyalty software makes it easy to keep track of each client’s reward level by automatically updating it after each purchase. Digging a little deeper, it can empower you to customize your suite of loyalty offerings to best fit your clientele based on the data you’ve collected through client management. With robust reporting, you’ll better identify the rewards that seem most popular among your clients, tweaking them to deliver just the right amount of value at the right amount of investment. Loyalty tech can also help you to cull unpopular offerings and replace them with options clients find more exciting.

Running a beauty business is hard enough. You shouldn’t have to become an email marketing wizard, a metrics magician, or a sales sorcerer on top of it. With support like Boulevard’s Marketing suite, you don’t have to. A little well-deployed technology can help keep clients engaged in the Nurture stage, ensuring they come back to Booking in no time.

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