LOYALTY FOR THE LONG GAME
TURN FESTIVE SHOPPERS INTO LOYAL CLIENTS
Chances are, you’re probably already bracing yourself for the hectic festive season. Higher footfall and increased spending should see your salon’s revenue rise quicker than you can say pass me the mince pies. In contrast, sales can take a sharp downturn in the quiet post-festive period. So how do you convert all those Christmas shoppers into loyal clients once the party’s over?
BACK TO BASICS
In theory, the recipe for a loyal client is as easy as whipping up a batch of mulled wine. Start with excellent customer service, stir in bespoke skincare advice, sprinkle a bit of appreciation, finish with fantastic outcomes and your clients will come back time and again. Simple. Except that in practice it isn’t quite so straight forward. Yes, providing the right products, treatments and service is extremely important, but the journey from casual client to loyal advocate starts further back than that: with a thorough consultation.
With a head-spinning number of cosmetic products and treatments on the market, clients can feel completely overwhelmed when trying to work out what’s best for their skin. In fact, a recent survey published in the Telegraph revealed that nine in ten women are baffled by what skincare products to use these days. This is where you come in.
By doing a thorough consultation, which takes an in-depth look at not just their skin concerns, but their health and lifestyle, you can create a holistic, completely bespoke skincare regime which will help your client achieve their skincare goals. Don’t forget to take a ‘before’ photo so that you can demonstrate the difference in subsequent ‘after’ photos. Skin analysis events, seasonal skin checks and our #100DayReset programme are also great ways to track improvements and increase loyalty. Every new client who visits your salon over the busy festive period should be given a consultation, and even regular customers should have one so that you have the most up to date information about their skincare goals.
Next, invite them to come back in January to see how their skin is responding to the routine that you created for them and make any adjustments. If your appointment diary is looking decidedly empty post-Christmas, this is a great way to fill those empty slots. Regular contact between a client and their skincare therapist helps to build a relationship, so continue to invite them back in every few weeks.
IT COSTS AT LEAST 5 TIMES AS MUCH TO AQUIRE A NEW CLIENT THAN TO RETAIN AN EXISTING ONE*
Giving your most loyal clients a small gift now and then can really make them feel valued. It doesn’t need to be expensive; you could give a trial size version of one of the products you stock as a Christmas present, which may encourage them to purchase the full size version if they enjoy using it. To maximise festive sales and reward high value clients, you could invite them to take part in a luxury lucky dip, simply fill an attractive box or bag with skincare stocking fillers. Adding a complimentary hand or head massage to a treatment is also a nice touch and makes a client feel appreciated.
Stocking gift sets that contain free products, such as our new festive collection, can be another way to inspire loyalty because of the added value they represent. Why not include a small card or voucher with a ‘bounce back’ offer giving them a discount off their next facial to encourage them to pop back in?
Loyalty programmes are an effective way to grow a strong base of repeat clients. The most straight-forward method is to give clients a card which is stamped every time they come in, entitling them to a discount or a gift after a certain number. However, devising an appropriate loyalty programme to match your clients’ buying behaviour can pay dividends.
You could implement a special VIP programme for your most loyal clients, perhaps they receive exclusive discounts, or invitations to attend special events at your salon – if you know your clients well you will get a feel for the kind of reward they’d appreciate.
Point schemes can work well for more sporadic buyers. You will need to decide how to allocate points and what they’re worth, for example is it one point for every €1 spent, and how many do they have to accumulate to receive a reward? You could broaden this out so that they don’t just get points for spending money. They could receive them for mentioning your salon on their social media, allowing you to post their before/after pictures on your website, or booking an appointment via your app, so get creative. You could also offer them additional points if they come in off peak, or during quiet periods, for example a ‘Double Points January’.
Recommend a friend schemes can also be a good way of bringing in new clients, after all the first step to getting a loyal client is enticing them through the door in the first place. Using your most loyal clients to recommend your services to their friends is a powerful tool, if you’ve treated them well they will act as a brand ambassador for you. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of advertising, with up to 92% of consumers trusting recommendations from their nearest and dearest**. Turning all those new clients into loyal ones is down to you.
KEEP IN TOUCH
So you’ve given your client a thorough consultation, introduced a loyalty scheme, wowed them with special offers, amazing products and specialist treatments. But they don’t come back. How can this be? In fact, it’s more common than you might think. An estimated 60%-80% of consumers who describe themselves as satisfied don’t return to the company or business that satisfied them.*** This may seem strange, but it’s often down to lack of an ongoing connection, which is why it’s important to keep in touch with your clients.
“Maintaining contact between appointments is important because you want the relationship and the connection that you’ve made to last long after the client has left”, says Nicola Bell, our Sales Director. “Staying in touch with clients between their visits demonstrates your commitment to exceed their expectations, it could be as simple as giving them a ‘care call’ a few days after their appointment to see how they’re getting on and to get some all-important feedback. Most clients will appreciate being contacted, it shows you care and this helps to build on the client/therapist relationship.” Don’t forget to send them a card at Christmas and on their birthday, perhaps with a gift or a special offer, it’s a good excuse to make contact and small gestures can make a big difference.