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Should I Use Punch Cards?

December 05, 2016

I recently started working at a high-end salon and I’m looking for marketing ideas. Should I do punch cards? I can’t do “refer-a-friend” because I don’t have consistent clients yet. We are already doing social media.

Answer

In a high-end salon, a loyalty program is the best way to go. High-end clients want to be treated like VIPs and don’t care about saving a few dollars. Don’t use punch cards; instead track visits on the computer with a points system. Give points for pre-booking, referrals, and service dollars spent. You could also send clients a birthday card letting them know they got extra points for their special day. Once they hit a certain number, mail them a gift certificate so they have a tangible “reward” showing your appreciation. This is the only time you would discount anything.

Once a loyalty program is in place, you can run promotions like “double-point pedicures on Tuesdays.” (You should reserve double points for those days the demand for your highest-volume services is at its lowest.) You could also run a promotion for loyalty program members to invite a friend.

Rather than throwing coupons at this type of demographic, focus on the client experience. Don’t build a business to get clients. Get your existing customers to build your business. You want friends, family, and coworkers of your existing clients, not discount shoppers down at the strip mall.

The VIP treatment and loyalty program at my salon has been amazing — it’s filled my appointment book. I have even added a VIP service area with a mirrored tint on the door and windows so that no one can see in. On the outside of the door (which is the mirrored side), it says “VIP service area.” Clients see that and naturally they ask how to become a VIP. I tell them about the loyalty program and what it takes to earn that level. Imagine how surprised they are to find out they don’t have to buy anything, remember a punch card, or fill anything out — and that their visit that day is already earning them points.

— Nancy Reese, Fancy Nail Designs (Facebook.com/FancyNail), Valentine, Neb.

Editor’s note: Check out the Facebook page Confessions of a Nail Tech for more great nail tech questions like this one.

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