How to Thank a Customer: 7 Ways to Show Client Appreciation in 2021 (And Increase Brand Loyalty in Your Hair or Beauty Business)
We all know that 2020 was a turbulent year for small businesses, especially service-based companies that operate offline (e.g., salons, spas, and barbershops). Without ongoing support from their clients during this difficult time, many businesses wouldn’t be here today.
As such, if your business has a stable base of loyal clients, a big thank you is certainly in order.
That being said, you need to do a lot more than put the words of thanks across your marketing channels. In such an overcrowded marketplace, actions are what count in the minds of consumers.
In short, you need to show — not tell — your clients how much you appreciate them.
By offering a concrete gesture of gratitude, you aren’t just acknowledging clients’ contribution to your bottom line; you’re actively fostering business loyalty by showing that you care about positive client experiences.
Fortunately, there are many client appreciation tools and tactics that you can implement in your salon or spa. In this post, we’re going to cover how you can thank a client in 7 creative and actionable ways!
Table of contents
- Why brand loyalty matters
- How to craft the right messaging for a thank you campaign
- How to Thank a Customer: 7 Tips and Examples
- How to measure the success of your efforts
Why brand loyalty matters?
In an age of virtually unlimited choice in the marketplace, businesses can’t simply sit back and expect business loyalty to develop on its own. With so much information at our fingertips via Google Search and social media, it’s easy to find a myriad of providers for a product or service, and the same is true for your clients too.
As a result, fostering client loyalty in your salon or barbershop has never been more important or more difficult to achieve.
According to Yotpo, the majority of consumers say that it takes at least five sales interactions for them to consider themselves “loyal” to a brand. This tells us that business loyalty goes hand-in-hand with customer retention and the longer clients stay with your business, the more loyal they are.
By thanking clients, you’re much better-positioned to build and maintain lasting relationships. This doesn’t just improve your bottom line — a loyal client base also helps to steady your business against turbulence in the marketplace (as COVID-19 can attest to.)
The big takeaway here? If you invest in your clients by showing your appreciation, they’ll invest in you right back.
How to craft the right messaging for a thank you campaign?
Before we look at how to thank your clients for their support, it’s important to ensure that your salon or spa has a firm foundation for launching a thank you campaign. For a campaign to feel authentic and engaging, you need to know your brand inside and out.
Know your value proposition
It’s difficult to foster business loyalty if you don’t have a firm sense of what makes your business unique and what your competitive advantage is. Without a unique selling proposition, you’re just another service provider trying to reach ever-shorter attention spans.
Hair and beauty is an incredibly saturated market, with almost a million hair salons alone across the U.S. To craft on-point messaging, your brand values need to be distinct. So, before you start thanking clients, consider your answers to the following:
- Who is your core client?
- What problem/issue are you solving for this client?
- Why is your business motivated to address this issue?
- How do we do this differently from our competitors?
These questions will help your business to zone in on its so-called “north star” and provide direction to your thank you campaigns.
Have a clear brand framework
As with any marketing or sales communications, the best thank you campaign is one that feels familiar and relevant to your clients. This makes a consistent brand identity critical; if your messaging doesn’t reflect the brand clients feel they’ve come to know, this is going to affect engagement and overall results.
To ensure consistency, your customer appreciation campaigns should stay in step with your existing content. This includes areas such as:
- Brand voice
- Brand positioning
- Color palettes / logos
- Visual style / imagery
Make it personal
Personalization is a must in any marketing campaign. According to Experian Marketing, tailored promotional messages have 41% higher click-through rates than those that don’t address recipients personally.
Personalization also extends to how you tailor your thank you promotions. You can segment your email list by sending out different levels of discounts according to clients’ average spend or VIP status (if applicable) or spotlight specific product/service offerings according to their sales history.
This makes thanking customers feel much more genuine, rather than a one-size-fits-all campaign which doesn’t provide value to all your clients.
How to Thank a Customer: 7 Tips and Examples
1. Send a thank you email with a discount code
Do you implement email marketing in your business? A thank you email with a one-off discount provides a major incentive for clients to book again. The 2018 study Personalization, Promotions & Privacy found that an exclusive email offer caused 48% of consumers to make a purchase sooner than they normally would.
Sephora has added a strong urgency to purchase by making its discount code valid for a limited time period. Moreover, the discount is only applicable to the specified product category, creating a targeted sales and marketing strategy that reinforces an ongoing commitment to supporting Sephora over competitors.
2. Offer discounted gift certificates
Gift cards and gift certificates are an easy add-on to your services, and you can also use them as a tool to thank your top clients. By selling gift certificates with a discount off the face value, it provides a great incentive for clients to get in fast as well as providing a nice “thank you” to your existing clients.
This promotion works especially well around key holiday celebrations, when clients are more likely to be on the lookout for gifts for family and friends. In fact, 76% of consumers surveyed in 2020 said that they planned on buying at least one gift card when there’s a holiday to celebrate.
The key to executing this strategy successfully is to put plenty of marketing behind it. For example, you could add a banner to the homepage of your website, or push out some promotional posts onto your social channels as Vivo Hair has done:
3. Be proactive in looking for ways to improve your service
The key to excelling at customer service strategy? Looking for areas that your business can improve on. Sending your customers an email to review their appointment or leave a testimonial is a great way of both thanking customers for their patronage and showing that you care about their experience at your establishment.
Below is a customer feedback form sent out by T-shirt brand Charlie Hustle following a purchase, which offers a great template for service-based businesses:
The best part of this thank you strategy is that it’s easy to repurpose this content across your marketing channels. Reviews are incredibly important for service-based businesses, with Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) bringing in around 5x more sales than paid media. Here’s a great example from Forme Spa, who have turned their client testimonials into Instagram-friendly content:
4. Write a good old fashioned thank you note to clients
In a world that’s inundated with digital ads and emails, sending a handwritten thank you note could be just the thing to help you stand out.
Writing these notes by hand takes a lot of time, but the effort will be worth it if you nail your messaging and send it to the right people. As such, you need to identify the right recipients before writing and sending a thank you note to clients. Go through your database and identify your most valuable patrons, then craft unique messaging just for them.
Consider this example from Chanel. In addition to being handwritten, the note contains really specific details about the customer’s trip to the store. The associate clearly took time to get to know the shopper, and she came up with a thoughtful message to show her appreciation.
While this note comes from the retail world, service providers can certainly apply the same principles when writing thank you notes to clients.
5. Launch a VIP program
Designing and launching a VIP program may seem like a lot of work, but it’s one of the best ways of thanking clients for their ongoing support. It’s a powerful retention strategy for service-based businesses because it benefits those repeat clients who rebook the most. By targeting this valuable cohort, you’re putting your time and resources where they’re most likely to bear fruit.
There’s a golden rule for running a successful VIP program: Keep it simple. Confusing or complex rules for earning and redeeming rewards will only put clients off from participating. This is one of the key reasons why consumers participate in less than half of the loyalty programs they’re enrolled in.
Glamour Hair Boutique has created a loyalty program that can be fully explained in both a concise Instagram caption and on the back of the loyalty card itself. Because it’s easy to understand and offers tangible benefits, the salon is far more likely to foster increased business loyalty.
6. Free services or product giveaways
It’s no secret that everyone loves a freebie. Promoting complimentary services or product giveaways on your marketing channels is a great way to boost engagement and thank clients for their patronage. Moreover, it’s a valuable opportunity to strengthen your relationships with key vendors by spotlighting their products, either as standalone offerings or as part of a specific service.
Hair salon French Revolver created a fun giveaway for the holiday season by gifting products to clients each week in the lead-up to Christmas. By limiting eligibility to those who’ve booked appointments during this time period, it creates a much more cost-effective campaign by rewarding those who are already generating revenue for the salon.
7. Feature your clients on your social channels
If you’re a service-based business, the buck always stops with your client. By putting them at the center of your thank-you efforts, this warm and authentic content is bound to resonate with your wider customer base.
Before and after transformations also hold a particular significance in the hair and beauty industry. When potential clients are trying to decide on a service provider, their decision is likely to hinge on the portfolio imagery provided by that business. With this mind, it’s crucial that salons and spas put in ongoing efforts to provide high-quality, trend-specific examples of their work.
As Blush Hair Studio shows, it’s a fun and engaging strategy to put your clients front and centre in your marketing efforts — and shows how much you value your most important stakeholder!
How to measure the success of your efforts
Customer retention rates
As we’re already discussed, customer retention is the name of the game in the hair and beauty industry. If you can minimize customer churn and maximize spending on the clients you’ve already required, this is one of the best strategies for boosting your revenue in the long-term.
There are a lot of different formulas out there for calculating retention, but your Repeat Customer Rate (RCR) is one of the best indications of growing business loyalty. Simply divide the number of customers who have made more than one purchase during a specified time period by the total number of customers, then multiply by 100. The resulting percentage is your RCR.
So, if there’s been an uptick in your RCR in the weeks and months following your customer appreciation campaign, this is a great sign that it’s struck a chord with your clients.
Customer loyalty index
When it comes to customer relationships, numbers can never tell you the full story. That’s why it’s so important to do the simplest measure of all: To ask your clients what actions they would take regarding your business
A customer loyalty index (CLI) uses a series of questions to measure a client’s loyalty towards your brand, such as:
- How likely are you to recommend this establishment to friends/family?
- How likely are you to book another appointment in *specified time period*?
- How likely are you to accept our product/service recommendations?
The strength of CLI’s is that rather than just measuring how they feel right now, it also examines their intentions for the future. By comparing answers to these questions with clients’ real-life actions following your thank-you campaign, you can see whether or not it had any impact on their perception of your business.
Customer appreciation is more important than ever
After a challenging year for both businesses and consumers, it’s never been more important to show your appreciation to your clients. At such an uncertain time in the economy, brand loyalty is a metric that’s more valuable than ever as we head into 2021. By thanking clients with the strategies provided above, your salon or spa will be in an excellent position to foster business loyalty and increase retention.
Here at Genbook, we’re committed to helping you do just that. Our Smart Marketing platform gives you all the tools you need to drive repeat bookings. From email templates to personalization tools, Genbook’s solution is packed with capabilities to help service-based businesses increase client loyalty and retention. Try Genbook for free today!