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One of the best ways to attain a devoted clientele is to start a loyalty or membership program to reward clients for purchasing retail products, completing service visits, referring new clients, or buying gift certificates. With salon software, it's a breeze to set up and maintain a program that's perfectly suited to each salon's needs.


Most software-based loyalty or membership programs operate on a points system. Clients accumulate points based on the dollar amount they spend at the salon and receive a reward, such as free or discounted services or products (the cash value of which is determined by the salon), when they reach a certain level. With Unique Salon Software, users can print business-card size membership cards that display the salon's logo. The software converts clients' phone numbers into bar codes that can be scanned, enabling fast access to customer information.

Other software systems, such as ClienTrak!, Leprechaun, Harms Millennium and ProSolutions, maintain loyalty programs without a card. In addition to the basics, Harms Millennium software can be used to award points when customers book online, a feature available with the company's Millennium.NET add-on. Salon owners can also use the program to deduct points from clients who are no-shows, as an alternative to charging their credit cards. Point totals are displayed at the bottom of customers' receipts, and the software alerts staff when a reward can be redeemed. ClienTrak! and Leprechaun also display the account balance at the bottom of the receipt, but users can choose whether it's displayed in points or the equivalent cash value, which is easier for many clients to relate to.

For added flexibility, ProSolutions enables salon owners to create multiple programs within the same salon, such as bronze, silver and gold levels that each have different earning or redemption ratios. Programs can also be set up to reward some customers for purchasing retail, while others are rewarded for trying a new service. Salon owners can even offer both paid memberships that provide regular discounts on products and loyalty programs that are free for participants.

For information on setting up an effective loyalty program, contact these software companies. —L.A.

ClienTrak! Spa and Salon Software: 800/397-4582;

Harms Software: 888/813-2141;

Leprechaun Spa & Salon Software: 800/373-1684;

ProSolutions Software: 800/710-3879;

Unique Salon Software: 800/586-4783;