A comprehensive guide on how to run a successful beauty salon loyalty program and boost client retention.
Sep 10, 2019 · 11 min read
Is Salon Loyalty Program Worth It? How to Acquire, Engage and Retain Happy Clients
What is the definition of customer loyalty? We hear about it almost every day, about its importance in business management and see how businesses struggle to earn the loyalty of their customers.
According to **Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company**, a 5% increase in customer retention rate can increase profit by 25–95%.
If we would try to define customer loyalty, it would sound like “Customer loyalty is the level of customer satisfaction when the brand establishes an emotional, strong, personal relationship with its consumer”
Loyal customers are inclined to use the services and goods more frequently, refer and review them.
Loyal clients base is crucial especially for SPA and salon business, as the competition in this field is tough․
What matters most in small business loyalty programs?
Actually, every salon owner takes actions to attract new customers and grow the client base but almost nobody makes efforts to keep clients, which is crucial for salon business sustainability. As a result, the resources spent on advertising, new products, salon renovation and new specialists turn to be less effective.
Even if the clients are satisfied with the provided services, they are often tempted to visit new salons, to explore new alternatives.
Thus, if you have decided that your salon has enough clients and doesn’t need customer loyalty, you are successful and satisfied with your income, you will definitely stay behind your competitors, who have already included client salon loyalty programs in their marketing strategies.
Every salon owner wants loyal customers like Susan Parker, who travels 400 miles 6 times a year for a trim after favourite stylist moved to a new salon. But the problem is not everyone understands that loyalty should be earned.
According to recent research in the salon industry, the 60 per cent of the clients doesn’t come back after the first visit, even if they are satisfied with your service. The reasons for this may be different: they may have forgotten your salon name, lost the salon’s visit card, or just have decided to try something new in a new and more innovative salon.
For establishing a strong emotional bonding, clients should have the feeling that they are important for that particular salon, their feedback will be taken into consideration, and after all, they are valued.
Building customer loyalty for salon clients is not an easy task. It requires much time, efforts and resources.
One of the most common challenges on the way to earning clients’ loyalty is listening to the **feedback**.
Knowing what your clients think about your salon, about the specialists and services and making improvements based on the feedback is one of the key elements of customer loyalty.
Collecting feedback, measuring, analyzing and improving are the steps which will bring your salon closer to your clients’ hearts and minds.
The next big challenge is being personal. Remembering clients names and birthdays is almost impossible when you have more than 30 clients. But at the same time when you remember the birthday and send a congratulation message with a special coupon, you definitely move the client towards that desirable emotional tie, which will turn her/him a client for a lifetime.
The next, but maybe the most crucial challenge is the desire to be rewarded for being loyal. We live in a world where coupons, discounts, points, miles and promo-offers are already a necessity. And after using some service for a long time, clients want to be rewarded.
Sometimes they just need someone to say thank you for being loyal, otherwise, they start looking for alternatives.
Another challenge which salon owners often face is the difficulty of cross-promotion of the products or services. The salon client is more likely to be loyal to your salon if she uses several services, like blowouts and nail care, or waxing, brow correction, whatever service salon offers. In this case, the client is less inclined to change the salon and choose your competitor as she uses several services at the same time.
In RetentionForce we solved this problem with follow-up and re-engage messages. The clients receive messages, where the system suggests one of the services that the salon offers with a special promo coupon. The frequency of messages, promo coupon value, sending schedule can be easily customized in the program.
Establishing customer loyalty ensures retention and helps to attract new customers. But how to improve retention? What strategies can be used for having a loyal customer base and providing constant and increasing income?
Every successful relationship with a customer starts with perfect customer service. You have happy clients if they are satisfied with the result.
Together with the high quality of services, you need to show respect and genuine interest to your clients and their needs. And here is the point when we need to speak about the staff. Some salon owners think that if the salon specialist is professional and does his job excellently, it’s enough to provide a flow of clients for him. But in most cases, it’s not enough. The clients will somehow find another professional, who will smile to them, be respectful, remember their previous visits, their preferences and requirements.
Listening to clients should be of utmost importance for any salon owners. Actually, customer feedback is the cornerstone for any successful salon marketing strategy. When you know what your clients think, you know how to become better.
Asking for feedback not only helps to improve but also makes the clients feel important and valued. The clients know that their opinion is appreciated and that they can make a change. This is also an important step for emotional bonding.
Do you know how many of your customers don’t return after the first visit? Or maybe some of your loyal customers haven’t visited your salon for 3–4 months.
When you are constantly in touch with your clients, the long intervals between visits or forgotten contact details are not your case.
Send a nice **reminder **to your client a day before their appointment date. This will drastically reduce the number of no-shows. Imagine your client has made an appointment for a manicure and has just forgotten about it. A small, yet friendly reminder is what clients and salons need.
Follow-up messages are an ideal solution for existing customers. They are sent when your client has not visited the salon for a long time, or it’s time to have a haircut or remove the nail gel.
Re-engage messages are best for birthdays, important milestones, anniversaries, events and boost client retention.
If your salon uses RetentionForce, the whole process is automated, and clients receive reminders, follow-up messages with cute gifs and animations. Most of the salon clients need those caring followups for booking the next visit.
If you don’t have RetentionForce yet, you can just send them via email, text message or a message on social media, say, Facebook or Instagram.
You can also give them a phone call, to make sure everything is OK and the client will continue using your salon services.
The client’s willingness to continue using your salon’s services is mainly based on positive customer experience and emotions. And for fostering this willingness you need to say thank you.
And there is no better way to say thank you than reward your clients with points, coupons, discounts or any other promotional material. Salon loyalty rewards programs are important attributes in building client loyalty for salons and spas.
Segment your clients into groups, work with them separately. There will be clients who are more valuable for your business and bring more profit, and there will be ones who need your assistance and attention to visit you more often.
Adopt a rewards program for your salon, including a tiered membership system. Those clients who are frequent visitors and spend a lot of money will be delighted to know they are in your, let’s say, platinum tier and have, for example, privileges while booking a service or have individual consultation.
Encourage the clients who don’t visit you often with promo coupons and follow-up messages.
Generally, there are two major rewards program types, punch/stamp cards and point-based loyalty programs. Punch cards are easy to implement and you usually encounter them in coffee shops when they offer you let’s say 8th cup of coffee free of charge. While easy to set up, punch cards are not as effective as point-based systems when creating a loyalty bond with a client.
Point-based loyalty programs are far more effective and that’s why big brands like Sephora, Starbucks, Uber and many others use them. Multi-tier systems are especially effective. Point-based loyalty programs are usually harder to set up because they require to balance it carefully.
Loyalty apps, which combine different businesses in one platform are another great solution. But as a rule, they are general apps which grant points for a certain service, which is only a part in a long journey of the customer to loyalty and becoming a brand evangelist.
In any case, having own salon loyalty program tailored specifically for your salon clients is much more preferable for customer retention and emotional bonding.
Modern rules of customer service require the brand to be personal in the relationship with their clients. The beauty industry is no exception; moreover, this is just the place where clients want the salon to remember their names and track their visit history. They want the salon administrator, owner and stylist to show an individual approach to their needs. Congratulate clients’ birthdays, mention their name in the message, reward them with points, and they will definitely appreciate it.
A lot of brands don’t implement customer loyalty in their strategies, just because it’s not an easy task. Doing it manually is even harder with large client bases.
It’s almost impossible to remember your clients’ names if they are more than let’s say, 30, not to say about birthdays. It is rather tough to ask them all feedback about services and understand the satisfaction level.
You spend money on ads, printing, banners and other promo materials but as a result, but overall you are not satisfied with the result. You can’t send followup messages to all the clients who have not visited your salon for some time. Most often, you even don’t know that they have not used your services for a long time and may have found another salon, which is more attentive to their needs.
You have two ways: to invest more time, money, human resources and efforts into building customer loyalty and increase retention manually. If you try hard, it may work.
And there is another, smarter, more innovative and hassle-free way: take it all a step further-acquire a customer loyalty software, which will do all the work for you.
While creating RetentionForce, we have carefully planned and tried to predict all the possible situations in the customer journey which will finally lead to client loyalty and retention. We have created a tool for salon marketing and client retention, where the client is always in the spotlight, surrounded by constant care and attention.
As RetentionForce partners mention, the most attractive part of the program is the fact that the clients feel they are special, unique, and their feedback is always welcomed.
Nowadays the marketers are facing serious issues. Ads don’t have the same impact they used to have, ad blindness is rapidly spreading, banners are ignored, ads are blocked, consumers are more advanced and bypass marketing traps more easily.
Implementing smart customer loyalty programs in salon management is the key to preventing clients’ churn and increasing client retention. After all, customer retention costs less than customer acquisition, and repeat salon customers spend 5x more and are more inclined to use new products and services. Actually client loyalty programs end up paying for themselves.
So if you want your salon to grow, to have new customers, to engage and retain loyal clients, you should involve innovative solutions in your retention marketing. Loyal and happy clients will become your brand advocates and acquire new clients for you.
Digital Marketing Specialist, Strategist, Content Writer at RetentionForce.
Salon loyalty programs: How customer loyalty programs work and help to increase salon customer retention
Oct 1, 2019 · 11 min read