How to Turn New Customers Into Repeat Business

Sep 04, 2012 No Comments by

Last week I arrived at a customer’s business a few minutes early, so I sat in the reception waiting to see the Salon Owner. I sat there amazed, and once again I realized how clueless people are when it comes to marketing their products and services.

Here’s why – while I was waiting, I sat watching a Nail Technician deal with a walk in customer who was visiting the Salon for the very first time.

When she was finished, the Nail Technician thanked the client, took her money and as the client opened the door to leave she said, “I hope you come back soon!”

I hope you come back – that’s it? You can’t build your business on hope alone.

She didn’t ask for the client for her mobile number.

She didn’t ask the client for her email address.

She didn’t recommend a retail product.

She didn’t even offer the new client any kind loyalty incentive.

She just let repeat business walk out the door.

So when I finally sat down with the Salon Owner, I had to ask her some critical questions about her Salon Marketing. It turns out that they regularly have customers walking into the Salon, but they have never used walk in’s to build a bigger, better customer database.

Their business is just like most other Salons. Their clientele is made up of a lot of regulars, but they also have a lot of walk in’s – most of which are once off customers who never return. Now let me ask you the same question I asked the Salon Owner, “Wouldn’t is make a huge difference to your business if you converted more of those one-off customers into regular consistent repeat business?”

The answer is YES, OF COURSE!

How to Convert One-Off Customers Into Regular Repeat Business

To do this, you are going to use a simple email and SMS marketing strategy that works perfectly for Salons and Spas.

To get started, you have to get the mobile number and email address of every single customer that walks through the door.  Once you have your customers email address, here’s what you do with it;

The day after their treatment, you show them you care by sending out an automated Survey SMS using Salon Studio CRM. But, you also have to send them a pre-made, educational, value added email. For example, send your Nail Clients tips on how to protect their new enhancements. Tell massage customers that it is important for them to drink lots of water after the massage. And that’s it, communicate, educate and show that you care.

One week later, send a follow-up email where they just check in with the customer. Make sure that you don’t include a sales pitch. Just keep it simple, ask them how they’re doing, and then share some more educational info / helpful tips about the treatment / service they bought.

Three to five days later send your new customer a second email, however, this time offer them a loyalty program – but not just ANY loyalty program!

How To Create a Loyalty Program That Works…

To get any loyalty program to work, this is what you need to do. Go to Salon Management Studio’s Marketing Store and download the ready-made “First Time Customer Offer.” This is a simple yet powerful sales letter that tells the customer if she books her second appointment now she will get her third appointment for free. (Obviously some minor terms and conditions apply.)

If the prospect scheduled an appointment today, they’ll gain access to a special loyalty card that would work like this. (See picture below) You have seen Loyalty Cards like this before, maybe you even give customers a Card like this already. The problem is that most customers never use these cards. There is a reason why customers lose them, leave them in the bottom of their handbags, and even throw their loyalty cards away, but we will get to that in a moment…

Using a typical Loyalty Card, for every 10 facials, sets of nails, mani’s pedi’s massages etc… the client gets one free. But here’s the magic ingredient that makes a standard loyalty program work!

To entice the first time customer to schedule their second appointment right away, using the ready-made “First Time Customer” offer, tell them that if they book their second appointment now, your Salon will immediately stamp their Loyalty card for this treatment, the treatment they already had and you will stamp the free treatment also!

That way, if people book in for a second treatment during that same week or month, they get 3 treatments credited on their Loyalty Card.

This means that they only need another 7 treatments to get a free one.

Why is this KEY? I will tell you…

How Successful Car Washes Implement Loyalty Programs

I came across an article written by researchers Joseph Nunes and Xavier Drèze about a Car Wash Loyalty Card Experiment recently. They found that a simple psychological technique called “artificial advancement” increases the use of customer loyalty cards by 82%.

Let me explain what artificial advancement is. On two consecutive Saturdays mornings, the carwash gave out 300 standard loyalty cards to car wash customers. Half of the cards required 8 car washes to earn a free car wash. The other half required 10 washes. But instead of requiring the full 10, the car wash gave customers a 2 car wash headstart as a free bonus.

In both scenarios, the customer needed to buy 8 car washes in total to get a free car wash. However, in the second example where customers were given a two car wash head-start, (i.e. they were artificially advanced) here’s what happened:

During the next few months 28 out of 150 people earned a free car wash when they didn’t receive artificial advancement. However, 51 out of 150 people earned a free car wash when they did receive artificial advancement. The same 8 car washes (i.e. same service) with one slight change in the loyalty program and customer loyalty went up by 82%.

Would it make a difference to your Salon if 82% more walk in customers used a loyalty card and booked in again and again?

But why does artificial advancement increase customer loyalty?

It is human nature really – people are more likely to complete tasks when they’re closer to the finish line.

When you start with a loyalty card, and you only have 1 Facial Stamp out of 10 on your card, that means you’re 10% complete. You are still far away from the prize!

But when you start with a loyalty card that has 3 Facial Stamps to start with, you’re already 30% complete.

Even though the car wash customers needed the same 8 car washes, in one instance they’re 70% away from the finish line whereas in the other case they’re 90% away.

Now before you run out and implement your new customer Loyalty Program, there is still one important ingredient you have to know about.

Artificial advancement only works when the customer is given a very clear reason why your Salon is generously giving them the artificial advancement. In other words, you cannot just give it to people for no reason.

Instead, you’ve got to give them the artificial advancement for a real reason like a limited change of season sale, or in this case NEW CUSTOMER APPRECIATION.

Now let’s leave the car wash and come back to your Salon.

Based on the car wash research, the data says that customers are 82% more likely to complete their loyalty card when they have the advancement.

So, when you offer a new walk in customer a loyalty card with the opportunity to have 3 treatments, you’re giving that customer 30% completion, meaning they’d be 82% more likely to buy use the loyalty points they already have and buy more services to complete the card.

But there are even more added benefits for your Salon.

You have now developed a loyal regular client who is valuable to your business.

What’s more, even if these one-off customers didn’t have the habit of coming in for nails, facial or massages, now they do.

And all your Salon has to do is send out 3 emails and an SMS after a new customer uses their services.

So let’s get personal now

I would love to hear from you so tell me, “How do you follow-up with new customers?”

What do you do to try and turn new customers into repeat business?

Smart, timely email and SMS follow-up is the KEY.

So, if you’re not putting your customers on an email list, get started immediately. And if you’re not following up new customers using Salon Studio CRM’s Survey SMS start doing that too!

And in those follow-ups, you should approach them as a friend who’s trying to help.

Show them useful information, facts and figures and explain why they made a smart decision in choosing your business. If you go to Salon Studio’s Marketing Store right now, there are two brand new ready-made marketing tools that will help you get walk in clients to book for the first time, second and third time. There is even a ready-made list of seven reasons why your Salon should be the only Salon in your Suburb to take care of her beauty needs.  So what are you waiting for, you have the tools now take action!!

After Sales Templates, Salon Marketing

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