How many times have you heard a hair color client say, “I know I should get my color done every three weeks, but I stretch it to five?” Which means she’s using color powders or wearing a hat or simply sporting an unflattering “stripe” instead of keeping her hair color looking fresh at all times. At Bella Luci Salon in Poughkeepsie, NY, owner Rebecca Lee and her team heard those types of comments plenty, and eventually they heard enough. So Lee created a Bella Luci hair color membership program.
“It’s like a gym membership,” she explains. “It’s a monthly charge, priced at a discounted rate of more than 20 percent for their single process color. It allows them to get their color done once a month with a preferred booking appointment. They receive discounts on their highlights, waxing and facials, which has increased our crossover service bookings as well as hair appointments. Members also receive product discounts to encourage them to maintain their hair with our recommended professional products. Now clients who were coming in on an average of six to eight times a year are coming in 12 times a year.”
Hotels and airlines have long understood the benefits of offering membership advantages to their most loyal customers. Membership does indeed have its privileges in the forms of increased client retention, increased client frequency, greater client loyalty and boosted referrals—all critical metrics for any business.
At the 10 Gene Juarez Salons and Spas, CEO Scott Missad analyzed the business’s spa data and discovered that the average spa customer only visited 1.6 times a year. To boost that frequency, the company launched a spa membership program that now logs more than 1,500 members. For a monthly fee of $90, participants can choose a 60-minute relaxation massage, a 60-minute body treatment, a 60-minute European facial or a combination spa manicure and pedicure each month. The membership services only can be booked Sunday through Friday, so they don't interfere with busy Saturdays in the spa. Members also receive 10 percent off any additional spa services and 20 percent off skin care and spa beauty products. “The program has been fantastic,” Missad says. “It has guaranteed spa income each month, and the club members serve as a test market for the salon. For example, we recently launched microblading services and sent our members offers to sample the service.”
If you think a membership program could serve your salon business, here are a few things to consider:
1—Define Your Goals
What do you want to achieve with your loyalty program? More clients? Increased appointment frequency? Boost retail sales? Defining your goals and targeting your audience (i.e.: hair color clients, lapsed customer, etc.) will help you craft the most effective program.
Once your program is in place, it’s important to get the word out. You might send emails to the specific clients you’re targeting. If it’s a more inclusive program, consider creating signs for the salon and posting details on your website and social media feeds. To generate enthusiasm, consider creating a limited time offer, a prize for the first group to sign up or a drawing for people who enroll.
3—Sweeten the Deal
Once you’ve signed up clients for the membership program, create ongoing special benefits to promote the sense of exclusivity. You might throw a holiday wine and cheese party with free blowouts for members, for example, and offer some of your holiday retail items at a discount. Not only will your guests feel pampered and special, you’ll jump start your holiday product sales and generate excitement for your salon’s blowout and styling services.
4—Track Your Results
Once you put the effort into creating and implementing a loyalty program, it’s important to measure your success. Check with your salon software provider—many offer loyalty program applications and the ability to track ongoing results. And if the program isn’t as effective as you hoped, try a new idea or look into ideas for boosting the existing program with promotions and incentives. There’s always room for improvement!
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