Imagine being invited to someone’s house, having a really great time and then never being invited back again…you’d feel pretty hurt, right?
Well, two months ago I was asked to be a mystery shopper for one of Auckland’s top Day Spas and that’s exactly how I felt when I left the Spa….totally hurt that I hadn’t been invited back.
Now for obvious confidentially reasons, this Spa (who is not an Inner Circle member) shall remain nameless, but I wanted to share my experience with you and show how a failure to ask simple questions or do any follow up marketing could be costing YOUR salon a bucket load of money every year.
Before you read on, this story is not to bad mouth this Day Spa. In fact, I have to say that the service I received prior to and during the treatment was up there with some of the best I have ever experienced when visiting a Salon or Spa. But that’s what makes it so bad. They have spent so much time putting systems and procedures in place to ensure the customers have this amazing experience, but it’s then let down by complete neglect at the back end.
From the moment I made the booking on the phone the receptionist sounded delightful, asked all the right questions and took my credit card, explaining their 24 hour cancellation policy – a sure way to prevent those frustrating no shows!
When arriving at the Day Spa I was greeted and shown to a lounge where I was given a consultation and then shown the facilities available to me while I was at the Spa which included a sauna, steam room and gym. Everything was done down to the finest detail, even matching the tea I drank to the type of treatment I requested through my consultation.
Before being taken through to the treatment room I was taken to a relaxation room and introduced to my therapist, as well as another therapist. From the time I walked in the Spa I had met 4 different people, who all knew me by name and made me feel incredibly special. I felt like a valued client of the Spa, and not just one therapist!
The treatment itself was also excellent, with music and lighting tailored to my mood and post treatment I was taken to a separate room to relax even further, drink some more tea and fill out a satisfaction survey.
I think you get the picture, overall the WOW factor was huge!
So you can understand my disappointment that I was NOT ONCE asked if I wanted to rebook another appointment. It was pretty evident that I had really enjoyed my visit to the Spa, so as a guest to the Spa, why wasn’t I invited back?…HOW RUDE!!!
Please Let Me Come back To Your Spa…PLEASE!
Maybe I was missing something, was I meant to get down on my hands and knees and beg to come back?
One simple question would have turned a $140 sale, into at least a $1700 – $2000 client over 12 months, because you know what, if they’d asked me to come back, I would have said YES!
“Okay Chris, we would LOVE to see you back here at (salon name) again, so let’s make that next appointment for you now because we do get booked up very quickly and I don’t want you to miss out on the time that suits you best….how does 3pm on (date) or 10am on (date) suit?”
Now obviously I am just one client, so can you imagine how much money this Spa is losing if clients are not being re-booked…it’s scary! But that’s the difference between a great salon/spa and an average salon/spa. Members of our Inner Circle program understand the value of a customer, they don’t look at each client as a one-off sale, rather as a customer for life who will be worth thousands of $$$.
The next thing here was that I was not offered the professional products to go away with and use until my next appointment. It’s a fact that 70% of clients who are NOT sold retail will go down the road and buy it from a chemist or supermarket (a salons biggest rival) within 24 hours, the products will be crap and the client won’t be a happy camper! Who are they going to blame first…that’s right, the salon/therapist! So they will never return. How sad!
Maybe they didn’t ask me because I am a guy or some other lame excuse like that – whatever it was, it wasn’t good enough and will be costing the salon a fortune!
*If you have never heard about former Schwarzkopf CEO John Lee’s 1000 hour customer care policy, you should Google it, learn it and apply it to your salon!
Finally, the reason for me writing this story some 2 months after my visit to the Spa was to at least see if they did some follow up marketing. A welcome letter perhaps, with a voucher to use off my next booking or an email with their latest offers…did it ever happen?….Nope!
After my visit to the Spa, I filled out a lengthy mystery shopper questionnaire making specific reference to these issues and how all the positive aspects of my visit had gone to waste because of the failure to rebook or retail to me. I even made special mention that I would look forward to receiving follow up marketing from them as I REALLY wanted to come back.
I suppose I’ll NEVER know if they fixed any of these issues because I am still waiting to be invited back.
A couple of examples this week that show how dangerous it can be to lose sight of the fact that it’s what the customers think that matters in your business, not what you think. This story is about the pizza company and the music critic.
Confused? Stay with me. It matters to your business.
In my morning paper today, a music critic resentfully acknowledging that the buying public doesn’t give a toss what he and his sniffy, elitist colleagues decide is ‘good’ music. The spark for this admission is frumpy, middle-aged, bushy-browed Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle.
In the US, Boyle’s album I Dreamed a Dream sold 2.5 million units in the lead-up to Christmas. In Australia, a proportionately even larger 600,000 sales. Here’s a reminder:
But this ‘critic’ and his colleagues around the world decided almost unanimously that New York band Animal Collective’s album Merriweather Post Pavilion was the ‘best’ album of 2009. Call me a neanderthal, but Animal Collective isn’t a name in my household, nor, I suspect, in many households around the world. (And I checked with our in-house music nerd. He’s never heard of them either.)
Here’s what’s instructive:
The music critics are focused on the product. That’s why they’ll always be the written-word equivalent of the starving artist living in a garret. But the companies who back shows like Britain’s Got Talent and American Idol are concerned (rightly) with what sells.
It’s never about the product. It’s about the marketing of the product. Susan Boyle sold because she had a story to sell. People buy on emotion, not logic. And inspiration is emotional. ‘Look at her…she’s dumpy, ugly, never even been kissed. If she can do that…’
Susan Boyle is a triumph of packaging over content.
(Even so, the Britain’s Got Talent judges – critics – still got it wrong. Susan Boyle was runner up. Anybody remember who won?)
There’s an old saying, you can’t polish a turd, but you can roll it in sparkles. History is littered with examples of mediocre, ordinary – even inferior – products becoming sales powerhouses thanks to inspired, hard-nosed marketing.
In the 70s, Sony’s Betamax domestic videotape system was technically far superior to rival JVC’s VHS format. But JVC’s marketing put the Sony product out of business.
There are plenty of smart-phones and MP3 players that outperform Apple’s iPhone and iPod. But who owns the music hardware market? Apple’s marketing rolled the competitors.
But don’t think that just because you’re a humble salon or spa owner that you’re somehow not as smart as the marketing geniuses at the Big End of Town.
Just look at Dominos Pizza.
Fifty years after founder Tom Monaghan built an empire on the basis of a single, powerful Unique Selling Proposition – “Fresh Hot Pizza delivered in 30 Minutes – Guaranteed” the company’s inheritors have just embarked on a complete re-vamp of the giant’s entire marketing campaign.
Dumbly, in my view, they’re focusing on the product, dumping half a century’s worth of the most powerful USP ever developed. Not content with that, the marketing geniuses at Dominos are betting the whole farm on a campaign that admits, in excruciating detail, that for decades their product has actually been crap. (Did their customers even care? They never wanted good pizza, they just wanted it fast, and hot.)
Take a look at their latest commercial:
The lessons are clear: If you obstinately stick your head in the sand, stubbornly declare that ‘we’re really good, so customers should simply recognize that and come’ then you’re as dumb as Dominos, as blind and elitist as a music critic.
It’s better to be different than it is to be better.
Hair Salon Website Template Free: NZ Salon Superstar of the Week – Bedelia Shepherd of Nelson Beauty Therapy DOUBLES her salon’s turnover just one month after joining the Inner Circle Program!
“Thank you for your support leading up to Christmas, we have been blown away with our results. We have more than doubled our last Dec turnover and the vouchers sales bought in just under $18000.”
It’s amazing the amount of times I hear salons owners say “my accountant has advised me not to join the Inner Circle program because my business can’t afford it”. I find it so utterly bemusing that any person would tell you to not invest in the ONE THING that is going to make you money….marketing!
Bedelia Shepherd of Nelson Beauty Therapy
And that is exactly what happened to Bedelia Shepherd of Nelson Beauty Therapy in Nelson 18 months ago when she was looking to join the Inner Circle program. As it happened, she only joined in December 2009 and has already doubled her monthly turnover since then. If only she hadn’t listened to that business adviser’s bad advice 18 months ago, she would be in a completely different place now with her business. Here is what Bedelia has to say…..
WOW … I’m so excited with the results we are achieving. Since I joined the Inner Circle program a month ago, we have doubled our turnover in that short period of time. The girls in the salon are right behind everything we are doing with our marketing and in- salon promotions.Our customers are excited and can feel the positive energy.
There is a lesson in this for me I’d love to share with you! 18 months ago I spoke to Greg and wanted to join WSM but allowed myself to be talked out of it by very well meaning business advisers! Their reasons being ‘my business couldn’t afford it’….!!I Needless to say I don’t use their services anymore!
My advice if I can be so bold is ……..your business can’t afford not to belong to WSM.
I’m very thankful and extremely grateful to both Greg and Chris for their support, and this is only such early days, but the simple saying of “surround yourself with positive people with successful business practices and your half way there” is certainly true in my case.
In the first week of January we have done the entire retail sales of last January and exactly half of the beauty sales for the whole month!We haven’t even implemented all the marketing we set out to do just yet!Now things have settled down a bit I can breathe and spend time on planning.
Really looking forward to this exciting year and seeing what I can achieve.”
Free Salon Business Plan Template Marketing Superstars – NZ Inner Circle Member of the Week Tracy Power
If there is one thing that salon owners are guilty of it’s not rewarding our existing clients enough! You know, those clients who have been coming to us for years if not decades, spending all their hard earned cash to make themselves look and feel amazing! We just assume that they would never betray us and go to another salon…
Far too frequently I hear salon owners say,
“Why would I offer this special package to my existing clients when they are already going to come in to the salon anyway and spend more than the package…”
It’s quite simple really…
If you don’t reward your existing LOYAL clients, they will eventually leave and go somewhere that does reward them!!!
Tracy Power – Woman Day Spa, Nelson NZ
So it was music to my ears today when I spoke with long term Inner Circle member Tracy Power of Woman Day Spa in Nelson, New Zealand. Last week Tracy emailed her clients a Christmas promotion she found in the Members Only ‘sealed section’ and followed the same format used by Michael Curtis of Blush Day Spa in Perth.
The phone immediately began to go crazy.
Within 2 hours of emailing the promotion Tracy had sold 50 vouchers making $6000. In fact, the promotion went so well that they ran out of gift vouchers and had to call the printer urgently to have more made!
“I couldn’t believe it, the phone was going so crazy I actually didn’t know what to do!!! Within 2 hours we had sold all our vouchers and yesterday we sold another $2000 worth.
We have told our clients that we will be releasing another 50 next week and I have already had one client request 20 x $50 vouchers.
Before I sent the email I was a bit worried that I would be giving away too many free vouchers, but when some of my clients came in to pick up their vouchers they were thanking me so much for the wonderful gift…they were just so happy and it made me realise that I need to reward them more often!
And of course some of the clients will give these vouchers to their friends for Christmas so I will get lots of new clients in January too!”
So far Tracy has made $8000 in early bird xmas voucher sales, from an email that cost her ZERO, ZILCH, NADA….Now that’s not a bad return on investment!
But more importantly, Tracy has made her existing clients feel incredibly special with this offer and she will reap the rewards from this in the months and years to come.
Well done Tracy for being our Salon Superstar of the week – You really deserve it…
Salon Template Salon Superstars – Inner Circle Member of the Week, Susan Vincent – USA
If more so-called ‘business leaders’ took some lessons from fleet-footed business owners at the small end of town, like Inner Circle member Susan Vincent of Body & Soul Day Spa in Staunton, Virginia, the US might not be wallowing in its own economic misery.
Unlike the CEOs of big, fat companies bailed out by the taxpayer, Susan didn’t ‘know it all’ – she sought – and found – the money-making templates and tools in Worldwide Salon Marketing’s My Social Salon system, including the Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit® and USED them:
“As of June 2009, with the recession in full force, we are still experiencing a 20% growth rate – we couldn’t be happier!”
Susan joined WSM and got her Toolkit nearly two years ago, and immediately embraced its no-nonsense style of direct marketing, advertising, salon/spa marketing plans and sales strategies. But importantly, she did it with a pulse, and used it as a spur to seek more knowledge about the whole world of direct response.
“Although the recession hasn’t hit us like it has in some parts of the US, the community here has embraced that (recession) mindset.
“This has created a very difficult environment for such a small spa. A couple of years ago, a Dan Kennedy mentor of mine recommended that I start a print newsletter. He knew I was a writer and encouraged me to write about my life in the newsletter. I really thought he was nuts. After all, email was the rage.
“Why would anyone want to read a print newsletter? But more to the point, why would anyone want to read about my boring life? Turns out, he was spot on.
“A year after the newsletter’s debut, we grew 35%. Our clients raved about it. They loved the funny, inspirational stories I wrote, much to my surprise. But it wasn’t just that.
“I combined the newsletter stories with great offers. Worldwide Salon Marketing helped me to understand how to craft an offer and combine a killer guarantee to increase sales.”
In fact, so successful has Susan’s monthly newsletter proven to be for her spa, she’s about to launch a ‘done-for-you’ newsletter service for other beauty businesses. She’ll do almost all the writing for you, with a couple of gaps to use for your own offers, and all you’ll have to do is get it printed and mailed.
The fine details are being ironed out over the next few weeks. We’ll let you know when it’s ready to go.