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Do loyalty schemes work?

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Top 25 Contributor
Dids Posted: Tue, Feb 9 2010 14:58

I tried a loyalty scheme aboiut 5 years ago offering clients a discount on the 6th visit and it didn't really have a massive impact. I feel like I need to do something to promote loyalty again, but not I'm not convinced that this is the right approach. Do you have any suggestions?

Top 200 Contributor

Firstly, I would advise not using the word ‘scheme’.  ‘Programme’ or ‘club’ gets a more positive response from clients but ‘scheme’ tends to get negative feedback.
Offering discount, as you have done in the past, is always a ‘nice to have’, however it does two things - it de-values your brand, and it takes away all the excitement for your clients.  Our research shows that people will never remember what they spent their ‘saved’ money on, so I would avoid discounting as a rule.  Loyalty programmes need to engage the client on an emotive level, you’ve got to make the experience of visiting and being part of your loyalty programme memorable. 

The key to successful programmes is making them as personal as you can. Think about frequency of visit, and start to split customers into groups of loyal, highly loyal and average or a, b and c listers! Everything you do within the programme should be about driving people in more frequently and therefore your loyalty programme can’t speak to all your clients in the same way. Appeal to clients based on their engagement with your salon, for example, how often they visit, what they normally have done and what products they normally buy.  

Keep it exciting and fresh, offer rewards that are added-value – for example, why don’t you try sending your highly loyal customers a hand-written note from you with a voucher for them to spend in salon or elsewhere, following a recent visit? Or send them a birthday treat; this could be a free treatment when they next visit and a voucher for them and a friend to dine in style at a local restaurant (these partnerships can be put in place with local venues at no cost to your salon). This will surprise and delight them and remind them you’re there, even between visits.

Top 10 Contributor

I tried a number of ways to help client retention and the one that has been the most succesful has been to offer a scalp massage and treatment as a birthday treat. Using an inexpensive treatment such as an Osmo mask means profits are not adversely affected and can lead to good sales of treatment courses.

Top 500 Contributor

At my salon we used to issue regular long standing clients with a small loyalty card they could keep  with them, then when they returned to the salon for their cut and blow dry approximately every six weeks, the card would be signed and dated, on the nineth visit the cut and blow dry was free. This worked very well and the regulars felt they were being offered something back for their loyalty. 

Top 200 Contributor

Both of the above suggestions are fab and I have seen them working successfully, it’s also important to include personalisation as well,

the more personalised the communication or offer the more loyal you’ll find clients will be.

Not Ranked

I sell brollies to many salons that they give to customers that come back more than a few times. I think added value is almost better than bribing them with discounts. If you're seen to be giving back withoug looking like you're on the take too you'll retain custom. Somethin free is better than something off as it seems selfless to the customer.

Contact me at if anyone needs prices and other ideas on the run up to Christmas

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