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Business > Articles > Loyalty Programs That Work

Loyalty Programs That Work
Turn Satisfied Customers
into LOYAL Customers

How can you convert a one-time customer into a repeat client and then into someone who is loyal to your salon above all others? Industry acclaimed authors, Jeff Grissler and Eric Ryant, give you some of the tools you need to keep clients happy, keep them returning and develop the loyal relationship you, and they, want. In an excerpt from their top-selling book, "A Salon Owner’s Guide to Wealth" you’ll find tips on how to get started and examples of programs to try in your salon. Here are a few to get you started!

Understand the difference between satisfied and loyal customers.

Satisfied customers:
• May have been a client, but haven’t developed a personal relationship with little or no real personal interactions.
• Will continue to do business with you until something better comes their way.
• View doing business with you as a convenience. Your price is acceptable. Location is okay. Products suffice, but not excited about the experience.

Loyal customers:
• Are repeat customers who use your products and services regularly, enjoying a built in relationship their stylist and your staff.
• Are “brand evangelists” who tell everyone they meet about your salon and bring you new clients.
• Know you, your salon and your employees – and will forgive minor faults at times (running late) because they enjoy giving you their business.
• Don’t switch to a competitor because of perks or better offers. They stay true to the relationship they’ve built with your team.

To turn satisfied customers into loyal customers, whose repeat business and brand evangelism will draw in friends, family and will expand your client base quickly, doesn’t take magic. It means treating them right with exceptional customer service, friendly communications on the phone, in person and via email, plus an incentive to return to your salon for all of their beauty needs!  That’s where loyalty programs count.

To begin, you need to determine what program would be a good fit for your salon. Evaluate what services and products are popular among your top clients. How frequently do clients buy a particular service or product? Is there a product or service you want to introduce to your clients? Are the things you’re thinking of high or low profit? You need to set up a system to track and maintain the program. The initial effort to set up the program is well worth the rewards you’ll enjoy by doing it efficiently and with proper planning.

Examples of Loyalty Programs
• Referral Rewards Card. For each new client, give the existing client a discount on a product or service. If they bring in five clients, give them a free treatment, service or product package.
• Frequent Service Rewards. For clients who repeatedly get the same service, be it a haircut, color, manicure, pedicure, massage, whatever – reward them for their frequency.
• Spending Rewards. Spend a set amount on services and/or products and receive $25 in free products or services. When clients hit a certain benchmark – like $500, $1000, $1500 in total spending, they receive a reward in line with their spending.
• Product or Service Specific Rewards. Similar to spending rewards, but focused on the products or services you want to sell. This is a great way to reward clients for repeat purchases of higher end products and services. It can provide incentive for them to splurge on the higher-priced treatment or product more frequently in order to earn that reward.
• Discount Club Card. This type of loyalty program gives clients instant rewards in the form of a percentage or dollar off amount with each purchase. Sometimes businesses like Sam’s Club or Costco charge a membership fee for the privilege to buy their products at a discount. Other times the discounts are small, but the program is free. You need to evaluate what your market and client base will accept and respond to – either way, free-to-join or paid program – both should help increase sales.

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