This is a concern that worries all businesses. To tackle this dilemma, you need to start at the beginning: having a system in place that allows you to maintain your data consistently. This will enable you to evaluate your business, distinguishing returning customers from new ones, and track all financial aspects. Accessing these figures daily is crucial. This data should also indicate which products customers are purchasing, enabling adjustments to your business plan and capitalising on opportunities. Systemising every aspect of your business is key to reaching full potential. System stands for “Save Your Self Time, Energy, and Money.”

Firstly, let’s examine the customers retained column. Are you retaining the majority of your customers? Are you offering products that appeal to shoppers in your area? Keeping data allows you to assess if you are buying correctly. It may reveal underperforming products, prompting the search for alternatives. When customers request specific products, ensure to take their details. If you decide to stock those products, reaching out to them can foster long-term customer relationships.

Look at your staff. Do they have sufficient product knowledge and deliver good customer service? Your staff are also your customers, so invest time and money in providing them with necessary training to support customers fully. If your business falls short in these areas, it’s time to reassess.

When customers make a purchase, include written material on new products they may find beneficial. If you have their contact details, send them this information. Avoid giving out skincare product samples, as it sends the wrong message. Instead, emphasise that your staff can help choose the right product for their needs.

Send season’s greetings and Happy New Year cards to customers you have details for. These small gestures demonstrate that they are valued and important.

 Ensure you have a good customer service plan that all staff adhere to consistently to achieve the best results.

 Next, let’s explore how to grow your customer base through appropriate marketing. There’s no big marketing secret. Based on collected data, take efficient and effective action. Differentiate marketing activities and systemise them, then follow up to see results. No two marketing plans should be the same, considering area demographics and existing customer needs.

 A successful business plan requires both a comprehensive customer retention plan and a plan to attract new customers. Over time, as customer service improves and retention rates increase, you can adjust marketing strategies. It comes down to the numbers and your system’s ability to deliver accurate information so you can assess your business regularly. Don’t wait for numbers to drop dramatically; check and reassess regularly for economic success.

This article was first published in the Autumn issue of Retail Beauty.

Ricky Allen

Ricky Allen, the former anti-ageing and special beauty projects editor for Vogue Australia, brings her extensive experience to various facets of the beauty and cosmetics industry. She serves as a nurse...

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