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#002 - A gift voucher is a NEW CLIENT, opportunity. Don't blow it!

Jan 15, 2019

I want to talk to you about the Gift Voucher Conversion Strategy which is especially apt for clients who receive a gift voucher for special occasions such as Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day or even a birthday present but have never been to your salon.

During these times, most of the gift vouchers sold are for some sort of ‘relaxation’ treatment or ‘relaxation’ package. People prefer to gift relaxation treatments, not high end skkn treatments. This is not ideal for you as it leaves very little opportunity to upsell or retail products and most importantly, to try to convert the gift-receiver into a loyal skin client. 

So let me ask you this. When someone receives a treatment or treatment package in the form of a gift voucher, are you strict that the person can ONLY redeem the treatment that was written on the voucher?

I hope the answer to that question is ‘no’ and I would definitely recommend that it's not. I suggest that no matter what the voucher is written out for, the redeemer is free to have any treatment TO THE VALUE of the voucher and doesn’t needs to stick to what was originally purchased. Now of course this is only applying to gift vouchers that have been purchased and paid for as gifts, not for free, promotional vouchers. Then I would train your team to try to use something like the following script EVERY time they sell a gift voucher.

“Anna, even though the voucher is for the Rudolf Luxury Package, please let the person who you purchased it for, know that if he/she would prefer something different, it’s not a problem at all. We’ll honour any treatment they choose to the value of the voucher.”

Now this is a really strong strategy. People want to know that the person they buy a voucher for is going to be completely happy and so if you are flexible (and there’s really no reason for you not to be flexible, and every reason TO BE FLEXIBLE, then let the purchaser know.

Ok, so back to the strategy. Let’s talk about the objective of gift voucher clients. Your team MUST understand and so you need to have a good conversation with and reiterate it every so often that the objective that needs to be achieved with a gift voucher recipient, is to look at converting them to being long-term salon clients. Preferably, long-term salon skin clients. They need to think of Gift Vouchers, not as a treatment they need to perform for free but rather in a much more positive, productive and long-term light, like, they are a ‘qualified’ new client with the potential of becoming long-time loyal clients. 

Now think about it, you spend so much time and money developing promotions to bring in new clients to your business but we forget that a gift voucher recipient is in fact a golden opportunity without having to lure them in with a discounted promotion! These came through an existing client who obviously feels your salon offers services and products good or great enough to be recommended to. That’s a QUALIFIED lead! With a qualified lead, the therapist already has a higher chance of converting as somebody recommended them. These qualified clients are much easier to gain their trust and sell to, than an unqualified client.

So everyone must learn to see gift voucher clients as BIG OPPORTUNITIES that must be taken advantage of (the opportunity that is, not the client!). Too often I’ve heard therapists say something as awful as “Oh well, she’s just a gift voucher client". NO! I want to hear "OH, SHE’S A GIFT VOUCHER CLIENT!” and be excited by the prospect and know that she’s got to look for opportunities in converting her to being a long-term client for the business.



So…just as for any new client, when the Gift Voucher client calls for a booking the receptionist must do two things
(1)      Ask the client to come in 10 minutes earlier to fill in the New Client Consultation Form. You want to gather as much information as possible to be able to convert them to skin clients. The more information the therapist has, the higher chance she has of conversion. Why? Because everything she says will be relevant to the client and won’t be something that sounds pushy and coming out of nowhere

(2)      If the voucher includes ANY kind of facial treatment, then the client needs to be offered a skin consultation prior to the treatment. Here’s a good script the receptionist can use.

“Wonderful Anna, you’re going to love the Rudolf Luxury Package. As it includes a facial treatment, your therapist will take you through a full professional consultation with the use of a woods lamp prior to your treatment to ensure she has a good understanding of your skin conditions and requirements. A woods lamp is a safe ultraviolet light that helps detect beneath the skin conditions, not visible to the naked eye. This consultation is normally $50, however I would like to offer it to you complimentary with your treatment. It only takes about 20 minutes so we will allow for that in your appointment time.”

Now, the next suggestion needs to be used with careful discretion. If a gift voucher does NOT include a facial treatment, consider offering a complimentary skin consultation anyway. Now depending on who you’re talking to, like I said, you need careful discretion. How you offer it needs to be very considered. You can say something like…

“Wonderful Anna, you’re going to love the Rudolf Luxury Package. Would you like a complimentary professional skin consultation? Normally we charge $50 however I would like to offer it to you as OUR gift. This thorough consultation is performed by a professional skin therapist. She’ll take a good look at your skin using a woods lamp. A woods lamp is a safe ultraviolet light that helps detect beneath the skin conditions that are not visible to the naked eye. It only takes about 20 minutes so we will allow for that in your appointment time.”

And finally, I would like to suggest that AT the appointment, the therapist should carefully look through the client’s New Client Consultation Form and look for any opportunities where she is able to suggest to the client an alternative, to the relaxation package that was originally purchased for her. A more appropriate treatment, based on what is written on the New Client Consultation Form. So for example….if a client wrote on her New Client Consultation Form that she was concerned with ageing, a therapist could suggest a different, more active facial treatment that will address skin ageing concerns. Here’s a script suggestion:

“Anna, I noticed that you wrote that you were concerned with skin ageing and dehydration. If you like, we can address that with a different facial treatment than the one originally in your package. Our signature treatment, and most popular treatment is the ABC facial which includes a microdermabrasion, peel and hydrating mask. The difference and radiance in your skin will be absolutely sensational. You would still have $20 left on your voucher if you decided to go that way.”

Or if the recommendation that the therapist makes, cost more than the value of the gift voucher, you would then instead say, “You would only need to pay an extra $15”A downsell is better if it means greater opportunity for retailing and future rebooking.

For more conversion support, the therapist could go into what the treatment actually entails. In other words, explain what the ABC Signature treatment is all about ie. what a microdermabrasion will do for her skin, what the peel will also do for the skin that supports the microdermabrasion, and of course, the qualities of the hydration mask. And… if available she should show some before and afters of other clients who have had these treatments. Your therapists should pull out all stops. Therapists should use all tools and success strategies that will help them convert the client.

Also, the consultation would come with treatment and retail recommendations and at least one retail product should be attempted to get over the counter as well as a rebook and then of course, the client should also be followed up within 2 to 3 days.

As you can see with everything that has already been said, it’s all about converting the new gift voucher client to a long-term, skin treatment client.

Make this year be about your team understanding that there is an objective to everything they do. They are not just manicurists or quick beauty treatment providers, they are skin therapists and therefore should provide a total service that of course will be of benefit to the client, will be of benefit to the business and in turn will be of benefit to them, especially if you do run on an incentive programme.

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