Returning customers are key to spa business success. It’s well known that customer retention is far less expensive than acquisition. So, once someone walks through your doors, the goal should be to get them to come back.
Some stats to consider:
- The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.
- 80% of your future profits will come from just 20 percent of your existing customers.
- 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers. (Source: smallbiztrends.com)
Of course, it’s not always possible to have people return regularly, particularly if your spa is one part of the experience at a hotel or resort geared towards something like business travel. But obviously the property as a whole wants repeat guests and you are a big part of that equation. You might not get them back next week, but you may get them back in six months or next year.
Here are 8 ways to turn new customers into repeat customers.
Provide the most incredible customer experience you possibly can
This should go without saying, but just in case it doesn’t, we’re going to say it. Your customer experience should be not just good, but exquisite. There are a lot of spas out there, and if you want to stand out, you have to be better than all the others. From the moment a guest walks in the door, to the moment they leave – and beyond – your guest should be thrilled and amazed.
Personalize the experience
Research by Segment, a customer data platform, found that 71% of consumers express frustration when their shopping experience is impersonal, while 44% of consumers say that they will likely become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience. When a guest feels that you’re paying attention to their specific wants and needs, they feel valued. And when someone feels valued, they will value you in return. Personalization is the key to customer experience.
Get to know your customers
Take the opportunity to learn as much as you can about a new guest through your online booking software, spa management software, and guest intake platform. Before a guest arrives you should already know as much about them as you can. And after someone visits you once, you shouldn’t have to ask for basic details ever again. Make notes, so that when they return you’ll have them on file. If you have more than one location, make sure your spa management software allows you to share this information between them so the guest isn’t forced to go through it all again if they visit another location.
Email marketing remains the most effective strategy for customer retention. Follow up immediately after a treatment to let the guest know you’re thinking about them. Keep it short, as suggested by Derek Halpern at Social Triggers. Remind them that it’s important to stay hydrated after a massage, or to stay out of the sun after a facial. Don’t always be selling. Immediately after someone has left is not always the right time to try to hook them for another service. Let it breathe. But do follow up.
Immediately after a visit is the best time to solicit feedback. The reality is that if someone has a bad experience at your spa, they might not tell you. In fact, a vast majority of people won’t complain, they just won’t come back. But you don’t want guests just to not have a bad experience, you want them to have a great experience. And unless someone makes a point of telling you so, the only way to truly know if you’ve achieved your goal is to ask. So ask. Send a customer satisfaction survey after a treatment, when the experience is fresh in the guest’s mind. Your spa management software should have this capability. Include an incentive to take the survey that will also bring the guest back to your spa. A discount code, for example, or a free gift or a chance to win a prize.
Don’t sit on any issues. Fix them. If, in the survey, the spa customer expresses dissatisfaction with any element of your services or the experience, make an overture immediately. Offer a discount, free gift, or free service. Take immediate action and show that you care.
Create incentives for customers to return
Rewarding customer feedback is one important retention strategy. Others include promotions, memberships and loyalty programs. Loyalty programs are an effective way of retaining customers when done right. When done wrong, they can cost you time and money, and have a negative effect on your brand image. So, do implement one. Just be sure to do your research on what works and what doesn’t. Don’t just jump into this one.
Subscribe to Spa Executive’s newsletter to receive a free download of our Quick Guide: Dos And Don’ts For A Successful Spa Loyalty Program. Click here.
Remember what we said above about email marketing. All of this requires communication. Your customers won’t join your programs of they’re not informed about those programs and of their benefits. Why should they become a member or join your loyalty program? This doesn’t have to be hard work or very time consuming, particularly if you have the technology in place to take care of your marketing communications and support your goals.
Also, listening to your guests and hearing what they are saying, and what they want, will help you figure out what will work best for your particular customer base, and motivate them to return to your spa.
Establish a communicative and responsive relationship, and the rest will fall into place.
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