Building a loyal customer base is the foundation of your business—no argument there, I hope?
Pandemic or not, (and isn’t this a kicker!) the most important factor for building a successful business is the retention of existing clients. It’s written everywhere that retaining a current guest is a lot less expensive than earning a new one, and for good reason: Because it’s true!
Whether it’s someone’s first visit to the spa or their 50th, your customer service must be as perfect as possible. You shouldn’t ever take a returning client for granted, because they’re the lifeblood of your business.
Those of us who have opened our own businesses surely remember what the first few months felt like. Everyone who walked through the door was a VIP, not just a new customer. This is how you should treat every client to this day, and that philosophy must permeate down to your entire staff and every department.
Cost and Effect
Marketplaces differ, and many people think that operating in a large city versus a small town means that the pool of new customers is endless. This is a fallacy! In the constantly evolving world of social media, poor reviews or even a single bad story that goes viral can decimate a business in a bustling city. Similarly, for a spa in a small town, losing just one client can have a serious impact on its bottom line.
When you factor in the actual cost of bringing in new business, do the math and that’ll sober you up fast. Simply calculate the cost of creative, plus the expense of where you place the advertising (whatever the medium), and divide by the number of new clients earned.
Bruce Schoenberg is the CEO of the multiple award-winning Oasis Day Spas in New York City, and a spa industry veteran of more than 20 years. He holds a degree in business administration and economics, and is an expert in financial operations, human resources, sales and marketing.