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Grow With Existing Clients

Dawn Gantt July 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

Everyone has heard the saying “If you build it, they will come,” but in the skin care industry, it simply isn’t true. You may have a state-of-the-art facility, gorgeous treatment rooms, effective facials, innovative retail products and a knowledgeable staff, but these details alone may not be enough to get clients through your door.

You don’t need to spend money on advertising gimmicks to get your rooms filled, either. In fact, you don’t need to go outside of your facility at all. The potential to build your business may be already within your own walls. Here’s how.

Zero in on existing clients. Who are your current clients? If you are a full-service facility, are hair and nail clients also getting skin care services? This may be an entirely untapped group of potential clients, and they are only steps away. If you are a skin care facility only, ask yourself: Are your spa clients taking advantage of all the services you provide?

Ask questions. Now that you’ve identified your untapped group of clients, create a three-to-five question survey to capture their information. It is important to note that this is different than the more comprehensive health questionnaire that should be completed before each treatment. Question examples include the following.

  1. Where do you currently purchase skin care products?
  2. Do you receive facials at our facility? If not, why?
  3. What’s the most important factor when making a decision to book a new service? Price/Results/Convenience (Please circle one.)

What patterns do you see in clients’ answers? Pay attention to what your clients are telling you, and build a plan from there.

Target the stylists. For those in full-service salons, hair stylists represent a golden opportunity to increase spa bookings. Typically, stylists see almost quadruple the number of clients in an average day compared to estheticians. That’s four times the opportunity to educate an individual about the benefits of professional skin care.

The best way to do this is to invite stylists right into the treatment room. Give them facials, and set them up with a product to get them excited. Don’t forget that this objective works both ways—you can help them as well with your spa clients.

Combine promotions. It may sound simple, but it works. Combine your retail sales with incentives on spa services. For example “Buy a complete Great Skin in a Box kit containing the essential skin care products you need for your exact skin type, and receive 25% off a Fast-results Facial.” This is also a great way to introduce clients to services they’ve never tried before.

Check your prices. Pay attention to your price points. If cost is the No. 1 priority for your clients—and you should know from your client questionnaire—you cannot price yourself out of the market. Your clients will determine value, and if they are willing to travel out of your neighborhood to visit another spa where the prices are lower, is it worth it to you to lose the business? Don’t forget: When the manufacturer has a price increase, it may only equate to pennies a day, so do not think you have to increase all your services or retail prices immediately or significantly.

“Is it us?” Take a look at your skin care facility, your staff and your services. A secret shopper can go a long way in finding out what your facials and customer service are really like from a client’s perspective. Have a person who no one at your facility knows book a service and report back. How were the treatments? Was the staff friendly? Was the spa clean? These answers may help you give your spa a tune-up, and increase repeat bookings in the process.

As Bioelements regional education and business support manager for the past six years, Dawn Gantt works one-on-one with Bioelements Partnership Spas and World Class Accounts to develop and grow their spa businesses.