Membership and loyalty programs have been in existence for years by companies such as Sam’s, Costco, AAA, churches, country clubs, and airlines. They have utilized them over and over very successfully.
Now, even the spa industry is on the band wagon! In 2009, Massage Envy opened their first location offering massage memberships, and they now have over 1,000 locations. It proves that the U.S. population loves to belong to clubs and be members of an organization. Now, there are several other brands launching similar membership programs. As a consulting firm, we often get asked, “How can I compete with those types of businesses?”
You can compete with chains by creating unique membership and loyalty programs. There are many benefits to offering membership and loyalty programs. First, let’s identify the difference between the two.
A Membership Program is where a person agrees to pay the spa a certain amount per month to receive treatment. The monthly fee is being charged automatically. A Loyalty Program is where you give your clients rewards for doing business with you over and over. Ideally, you should have both. The membership ensures a steady cash flow and the loyalty program ensures retention.
To help you, here are 8 Essential Steps to Launch a Unique Membership Program:
1) Design Your Program: Decide on the type of membership program you want to offer. Don’t get stuck on massage only. Remember, you want to be unique. You can offer a De-stress program – with massages and other spa treatments, an Acne program either for adults or teens, a Wellness and Nutrition program, or an Anti-Aging program. Be creative!
2) The Right Price: Don’t worry about being the least expensive. Focus on the type of experience you offer and introduce added value benefits. You won’t win if you compete on price alone.
3) Membership Management System: Having a membership management software system is a must. Don’t attempt to launch a program without it. This will assist you with member usage tracking, retention, attrition, and overall success.
4) Monthly Payment: Automated payment processing capabilities are also a very important management step. Be aware of failed payments. Have a collection process in place to avoid member late payment or delinquency.
5) Membership Guidelines: Have FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and answers to all the “What if” questions, such as Accruals, Cancellations, Multiple Use, Payments, etc.
6) Marketing and Launching your Membership: Create all your marketing materials, posters, flyers, membership cards, update website, agreement, brochure, etc. in advance!
7) Team Training: Selling the membership program requires a team effort. Make sure you train your team, and set performance expectations and rewards to ensure your success.
8) Track Member Usage: To ensure a long lifetime value, make sure you track usage. You don’t want members to miss their usage. If they do, the likelihood of canceling is greater. You want them to get into the habit of using their membership on a regular basis. It’s wise to have automated reminder messages to keep members engaged.
Loyalty Program: The best loyalty programs are simple and easy to understand. The airline model where clients earn a point for every mile traveled is an excellent practice. You can do the same and offer one point for every dollar your guest spends. The more they spend, the more points they accumulate.
To redeem points earned, you can create a brochure with items they can purchase with their points. For example, you can have branded items, such as Spa Robes, Neck Wraps, Water Bottles, Wellness Books, and other fun things that are rare and can’t be found in stores.
If you are not offering a membership and/or loyalty program, I encourage you to do both. Tap into this great revenue stream to increase your retention and profits![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]