Loyalty programs are an essential aspect of salon businesses today, and for good reason. These programs offer a variety of benefits to both your guests AND your salon. For customers, loyalty programs often provide exclusive discounts, freebies, and other perks that keep them engaged with your business. At the same time, salons benefit from increased customer retention rates, higher sales, and valuable insights into consumer behavior.
With so many advantages to gain from implementing loyalty programs, it’s no wonder why they have become a popular strategy across various industries, including the salon industry. Unfortunately, many salons are completely missing the mark by ignoring some critical loyalty best practices. Just because you have a loyalty program doesn’t mean it’s working. In this article, our friends at Salon S.O.S. share the biggest mistake you may be making with your salon’s loyalty program without even knowing it.
WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL SALON LOYALTY PROGRAM?
Companies with successful loyalty programs include Shoppers Drug Mart/Loblaws, Starbucks, Subway, Tim Hortons, and Sephora. These companies have been able to create successful loyalty programs because they understand the importance of customer engagement and retention. They offer personalized experiences through targeted promotions, exclusive discounts, and special perks that are tailored to each customer’s preferences. Additionally, they make it easy for customers to earn rewards by providing multiple ways to accumulate points or credits such as making purchases, referring friends, or engaging on social media. They also use data-driven insights to continuously optimize their loyalty programs and tailor them to meet the evolving needs of their customers. Overall, these companies have been successful in building strong relationships with their customers by rewarding loyalty and offering a unique experience that keeps them coming back.
What else do these successful loyalty programs have in common? They are all APP based programs! This means that the customer has access to their loyalty rewards information through an app on their phone. Why is this important, you ask? We’re diving into that next…
POINT OF SALE SYSTEMS VS APP BASED LOYALTY APPS
Many salon software systems offer built-in loyalty programs. Points get automatically added into the client account when they make a purchase. The problem with these systems is that there is ZERO client AWARENESS or engagement. There is no conversation being had about the program. The clients usually don’t even realize they are earning points. And at the very least, they definitely don’t know how many points they earned that day, how many they have in their ‘bank’ and what they’re working towards. As a result, it offers no incentive for them to purchase more or return to the salon more frequently. When loyalty points are automatically built into a system, all of a sudden nobody talks about the program. Clients aren’t aware of their points, nor how close they are to potential rewards. And when people are not aware of something, they don’t change their behaviour. The objective of a successful loyalty program is to change the behaviour of the consumer and you can only do that by keeping the consumer constantly engaged with your program.
There are also many unsuccessful programs out there that just ask you if you have the loyalty card, you rummage through your wallet or purse for it, they scan it, and you walk out of the store without knowing how many points you just earned, how many you have in your account, or how close you may or may not be to any rewards. Those programs are very mediocre, but still better than the salon software programs because at least someone asks you if you have your reward card. With the salon software programs, nobody even talks about it, and you just end up giving things away for free after a certain amount of time. It happens over and over again, as much as salons have good intentions to try and talk about it.
The key to successful loyalty programs is awareness and engagement. You want your customers to be engaged with your program to get the best results. The best way to engage with customers these days is through their phones. That is why the best loyalty programs in today’s world are app-based programs that allow customers to stay connected and be engaged. The majority of consumers, especially those visiting your salon, are very active on their phones, so having an app that they can regularly check up on substantially increased awareness of your loyalty program.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR SALON’S APP BASED LOYALTY PROGRAM
Salon S.O.S. offers gorgeous, custom branded loyalty apps that are successfully used by hundreds of salons and independent operators across North America. You don’t have to be a big salon to reward your clients and benefit from increased sales! If you’d like to learn more about these loyalty programs, click here!
Here are some keys to a SUCCESSFUL loyalty program:
1. Utilize marketing campaign features. Most app based programs will have the option that allows you to automatically send salon clients promotions via text. Text marketing has shown to be incredibly effective as most people have access to their cellphones 24/7. Be strategic with these text marketing campaigns as to not overwhelm or overdo it with salon guests.
2. Offer rewards in exchange for reviews. You can prompt salon guests to leave an online review directly through most apps in exchange for a reward. Win-win for both the client and your salon!
3. Utilize loyalty triggers. Many apps will allow you to schedule triggers that will send clients a rewards prompt for any reason. Ex: Send a message if there’s been no activity for x amount of time or send bonus rewards on client’s birthday, special occasion, etc.
Long story short, the biggest mistake you can make with your salon’s loyalty rewards is going with a software that gives no awareness or engagement with your customer. App based loyalty rewards programs offer a range of benefits such as convenience, personalization, ease-of-use, and real-time engagement. They allow businesses to track customer behavior and preferences, which in turn enables them to tailor their offerings to meet individual needs. Additionally, app-based loyalty programs offer cost savings by eliminating the need for physical rewards cards or paper coupons. And customers love them because they are modern and the customer feels in control (don’t we know that everyone loves to feel in control!!).
Overall, app based programs provide an excellent way for businesses to enhance customer retention and increase revenue while creating a seamless experience for customers and are far superior to the easily forgotten point of sale loyalty programs.
Again, you can find out all about the Salon S.O.S. loyalty app and request a free demo for your salon here: www.salonsos.ca/loyalty
If you’re looking for more digital marketing tips or support for your salon business, you can find out more about Salon S.O.S. here www.salonsos.ca and/or check out their free digital marketing academy at www.salonsos.ca/digital-marketing-academy