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Are you more focused on bringing new clients through the door of your spa or massage practice than strengthening relationships with current ones? It’s a question you want to ask yourself and your team. That’s because loyal customers are the backbone of any successful business and you don’t want to take any for granted.

For starters, loyal clients just make good economic sense.  Studies across a range of industries indicate that the cost of keeping an existing customer is around 10 percent of the cost of acquiring a new one, according to The Marketing Donut in “Keeping customers – the importance of loyalty.”  The small business marketing resource also notes that loyal customers also increase profitability since the longer the relationship, the lower the cost of maintaining the client in terms of marketing and other perks you might need to offer to keep a new client coming back.

And then there’s the other advantage loyal clients bring to the table - word of mouth. Loyal customers will sing your praises to others opening the door to more business. A Nielsen study conducted a few years ago found that globally 92 percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. You can’t get more social than that!

Recognizing that loyal clients offer your spa or massage practice even more than a full appointment calendar, you’ll want to take measures to insure client retention. 

Communicate: Reach out to your clients to let them know what’s going on at your spa or massage practice. In addition to posting on social media, create a newsletter or blog to bring them up to date on new employees, expansion plans, partnerships, and so forth. Also provide them with helpful tips for       at-home care between appointments and relay information about new trends in the market for massage and skin care.  You also may want to maintain a list of birthdays and anniversaries for special clients and send them a card to let them know you are thinking about them.

Provide incentives: Everyone loves a bargain and that can come in the form of a special discount or a buy-two-get-one-free retail promotion. Look into creating a loyalty program for points to be used for treatments or to purchase products. You also might want to add a free retail gift with a special treatment package.  Clients value these incentives since it helps them stretch their dollars more.

Be flexible: Clients appreciate it when you offer to come in early or stay late on occasion to accommodate their schedule. While you may not want to make a regular habit of doing so, being flexible shows a client that you care about their business.

Outstanding customer service: Clients should be able to count on from on-time appointments, ease of scheduling (by phone or online or both), and knowledgeable staff who meet expectations and offer advice. Periodically review your customer service processes and procedures to make sure they meet the highest standards.

Ask for feedback: Clients value doing business with businesses that ask for feedback. You can make the process informal by asking clients periodically if they are satisfied that your spa or massage practice is meeting their needs and if they would recommend any changes to make the experience even more positive You also may want to create an online survey and ask clients to participate, send them a survey via email or pose questions on your social channels. Where there is a need for change, address it and let clients know you have responded to their concerns.

These are just some of the key ways to create loyalty among your clients. Building loyalty takes effort but it is well worth it in the long run.