By Grant Miller
Too many salons spend most of their time and advertising budget trying to attract new clients and often forget about the ones they already have. Current members are much easier and less expensive to keep compared to what it costs you to find a new one. New customer acquisition is typically one of your highest costs.
With that in mind, as summer winds down and turns into fall, this usually signals the beginning of the slow season for most salons around the country. Your stream of new members starts to fade so this is the perfect time of the year to reconnect with your current and inactive members.
Business owners think it’s the customer’s job to remember your business and they’ll automatically reappear once they are in need of your products or services. However, there are many temptations out there and a bunch or competitors trying to steal your clients.
It’s actually your job to make sure that your customer remembers you. Customer loyalty is not what it used to be, and assuming they will automatically return is a big mistake. Here are some things you should be doing in order to maintain and grow your current member relationships:
I always recommend some sort of a “real touch” each month to your members. This could be a postcard or sales letter offering a new service or promotion, a thank you card for a recent purchase, a follow-up phone call to see how their last spray tan turned out, or a birthday card/postcard with a special offer. Please note that these are not emails or a tweet. Email open rates are dismal and most never get seen or read. Don’t rely too much on Facebook either, since only a small fraction of your members “Like” you. It’s okay to do email and social media in addition to tangible touches, but they should never be a replacement. Think about what means more to you, an actual birthday card in the mail signed by Grandma or an email or tweet from her?
There is gold in the old. Just because a customer hasn’t visited in six, 12 months or longer doesn’t mean they are gone for good. Remember what I said about it being your job to remind them. An effective reactivation campaign can be as simple as a postcard telling them you miss them and including a special offer when they visit you by next Thursday. Mine your customer list to discover the hidden gold within it.