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Loyal customers are the best customers. That’s not just an opinion, it’s a fact. Finding a new customer can be five times more expensive than keeping a current one, and retained customers tend to spend far more – increasing customer loyalty by just 5% can increase profits by up to 95%.
A dedicated customer loyalty program makes the process of creating and maintaining loyal customers far easier. Rather than just running a tight ship and hoping for the best, a loyalty program brings structure and intent to your loyalty efforts, and can achieve far better results because of this considered approach.
In this article we’ll be zooming in on salon loyalty programs in particular: why you should have one, what they look like, and how you can get the most out of yours.
What is a loyalty program?
First things first: what exactly is a loyalty program? It is a set of structured systems and processes designed to inspire your customers to continually choose your business over your competitors.
Salon loyalty programs usually achieve this goal by offering rewards to customers who return again and again; things like points that you can eventually redeem for products and services, special offers and deals, free merchandise, invitations to special events, or the chance to test new products and services before they’re officially released.
Square Loyalty, offers a simple way to set up a system of points and rewards for every customer. Points are automatically added to the customer’s profile every time they make a purchase, which can eventually be redeemed for whatever reward you and they choose.
In the process customers who enrol in the Square Loyalty rewards program are twice as likely to be repeat customers, and spend an incredible 37% more!
5 reasons why your salon needs a loyalty program
Why should your salon create a loyalty program? There are a number of reasons, but here are five of the most compelling.
Retention is cheaper: The time, effort and investment spent on advertising and marketing makes customer acquisition an expensive pursuit. Retaining customers who already know about and have experienced your salon is far easier and five times cheaper!
Bigger customer spend: On average returning customers spend 67% more than new customers – that’s a whole lot more profit in your pocket!
Happier clients: A loyalty program is your chance to give back to your clients – to say thank you for their business, and to reward them for choosing you. These rewards understandably make them far happier: who doesn’t love a freebie or a special offer!
More social proof and a better reputation: Loyal, happy clients tend to be the type that tell the world about your business, whether face-to-face with family and friends, or by writing a review on Google or Facebook. In the process these brand ambassadors create valuable social proof for your salon, building your online reputation in a way that attracts more and more customers.
More targeted marketing: A well designed loyalty program, like Square Loyalty, will carefully log every interaction you have with a customer. A handy consequence of all this data is that you get a more complete view of each customer, which helps you to create ever more targeted marketing campaigns. If you know that a customer comes in for a cut and colour at the start of every month, email them with an offer for a blow dry or style near the end of the month!
How to make the most of your loyalty program
When done well, salon loyalty programs can prove to be incredibly lucrative, so let’s now move from the why to the how. How can you ensure your loyalty program is a success?
Get the right tech: The first and most important step is to choose the right technology to support your loyalty efforts. A tool like Square Loyalty demands minimum effort while offering maximum reward.
Promote the program: Jump on social media and tell the world about your loyalty points and the rewards they can unlock. Not many salons offer customers the opportunity to earn points from their regular visits, so this can be the sort of unique selling point that can separate your business from the rest.
Make sign-up easy: If you offer the ability to book online – like you can with Square Appointments – be sure to make it easy for a customer to join your loyalty program in the process. In-store, train your salon staff to always ask whether a customer is part of your program, and if they aren’t, offer to sign them up then and there!
Reward referrals: Your points and rewards don’t have to apply exclusively to purchases. Loyal customers who invite friends and family members to check out your business should really be rewarded for their valuable efforts, so consider applying points to each referral.
A loyal customer is a happy and valuable customer, particularly in a service business like a salon, which deals with its clients every few weeks or months. And when loyalty is done well, with the right tools and the right approach, it can be a super profitable and fulfilling experience.
If you’re ready to inspire loyalty at your salon, we’re ready to help.