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Basic Tanning Certification
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Chapter 7: Building Customer Loyalty

After implementing some of the suggestions in this course you may think you have the customer tightly in your grasp. Think again. Unfortunately, customer satisfaction doesn't always lead to customer loyalty. These days, even if your customers are completely satisfied with your service and products, research shows that as many as 40 percent of them may purchase services and products from other facilities. And, this includes the purchase of diverted indoor tanning products.

What's the solution for customer loyalty in the shadow of diverted products? Quite simply, in order to retain your customers buying loyalty, you need to go beyond customer satisfaction and develop the rapport that will make customers think twice about buying products from a diverted source.

The good news is that developing exceptional customer rapport is easier than you think.

The following are rapport-building tips to help you go beyond customer satisfaction:

Establish a Common Ground.

Customers relate to those people most like themselves. They want to feel a connection with the salon staff beyond that of just being a client. That is why it is important to establish a common ground with each client quickly.

Listen And Show Concern.

Your customers always will want to talk about their most favorite topics--themselves. The more you talk about yourself or your business, the more you may turn your customers away. In general, people don't take an active interest in a stranger's life. Therefore, stand out by building a relationship through talking about the other person and offering compliments when appropriate.

Use Humor.

One of the quickest ways to build rapport is through humor. A good joke or funny story eases tension and breaks down mental barriers.

Keep A Positive Attitude.

When you're positive and upbeat, customers naturally will want to be around you and do business with you. Even when business challenges reek havoc on your nerves, how we choose to look at those situations determines not only our own mood, but also our customer's mood.

When you go beyond customer satisfaction and create true customer loyalty, you develop long-term relationships, which leads to increased sales even in the face of product diversion. This is a quality that most "tan-free" environments like outlets, drug stores, grocery stores, flea markets, or unauthorized Web sites don't offer when attempting to sell diverted indoor tanning products.

Warning The Public

What should we do about non-tanning stores selling indoor products? Some salon owners have decided to "sound the alarm" with consumer alerts warning tanners to stay clear of any source that offers tanning products outside the doors of a professional tanning facility.

Salon owners are first educating customers that diversion occurs when professional salon products like indoor tanning lotions show up in non-tanning environments. These "tan-free" environments can be an outlet, drug store, grocery store, flea market or an unauthorized Web site.

Salon owners are telling their customers that when they see an indoor tanning product for sale in a non-tanning facility, the customer should call the manufacturer and voice their concern. A personal call from a potential customer speaks volumes to the product's manufacturer.

They also should let the store manager know that they are carrying a specialty product that should be sold by a knowledgeable indoor tanning professional. The manager may not care at that moment, but if enough people mention it, they may be inclined to mention it to upper management. It may make a difference.

As for a flea market, consumers need to understand that they may not be getting the product they think they are. When purchasing indoor tanning products at a flea market, customers are running the risk of purchasing outdated, discontinued, damaged and sometimes even tampered-with products.

Also, many professional products, including indoor tanning lotions, should be professionally recommended by a knowledgeable professional to ensure proper use. As with tingle or hot-action products, indoor tanning products are sometimes designed for different levels of tanning and should be used only under certain conditions.

As for price, many times the products are available at the same price that the tanning salon is selling it for. Contrary to what many people think, diverted products often are sold at the same price as found in the tanning salon. Therefore, what drives the consumer to purchase many of these items at a retail outlet is the convenience of the facility.

Visual Displays
Inventory and Pricing
Sunless Tanners

Understanding Label Claims

Building Customer Loyalty

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