For professional spas and salons, we often talk about expanding your client base by focusing on retention. Finding new customers and keeping them is a key practice for any successful business endeavor. However, there's a level beyond the retained client, a status that can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Every business needs evangelists. Why? Because customers typically trust other customers the most.
Up First: What's an Evangelist?
In marketing, an evangelist is a customer that goes above and beyond in promoting your brand. These aren't just repeat customers who refer your services word-of-mouth to friends and family. While that's certainly nice, evangelists take that word-of-mouth advertising and put it on steroids. As this article suggests, these types of customers are much akin to having extra sales reps and advisors out in the field. Evangelists are your most devoted fanbase, and can be difference-makers when you give them the platform to sing your praises.
But How Are Spa Evangelists Created?
While modern evangelists are often associated with tech companies, they apply to any business. To create them spas and salons must do many of the things we often discuss in this space: have outstanding customer service, employ and train the most talented people, ensure your treatments are consistently topnotch, and only use spa supplies of the highest quality. Creating an enthusiastic evangelist won't happen overnight; it will take multiple trips to your establishment to cement that status. But if you and your staff always provide a superior customer experience, evangelists will follow.
What to Do Once You Have Evangelists
From simple comments to full-blown testimonials, evangelists can be online difference-makers. Like many customers, they often just need a bullhorn so their voices can be heard. Really, it's all about proving them with the platform, and the tools:
- Engage heavily with them on social media
- Provide incentives so they'll share your social content
- Hold contests on your social media channels
- Create an online referral program
- Ask them to write testimonials
- Utilize them as guest bloggers
- Invite them to write reviews on the supplies you use
These are just a few ways to capitalize on your most loyal and ardent clients. Where writing is involved, you have the added benefit of being able to use that information in other ways. For example, a testimonial can be used within your print advertising, too.
The Customer Experience Is Still Key
Marketing is rarely an exact science. Only with experimentation will you discover what works best for your business, and in your particular market. As we've noted, the customer experience is at the heart of any salon or spa's success, so if you're just getting started or struggling with consistency that should be your starting point. But once you're firing on all cylinders, keep an eye out for spa evangelists, and then get creative in providing them with proper platforms. Wondering how you'll identify one of an your evangelists? We promise you'll know one when you see (or hear) one.