Gift vouchers can be a big seller in any salon throughout the year. They are easy to make, easy to sell and easy to administer, and yet so many therapists are finding themselves in dilemmas about how to deal with them.
On the face of things a gift voucher sale is a simple one. A client purchases a voucher, gives it to a loved one, and they redeem it, hopefully becoming a new loyal client. Yet a common topic of conversation seems to centre around the difficulties in managing vouchers and the administrative problems they can create.
One of the biggest issues is that of expiry dates. If a client walks in clutching a voucher that is a week, a month or even a year out of date, should you accept it? Ask yourself why you have included an expiry date in the first place? Will the money used to pay for it no longer be legal tender? Do you only want new clients in the quieter first half of the year? Of course not! So why would you realistically turn them away?
Of course you can argue that they have had six months to book an appointment and only done so once the voucher has expired, but the client has nothing to gain by doing this. Whatever their reason, they still only want the treatment that the voucher entitles them to. Someone has paid money to you in good faith, in order for a treatment to be performed. Choosing to keep the money but declining to perform the treatment is not a good reflection of your business, even if the date on the voucher has passed. Instead, honouring the expired voucher could earn you extra praise, good word of mouth and a new client.
If the voucher is for a specific treatment for which your prices have now changed, it is not good form for you to charge the extra cost. The client has arrived to enjoy a gift and will not be expecting to pay for the privilege. It is not their fault that your prices have changed after the voucher has been issued, so this is one that you will just have to take on the chin. If there has been a dramatic price increase due to you changing how the treatment is performed (for example, new technology is now included in your facials) then it may be worth tailoring your treatment to the original cost of the voucher.
With every gift voucher you have a new client to gain and reputation to lose. Is the cost of the voucher really worth more to you?