15 May Featured in Salon Today: Come Back Stronger Than Ever After Crisis: Build Customer Loyalty Now
Originally published at SalonToday.com
By Ray Clopton, CEO, Wilbur
The beauty and wellness industry is rapidly growing. However, it is driven by intense competition and to stay ahead of the game, businesses need to deploy strategies to keep existing customers engaged, while attracting new ones.
There are effective marketing strategies, such as getting referrals, networking, and using online platforms to promote your business. However, the most effective way to retain your current customers and acquire new ones – during a crisis or otherwise – is to make them feel invested. When your customers feel like they are an important part of your business, it helps encourage customer loyalty.
Here are three effective ways to improve customer loyalty for your business:
1. Turn Your Customers Into Influencers
Most beauty, spa and wellness businesses use a variety of online platforms to build their brands. Some businesses even hire paid influencers to help promote their products and services to their followers. While this type of marketing strategy may be effective, it can also be expensive. If you cannot afford to hire social media influencers, you can create a program that will encourage your existing real-life customers to promote your business in social media instead.
Here are two suggestions on how to do it:
- Facebook/Instagram photo contest: Create an official business hashtag. Have a photo booth in your business area that shows your brand. Let your customers take pictures in the photo booth and post them in their own Instagram/Facebook accounts, with a sentence or two telling why they love to do business with your company. Of course, they have to include the official hashtag. You select a winner (either weekly or monthly) and the winner gets a prize (it could be a freebie item or a special discount).
- Post Customer Pictures in Your Official Facebook or Instagram: Instead of posting pictures of influencers in your business social media accounts, you can post photos of your customers who are genuinely using your products and services. Make sure to ask their permission before you post their photos and tag them when you do, so they can share it to their friends and followers too.
2. Offer Card-Free Loyalty Rewards Program
A loyalty rewards program is one of the most effective ways to attract and retain customers. Loyalty programs are designed to reward customers for their loyalty to your brand by giving rewards like freebies, discounts, rebates, and other incentives. This strategy has been proven to effectively acquire and keep customers because the idea of earning points that can be redeemed as rewards entices them to keep coming back.
The conventional rewards system is through the use of a loyalty card. However, some customers tend to forget to bring their cards with them sometimes, while others have the tendency of losing or misplacing their cards. Often, card replacement takes time and it can also be costly.
To prevent these problems and to help lessen your customers’ stress, you can opt for a card-free loyalty program where customers will only need an active phone number to register, earn points, and redeem rewards.
3. Be Flexible
With the current situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most people either prefer to stay at home or they are just simply not allowed to go out. This can have a huge blow to a lot of businesses, including the beauty and wellness industry. To maintain good customer rapport, it’s best to be flexible especially during these trying times.
Here are ways you can keep your customer happy amidst the global pandemic:
- Offer gift cards. If your business is a salon or a spa, you can help minimize your customers’ risks while still doing business by selling gift cards. LocalGiftCards.com and other providers make it easy for businesses to sell gift cards via their websites.
- Provide product sales online. If product sales are important, make those products available for purchase online or take orders via social media.
- Extend membership or package expiration. If your business sells memberships or packaged services, you can extend those agreements to ease customer concerns.
Stay Ahead of the Game
The beauty and wellness industry is growing rapidly, but it’s also getting extremely competitive. It’s important to find ways to keep your existing customers happy while attracting new ones. Growing your customer base may be challenging, but it’s definitely achievable. Use the above tips to help you stay ahead of the game.