By: Shane Russell
I met with some clients today about helping them build and market their beauty salon. Their business has been around for almost a year and they still don’t have the traffic they would like. They have done an unbelievable amount of word-of-mouth advertising by handing out coupons and flyers. These people are fantastic! They have even partnered up with the local restaurants and other businesses to trade for advertising space on their billboard. Even though the economy is tough, they are going to continue to fight and be tougher than both the economy and their competition.
Although your business may be a little different than this client, all the principles of the VIP program will be the same across the board.
I met Roxana, Mrs. Roxy Herself, at the local wireless store. She was handing out her flyers and I instantly thought about helping her market her business. About a week later, I ran into her again and I greeted her with excitement. It was as if we had known each other for years.
I then quickly made it a point to ensure we would be able to talk again. I took a coupon and went to get a haircut. As soon as I walked in the door of her salon I began smelling opportunity in the air. With my background, experience, knowledge, and education, I knew I could help them turn their business into a thriving business.
During our discussion tonight we came up with many great ideas, which I will be implementing shortly, but first we decided to develop a VIP program for their customers. This is a great way to focus their efforts on the easiest and very best way to earn business, repeat customers and referrals.
They already worked twice as hard as their competition to earn the business, now it’s time to help them keep the business!
I told them we are going to create a VIP program not only to get those hard-earned referrals and repeat customers, but also to grab their customer’s information so they can build loads of value for their customers. I told them they to be value-driven so their customers will come back time and time again.
I learned many of the techniques I’m mentioning here from Jeffrey Gitomer. Visit our Library for more of his techniques and other resources.
Their customer’s information is like Gold simply because they will be able to keep in constant contact with them. They will be able to send them “value” letters, not necessarily “sales” letters. They will build a loyal customer base and have no choice but to expand their business.
They have a great niche. They just haven’t capitalized on it yet.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT A VIP PROGRAM IN YOUR BUSINESS
Now that we decided to implement a VIP Program, we have to determine what information is the most valuable and necessary. Below is a list of all the information you want to get from all your customers so that we can learn about them, their interests, their family, and what’s important to them. This will allow you to send “Value-Oriented” letters, postcards, flyers, emails, etc. as well as to give a personal touch and remind you about each customer before assisting them.
3) Phone Number
4) Email Address
5) Birth Date
6) Children’s Names and Birth Dates (optional)
7) Anniversary (optional)
8) Pets’ Names (optional)
9) Hobbies/Interests/Career/School (optional)
Obviously, the more information you obtain from your customers, the more ammunition you will have in your back pocket. People really like to be welcomed, recognized, and remembered when they go somewhere, especially somewhere they frequent. This makes them feel important and it’s your job as a business owner to ensure this.
If have haven’t already, purchase customer tracking software to do this for you. An example can be found at: http://www.novosolutions.com/customer-tracking-software/. Please visit the website to learn about how this software can help make your life easier and assist you in building your business.
If your customers don’t feel comfortable giving out their personal information, explain to them the importance and how it will benefit them. Say something along the lines of, “Mr. Customer, I understand this is a little out of the ordinary but you are very important to me as a customer, and I would like to get to know all my customers’ needs, wants, and interests, including yours, so you will have the very best experience each and every time you come to our store. Plus, we have great promotions and discounts for all our VIP members including, but not limited to, a discount on all our products, FREE Birthday haircuts for you and your family, coupons delivered to your house, and more!”
Make them feel like a million bucks. They will get a very warm feeling inside and will never go anywhere else again! I assure you most people will gladly sign up because everyone wants to get free stuff.
In addition to obtaining your customer’s information, you must spend a minute before assisting each of them to review the information from previous sessions. You must also spend a minute after to document the current experience and customer’s preferences for future reference. This will give you something to talk about and you will already have an idea of their needs and wants.
There are too many people for you to remember everyone’s needs, wants, preferences, every time. Don’t even try. Just spend the extra minute. It will save you loads of time and will be worth the investment. I promise.
If you live in the Salt Lake City, UT area, please visit Roxy’s Beauty Salon. It’s a great atmosphere and they do an amazing job! They most certainly have the quality you would want as well as the ability to make you feel welcome and like part of the family.
President, CloakA Communications