John Harms On Client Loyalty Program

More and more businesses are offering a rewards program. Can you briefly explain why client loyalty is of value and share a few important ways to maximize a client loyalty program?

Client loyalty, both online and in-store, has become a common component of today’s commerce. For years, companies have been rewarding clients for purchases. Now because of the “rewarded spend” mentality, people’s purchases are influenced by points and perks, and businesses are expected to offer loyalty programs. 

The key to a loyalty system’s success is to build a culture around the system within your salon. Your website, your online booking, your point of sale software, and your staff should reflect your loyalty system. Too many times have we seen people launch a great loyalty system that nobody understands, employees are skeptical of (“Am I going to get paid if someone uses points?”) and has irrelevant or inconsistent marketing materials.

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 The goal of a loyalty system is to affect client behavior. Giving away points for every dollar in service or retail spending is not what drives change. Rewarding points for referrals, trying a new service, or spending more than a set dollar amount are examples of ways to achieve positive change. This kind of positive change will lead to an increase in your bottom line and overall growth of your business.

 The other thing I recommend is to have a policy in place where points can only be redeemed for "whole items.” For instance, a client needs to have 40,000 points to buy a $40 haircut. They can’t use 20,000 points and pay $20 for a half-price haircut. Or they may need 12,000 points for a $12 bottle of shampoo; they cannot use points towards partial payment or tip. Having a policy in place like this will make managing your client loyalty program easier and will encourage the guest to work on building their points, thus increasing their frequency of visit.

Lastly, I strongly suggest building a loyalty system that will not only help your business grow but also become one you believe in. If you build a system that influences your clients’ buying behavior, the idea of providing a “free” haircut should not be of concern. Additionally, you want to pay your staff as if they received cash for their services so that they believe in and are excited about the loyalty system. If you build a culture around a client loyalty program that you believe in, your staff will be more inclined to speak to it and it is more likely to become a success.

John Harms
Millennium Systems International, Founder and CEO

About: John Harms, Founder & CEO of Millennium Systems International, creator of Millennium Software, has been designing industry leading salon scheduling software and educating the beauty & wellness industry since 1987. Today Millennium is utilized in thousands of businesses in over 38 countries and operating with approximately 150+ employees worldwide.  Millennium currently runs its corporate headquarters out of New Jersey and its international office is based in the U.K.

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