The Conversion Cascade
Creation of awareness. Let prospective clients know your spa exists. Give them a reason to choose you over the competition. Start by creating an identifiable brand for yourself; that brand should be you and the services you perform. Does your team specialize in a first-class facial? Have you won a new or strongly established award? (Hint: whether it is a national award or an honor hyper local in your community, brag to your clients and the press right away!) What is your special niche? Work to come up with those concrete answers and use them in your marketing.
In addition, learn how new clients came to hear about you: is it by your paid external marketing and press efforts or from pro bono community events? Are your clients’ friends or family members speaking your name via social media or passing along a refer-a-friend card? Are you finding more contacts from your staff coming in than ever before, eager to enjoy the services your staff so freely brags about? Whatever the reason, make sure you are tracking your efforts in order to repeat them in the future. By the same token, tracking your efforts eliminates your marketing failures, saving you from repeating efforts that did not work as you hoped they would. Remember, it is just as important to know what did not work as it is to know what did work in order to ensure that you are spending your marketing budget properly.
Awareness leads to a phone call or e-mail to your office. A beautiful advertisement does nothing if it does not drive people to pick up the phone. Exercise tracking numbers, which are special phone numbers (even vanity numbers) used for specific campaigns. This allows you to know which campaign drew the results for which you are looking. These results can even tell you what day of the week and time of day your phone rang – helpful for staffing purposes to answer the next campaign’s anticipated calls.
Phone calls and e-mails lead to a consult. If a newcomer comes to you by phone, having a knowledgeable receptionist (“client concierge” or “director of first impressions”) makes all the difference. Is the person answering your phone doing so with a smile? Is she able to credential your team, including aestheticians, spa owner, and, when applicable, medical director/physicians and other providers, letting the caller know about the incredibly effective services, gentle touch, and more? Your staff should all enjoy complimentary services in order to be able to speak about them!
If the initial contact comes via e-mail, the inquiry should be answered no more than 24 hours later… but in an ideal world, within two hours. New clients are often looking for an immediate response and your competitor’s quicker reply may just seal them the deal. Make sure your responding staff member is also able to speak about any related services, offering to schedule an additional consult. For example, “While you are here, our staff would love to offer you a free product or electronic skin analysis!”
Consult leads to a treatment. When your client comes into the office, make sure your director of first impressions wows her from the start, welcoming her with the same stellar smile and warm voice heard over the phone. When seated, make sure the following tools, helpful when making the up-sell during the visit, are included in your reception area.
Instead of a television showcasing daytime television, it should have graphic presentations of your personalized branding, showcasing your products and services. (Use the ever-effective PowerPoint to create this.) Consider using a display of wireless streaming video, showcasing your work with before and after photos, videos you have created, television interviews in which you have participated, newsworthy displays of your spa, and a library of procedures your spa performs.
Instead of magazines, set out custom brochures that showcase your products and services. (Although the collateral from your industry vendors is helpful, it does not provide your practice or spa’s contact information or branding. Utilize your own instead.) Putting labels on the backside of the free pamphlets is not professional and those same brochures can be found at any of your competitors. Your spa is about you and how you can make it different than others.
A framed, branded sign at your reception desk, telling your clients about your latest special or highlighting a specific service, does wonders. Or, even something instructing guests to ask the receptionist about their favorite treatment!
Always have a well-organized shelf with a locked glass front displaying the retail products and skin care lines you sell. Do not keep products in stock? Do not display them for your clients? Remember: you cannot up-sell from an empty shelf! The lock also helps keep your prized products from growing legs and mysteriously walking out the front door.
Often spas make the mistake of assuming that an existing client knows their entire menu of services. It is typically the opposite: just because a client knows about your chemical peels, for instance, does not mean they know you provide laser hair removal, as well. Do not assume that just because a service is listed on your website means it is engrained in your clients’ memories.
Make sure when a new client is booking the consult, there is time to perform the treatment within the same block of time. If a client has to return for the treatment, they often may not come back. This also allows you the option to have additional time with the client to explain other services you or the other aestheticians perform. When booking a consult over the phone, ask the client point-blank if she would like to perform the service in the same visit. Provide additional options, like a zero percent interest financing plan to prevent price serving as a roadblock. When discussing price, always mention that financing is available as an option since the client may feel embarrassed to ask. If it is mentioned as an option, they will feel less intimidated.
Treatment leads to retreatments and the sale of other services. Treating your client well makes all the difference and performing a first class service should be an unspoken rule. Have the same collateral material available in your treatment rooms and educate your client during the treatment on other products and services your facility offers. Not sure how to word this in a way that does not come off as pushy? Try something like: “Sally, it is wonderful to meet you/see you again! I understand you are coming in for treatment X. Is there anything else I can assist you with while you are here? Do you have any other concerns?” Or, perhaps something like this: “In order to get the most out of treatment X, we always recommend you use A, B, and C from our skin care line. It has done wonders for our other clients; I am happy to show you some before-and-after photos.” Explain why you recommend those products, as well, not just what they do. Amazon has a wonderful way of doing this. Anytime you purchase from them, they always show you what additional items other buyers purchased.
Offering specific skin care packages will help your clients realize the benefits that come with multiple treatments. Offer packages for teenage skin, acne, aging skin, sensitive skin, and more. Combine your most popular services and price accordingly.
Once a client is receiving your services, be sure to include them on e-newsletter lists, ensuring they will find out about your current seasonal offerings and new products or services as you grow. Make sure they like your social media channels, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter; confirm that the team member in charge of your marketing and social media keeps all channels appropriately updated.
If your client is receiving treatments like laser hair removal or neurotoxin injections that require regular upkeep, set your software to send appointment reminders when the next treatment is due. Better yet, make sure the client rebooks the next treatment before leaving the office!
Are there services your client is thinking about receiving but not quite ready to jump on yet? She should leave the office with a written quote and collateral material. Make sure the price is stated in the quote and include a copy in your client’s chart; document with your client’s initials for how long that particular offer’s pricing is good. This not only instills urgency with a deadline, but prevents a client from taking you up on your offer if your pricing significantly changes in the future.
Finally, make a follow-up phone call within a few days after the appointment, asking if there are any additional questions that could make the decision easier. Of course, be sure to adhere to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and state and federal laws when it comes to client communication via telephone and/or e-mail.
Other services lead to word-of-mouth referrals for new clients… awareness. A happy client is sure to tell their friends about their experience. Track referrals in your software system and remember to thank them. As stated in the section on awareness, be sure to ask new clients how they heard about you. Offering a strong refer-a-friend program to your loyal clients is a wonderful way to encourage them to sing your praises. Again, be sure to check with your state and federal anti-kickback laws in regards to how you can express your gratitude when it comes to giving complimentary services.
Have a defined plan and budget, but be ready to modify and refine it when necessary. Remember: what gets measured gets managed. Utilize the opportunity to up-sell your clients appropriately; it goes without saying to steer clear of the unethical practice of selling clients products or services they do not need, want, or worse yet, could be harmful to their health.
In conclusion, always remember that it is our obligation to perform services above and beyond the client’s expectations. It is no longer acceptable to just meet their expectation. Remember, when a client says “thank you,” your response must always be, “my pleasure!”