More appointments, less hassle: how spas can amp up their customer retention rates

In the spa business, the smallest numbers can make the biggest difference.

For example, research on customer retention rates almost unanimously suggests that trying to acquire a new customer is up to 25 times more expensive than rebooking an existing client. So, the type of client that you target makes a huge difference to your bottom line.

If that doesn’t convince you to step up your client retention efforts, research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company (inventor of the net promoter score) shows that upping client retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

Pretty valuable, then.

So, how can you improve your customer retention rates? Here are a few suggestions:

Notice risky customers in advance

The simplest way to improve your customer retention rates is to stop customers from drifting away in the first place.

Most customers who are thinking of leaving your spa give signals that hint at their intentions.

Good examples of these include a drop-in visit or treatment frequency, a history of customer service enquiries, and lack of engagement with your email marketing or online materials.

By noticing these signals, you should be able to take action before the customer churns.

For example, if you pulled a list of every customer who hasn’t had any treatment in the last six months, you would have a list of customers who are at risk of leaving your business and taking their money to your competitors.

You can send a personalised follow-up email to these customers with offers, discounts, or incentives to use your product or service again, or simply send a survey to try to understand why they haven’t visited in a while. Using this information can help you understand why your customers might want to leave and hopefully allow you to reel them back in.

Make the whole spa experience easy on your client

You know better than most that your clients are busy and stressed. Make a note of individual clients’ habits and preferences, such as frequent treatments – or even how they like their coffee! It only takes a small, thoughtful detail to make their experience incredible. And how your clients feel has a direct effect on your salon client retention rates.

Furthermore, many customers simply forget to revisit or find it too inconvenient to rebook an appointment. This is particularly true of spas who don’t offer online booking services.

An easy way around this problem is to simply offer to pre-book appointments whilst your client is still on your premises. Not only does this cut down the effort for the client, but it allows you to easily leverage existing customer appointments to give you higher retention.

On top of this, taking the time to pre-book a customer’s appointment can make them feel valued and taken care of, enhancing the customer experience and brand loyalty.

Offer rewards!

Although offers and rewards programs are popular with new clients, offering a specific existing customer loyalty program can boost your retention rates.

Showing your appreciation for your clients by e-mailing or texting an added value offer to thank them for their loyalty ‘just because’ can make your clients feel special. Plus, if you’re offering them something, it’s very difficult to resist coming back!

Perfect for filling gaps in the early part of the week or seasonal quiet times, you can suggest offers for particular treatments. This is particularly effective if you tailor your offers to specific customers, for example, offering a massage discount to someone who’s had six massages in the past year.

Adding a minimum spend limit, a time limit on the offer, or simply having a loyalty card that demands a certain number of stamps before a customer gets a reward will keep your margins healthy whilst offering your customers a great incentive to come back.

Get feedback

The best way for business owners to work out what’s working and what isn’t is to get feedback directly from your customers.

This shouldn’t just come from clients which look as if they’re about to churn, but from your entire database. Engaging with customers on social media, email, and in person to ask for their feedback will give you a lot of data to work with.

Make sure you follow up

Make sure that your clients don’t feel like you’ve forgotten about them as soon as they leave your spa. Send a follow-up email or text to thank them for their visit and to invite them to come back.

Treating your clients like individuals will make them feel more inclined to enjoy your spa’s services again.

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