As most Salon Owners have experienced at some point, it’s one thing to hook customers, another beast completely to retain them. Improving customer loyalty should be a priority, or those customers you worked so hard to attract could vanish before you even know what happened.
Loyalty has a lot more to do with how well Salon and Spa’s deliver on their basic, even plain-vanilla promises than on how dazzling the service experience might be. Yet most Salon and Spa’s have failed to realize this and pay dearly in terms of wasted time and lost customers.
To avoid that, here are 7 ways to better your company’s customer loyalty.
1. Provide excellent customer service
Sounds obvious, right? But, it deserves mention again because excellent service is what creates lifelong customers, avoids negative word-of-mouth and differentiates you from the competition. This is how a company like Zappos has created such a loyal following. But, how can you improve customer service?
For starters, listen to customers and address their concerns a timely manner. Make it seamless for customers to get in touch with a representative. Clearly display an email address, phone number and social media account.
You have to “wow” them by going above and beyond.
2. Exceed expectations
You’ve probably heard the cliché that businesses should "under promise and over deliver". WRONG! "Over promise and over deliver" “You can accomplish this by simply exceeding expectations. If you state a receptionist will get in touch with the customer within 24 hours, and the rep gets in touch within two hours, that’s exceeding customer expectations.
"Do what you say you're going to do."
3. Get personal
This could be addressing them by name, sending them a birthday greeting or an offering a coupon on the anniversary of when they became a customer. Customers appreciate the personalized messages that you send them because it can help create an emotional bond.
Understand their needs, wants, and pain points… Remember, “WIIFM” (what’s in it for me)
4. Create a sense of community
With so many social media platforms, there is no excuse for not creating a community. Communities are an effective way to start a conversation with your customers and encourage user-generated content. For example, you can ask customers to share pictures of them using your product and sharing it on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
Don’t we love to stay connected? Create your own community and stay connected.
5. Offer incentives
You want to give customers a reason to keep coming back. And, that’s when incentives come into play. It could be something as simple as a discount on their next service or giving them a free drink after their tenth purchase.
6. Don’t neglect existing customers
It’s incredibly easy to forget your existing customers when you’re busy trying to reach new customers. To avoid frustrating your loyal customers, make sure that your product or service doesn’t diminish over time.
7. Use automation
Automation comes in handy because it can help you save time and keep customers frequently. For example, you could send new customers a video through a text message, after they have purchased a product or service. Not only does this answer all of their questions, it frees up some of your customer service reps.
8. Offer a loyalty program
Go beyond a reward system and initiate a loyalty program for your customers.
Simple Points System - Customers earn points which can be used for a reward.
Use a tier system - Provide a small reward and increase the reward over time.
Charge for VIP benefits - Think of a service like Amazon Prime.
Support programs around your customer’s values - Customers aren’t just concerned with monetary rewards, show your support for programs that they support. Coalition programs - Team up with a related company for deals outside of your company.
Make it a game - Who doesn’t enjoy playing games?
9. Surprise them
Remember, it’s the small and unexpected things that keep customers coming back.
Great example from Avalon Salon & Luxurious Spa Receptionist Jamie Springfield overhead the customer mention they were getting frustrated with the product results; “So I put them on hold, and I ordered them a box of new products. About 20 minutes later we were still on the phone, and there was a knock on their door. I told them to go answer it because it was a box of better products FREE! They were so excited.”
Building a loyal customer base helps in several ways - it saves you from spending marketing dollars to constantly find new customers, and it helps build a loyal customer base. Remember, it is the little things that matter.