— Business-Boosting Insights: Part 5 of 5 —
Clients may come to your spa initially because of your great online reviews, information in their social media feeds, a referral from friends or family, a direct mail piece you sent out, or your convenient location on their way home from work. But what keeps them coming back is their experience once they’ve stepped through your doors and a feeling of personal connection with your staff—the building blocks of client loyalty.
According to the Harvard Business Review, a business that increases its client retention rates by 5 percent sees a boost in profits of anywhere from 25 to 95 percent.1 And that’s just 5 percent—imagine what an even greater increase could do for your spa! Here are some strategies to help strengthen your clients’ bond to your team and your business.
1. Offer a friendly greeting upon entering.
A warm welcome within the first few moments after a client enters your spa is essential to getting the visit off to a good start. It may seem basic, but a cheerful smile and direct eye contact have a huge impact on customer perceptions of friendliness, says communication coach Carmine Gallo.2 But if a client spends more than 10 seconds waiting for someone to greet them, customer satisfaction plummets. Make sure all your employees—not just front counter staff—know the importance of greeting clients upon entering.
2. Know details about clients’ personal lives.
Here’s a great way to amaze clients with your client engagement wizardry: take notes. During any client visit, a few details will likely emerge about kids, vacations, birthdays, and so on. Train your team to spend a few minutes noting a couple of these details in your client profile records. Next time that client comes in for a service, ask how Lily’s ballet recital went or what that California trip was like. They’ll think you’re a genius—and feel exceptionally special.
3. Offer surprise goodies and gift bags.
Free gifts can also help clients remain loyal to your spa, especially if you offer them randomly, when customers don’t expect them. (It may seem counterintuitive, but behavioral psychologists say intermittent rewards create stronger positive associations than consistent rewards.3) Rather than using giveaways as a strategy to attract new clients, offer a free product sample or complimentary service enhancement as a “thank you” to regular clients. (Learn how retail products can help increase revenue.) Not only does this help strengthen loyalty, it also eliminates those who only want the freebie and have no intention of coming back.
4. Follow up after the first visit and periodically afterward.
When you have a first-time client, especially someone who spends a significant amount of money at your spa, follow up with a phone call to ask how the visit went. This sends a strong message that you care about the client experience at your spa and also helps you identify client service problems that may need to be addressed. With existing clients, utilize periodic online surveys. According to experience-management company Qualtrics, this type of survey monitors the general “health” of your spa and can be used to provide tracking benchmarks.4
5. Promote gifting of spa services.
When clients give a gift, they become more deeply connected to the gifted brand, according to a study published in the Journal of Marketing.5 In fact, researchers found that these gift buyers spent 63 percent more the year following a gift purchase than customers who purchase the brand for their personal use, and the effect is even stronger when clients receive assistance during the gift purchase process and branded gift wrapping is used. You know that spa services and products make great gifts—make sure your clients know that too.
6. Ask clients how they prefer to receive communications.
Your clients’ age demographic and individual preferences may strongly influence how they prefer to hear from you—and whether they respond to your outreach efforts. Ask your clients if they would prefer direct mail, phone calls, email, text messaging, or social media to learn about spa specials, receive reminders for services, and so on. Many spa management software systems let you customize and automate these communication preferences. Your clients will appreciate the personal touch, and you’ll be more likely to connect with them as a result.
7. Offer payment options.
Your spa clients may be unaware of—but open to—financing options for spa services. In a recent study, relatively few skincare clients (29 percent) were aware of options to finance related expenses, but 49 percent said they would consider it if it meant they could receive treatment right away.5 Offering the CareCredit health, wellness, and personal care credit card could help differentiate your spa from others, help increase satisfaction and loyalty among current clients, and even help attract new clients. Your clients receive the services that help them feel refreshed and pampered when they want to receive them, and your spa reaps the benefits of client satisfaction—a perfect marriage between financial health and client loyalty.
1Amy Gallo, “The Value of Keeping the Right Customers,” Harvard Business Review, Oct. 29, 2014, hbr.org/2014/10/the-value-of-keeping-the-right-customers.
2Carmine Gallo, “How One Brand Builds Customer Loyalty in 10 Feet and 10 Seconds,” Forbes, July 26, 2012, www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2012/07/26/how-one-brand-builds-customer-loyalty-in-10-feet-and-10-seconds.
3Julian C. Leslie, “Intermittent Reinforcement,” in Principles of Behavioral Analysis (New York: Psychology Press, 1996), 83-111.
4“Customer Retention Surveys,” Qualtrics, c. 2021, www.qualtrics.com/experience-management/customer/customer-retention-surveys.
5Eggert A, Steinhoff L, Witte C. “Gift Purchases as Catalysts for Strengthening Customer–Brand Relationships,” Journal of Marketing, July 9, 2019, journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0022242919860802.
6CareCredit Path To Purchase — Cosmetic, 2018.
Great job! You’ve completed the course.
With the CareCredit health, wellness and personal care credit card, you can help build client loyalty and help your clients accept your full recommendation of services and retail products. Simply start accepting CareCredit as a payment solution and let every client know it’s available.
- Give your clients a dedicated, flexible way to pay over time for additional services, treatments and retail products.* Clients can choose the No Interest if Paid in Full within 6 Months financing option on purchases of $200 or more.
- If approved, clients can use their CareCredit credit card again and again at your spa.
Join the CareCredit network today. Call (800) 300-3046 Option 5 or click here to learn more.
*Subject to credit approval. Minimum monthly payments required. See carecredit.com for details.