Customer acquisition costs a lot more than customer retention. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, depending on what industry you’re in, “acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.”
Research has also found that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60% to 70%, compared to a 5% to 20% probability of selling to a new prospect. And one study came to the startling conclusion that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
“The minute someone walks into your spa, your objective should be to get them to come back,” says Book4Time CEO Roger Sholanki.
How to do that?
“Obviously, your customer experience should be amazing,” he adds. “But with so many wonderful spas out there offering exquisite guest experiences, you have to go above and beyond. Communication and attention to detail are crucial elements of spa business success.”
Here are four strategies for turning new spa customers into returning customers.
Personalize your customer experience
Consumers are more likely to engage with brands that personalize their experience. A survey by Accenture found that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize and remember them, and that provide personalized offers and recommendations. And according to SmarterHQ, 80% of people who identify as frequent shoppers say they only shop with brands that personalize their experience.
In order to do this, you have to get to know your customers. Learn as much as you can about your guests through data you collect with your online booking and spa management software. When someone visits your spa, record valuable information and use it to elevate their next guest experience. You should know about any health concerns, their service and product preferences, and whether they want a sparkling water or a cup of tea. Note these things so that you can use them in your communications with your guests and when sending marketing materials.
Also take note of what they tell you about their lives, families, and activities. So when they return, you can say “How did that trip to France go?” or “Did your daughter pass her ballet exam?”
If your spa has several locations, make sure your spa management software communicates important information between them so the guest doesn’t have to go through it all again if they visit a different one.
Customers can’t fail to be impressed with this, because most businesses don’t get it right.
Stay in touch
Follow up with your guests and build a relationship.
Despite the many digital marketing channels available, email marketing remains one of the most effective strategies for customer retention. Texting is also an increasingly important communication method. Millennials, who make up a quarter of the spa-going market (according to ISPA), prefer to communicate with businesses through texting rather than email. Ask how customers prefer you communicate with them and use that method.
Follow up with guests to check in after a treatment or service with a short message to say you’re thinking of them. Offer a little reminder to drink plenty of water after a massage or not to exfoliate for a few days after a facial. Resist the urge to try to get them to book another appointment. It’s too soon. You can send another message at a later date.
The right spa software should be doing the heavy lifting on these communications.
Listen and respond
If you want to know if someone was happy with their visit to your spa, or they were left completely dissatisfied, you have to ask. Research suggests that most people won’t complain after a disappointing customer experience, they just won’t come back.
Send a customer satisfaction survey to guests shortly after they come in for a service, while the experience is still fresh. Your spa management software should have the capability of doing this for you. Include an incentive for taking the survey that is also an incentive to return to your spa, like a discount code.
If the customer shares any issues with you, take immediate steps to address them and to rectify the situation. Demonstrate that this matters to you.
Reward returning customers
There are so many ways to create incentives for customers to return to your spa. These include loyalty programs and memberships. Membership models are growing in popularity and proving to be a hit. These plans allow guests to pay a monthly fee and come in for service whenever they want at a discounted rate. Members and loyal customers should always get special VIP treatment. Promotions are another great tactic to get people to come back.
Remember to communicate these offers and options to your guests, and to make them aware of the benefits of loyalty and membership. This might sound like a lot of work, but with the right spa software technology to do the heavy lifting for you, it’s actually a breeze.