I am still shocked and slightly annoyed with spa professionals because I continue to see posts like this around the professional spa groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.
- I don’t offer gift certificates because when the person comes in six months later, it feels like I’m giving a free service
- Gift certificates aren’t worth dealing with because it’s complicated and I don’t want to deal with them
- My state prohibits expiration dates on any gift certificate. It’s a pain.
- People always wait until the last minute to use their gift certificates
- My “business promotion” is this my gifts certificates are just that- gifts. I give to get. My GC states good for 30min. massage. Upgrade available for additional 30 min. for 00.00 regularly 00.00. With two-week expiration date. It puts a rush to use it.
- Gift certificates – does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with them besides me? People buy them and forget to use them, misplace them and still want to use them, discover that they are expiring tomorrow and you can’t get them on the same day, etc. I try to be workable and accommodate the best I can, but it seems impossible to do with some people.
Seriously spa pros why do you need to whine about gift certificates – because gift certificates are a gift for your business!
Big gift certificate seasons create scheduling opportunities during slower months
The Holidays, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day – these three seasons are the holy trilogy of day spa success. Sell during these times, and you’ll feast for a full year and more. Why? Simple, it’s the most exposure you’ll get because gift buyers are naturally looking for gift giving options – and your day spa services are a perfect fit.
The certificates you sell during Valentine’s Day and the Holidays will be redeemed throughout the year. This gives you more opportunities for individuals to try out your services, see how beautiful your spa is, and gives you the chance to rebook them.
Rebook them and then retain them – and suddenly that one gift certificate becomes a regular client. Then that client who came from that gift certificate buys a gift certificate for a friend.
That friend comes in; you rebook the friend, you retain the friend. The friend becomes a client. The friend buys a gift certificate for another friend, and the cycle continues.
Not pushing gift certificates could mean you are missing out on new, regular clients.
Gift Certificates are a paid testimonial
We all know that word of mouth recommendations are worth their weight in gold. But have you ever considered gift certificates do the same thing?
When a client of your purchases a gift certificate for another friend it is a paid testimonial. The client enjoys your service so much; she is willing to pay for her friend to enjoy the same experience.
Reframing the gift certificate as a testimonial might change your attitude.
Stop with the Expiration Dates
There is no reason in a service based industry for expiration dates on paid gift certificates. Coupons and giveaway ones are different.
When a client gives you money for a service, and you turn that money into a gift certificate or gift card you’re merely transferring one form of payment for another.
In simple terms – you don’t get this money because you or someone from your business hasn’t provided the service yet. The gift certificate isn’t the service, the massage or facial is.
What you have to do is have a better accounting system for gift certificates – one that includes you buffering the money for a set amount of time – to ensure no one in your company is doing the service for free.
Also, according to United State Federal Law, a gift card cannot expire within five years of the dates they were activated. And don’t try to say “I use paper gift certificates, so I’m exempted.” You might be, but we wouldn’t take the chance.
Instead, don’t put expiration dates on your gift certificates and gift cards. It sends a wrong message to gift givers and recipients.
Want to win at Gift Certificates?
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