The new season: Where have the customers gone?

Beginning business and trading for the New Year comes with challenges and without planning, you may find holes develop in your customer record system. Many things should be done at this time of the year especially if there is ‘down time’ not used wisely. How long has it been since you looked at your client record system (or cards if you still have them) and sorted them into their respective genre` of treatment, and then put them into active and inactive client records?

Sorting treatment type is straight forward to some degree. However, many clients have multiple services within one appointment so how do you define that into categories? The general rule is to sort that type of customer record into the treatment category that takes the most time. IE Facial, half wax and lash tint. The facial takes the most appointment time so that would be the type of organisation.

You then arrange each category into active and inactive files. So what do I mean by inactive? I would consider a year inactive if you have not seen a client for 12 months then it logical they are inactive. However, it is deciding what you would consider the minimum inactive status to be, that is going to be your starting point, and it could be different for each category. However, let us generalise for the sake of this conversation and say six months is the chosen inactive status.

The inactive clients are the ones that slip through the system cracks or loopholes as I call them and if you do not actively seek them out you may find that you are close to getting “traded in” for a more dynamic clinic.

So now you have sorted you client records how big is the inactive pile compared to the active? I am hoping for your sake that the inactive pile is the smallest if it is the other way round it may be time for some serious planning and changing of your ways.

So what are we going to do with these inactive files? We are going to read all of them and ask some questions.

  • 1.Who’s clients are they, which staff member saw the customer last?
  • 2.Were there any issues at the time of treatment?
  • 3.If there were it should be on the record card.
  • 4.Was there supposed to be follow up?
  • 5.Failure to follow up on sales and services can come back to haunt you, make this company policy for every client.
  • 6.Just like we ring to confirm appointments, we must also ring to ensure that the service the client received or the product bought was satisfactory.
  • 7.If it has been over six months since the customer had their previous facial treatment, send them a letter saying that it is time for their annual skin analysis appointment. (Remember I wrote this letter last month?)

Dear Mrs xxxxx

We offer you ourcompliments and wish to remind you that your Annual Skin Analysis appointment with our Skin Diagnostician is now due.

The policy of our practice is that prevention is better than cure and therefore in the interests of your skin health we urge you contact us and schedule an appointment. Please note that if there are any problems with your skin the earlier, it is treated, the easier and less costly it will be to rectify.

Please telephone, email or text to schedule your appointment.

Our receptionist will reply with confirmation.


Kind regards

The Skin Solutions Clinc Team

Marketing to those inactive clients will need to be subtle there could be many personal reasons why a client has not returned to you. However, the longer you leave it to contact the customer the more complicated it becomes.

Because the long term goal of any business owner is to one day, sell their company, keeping a client card ‘active’ is a way of ensuring the equity in your business is maintained.

The client card that is active is what amounts to ‘good will’ proving that your clinic is active and viable and worth purchasing.

So today when you have ‘down time’ instead of cleaning out the cupboards, clean out your filing system.

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