The hair and beauty business is ultra-competitive. Your customers have lots of options when it comes to getting a fabulous hair cut or a luxurious manicure. So how can you make sure they keep coming back to you? It’s simple: make sure you offer spectacular customer service in salons.
The customer experience you provide is key to your salon’s success. The facts don’t lie:
– 60% of customers often or always pay more for a better experience (Harris Interactive Report)
– 86% stopped doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience
– 89% of consumers began using a competitor following a poor customer experience
So, if you want to wow your clients, grow your business and conquer the hair and beauty world, read on!
1. Get the basics right
Great customer service starts by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. How would you like to feel after a trip to your salon? Valued? Blissful? Pampered?
Start with the basics – make sure your salon is a delightful place to be, with clean and shiny surfaces, swept floors, hygienic hairbrushes and scissors, and stain-free cups and glasses.
Choose comfortable furniture for the waiting area, and lighting that creates a sense of calm as soon as your clients walk in. Enhance this relaxed vibe with chilled-out music, and up-to-date magazines that reflect your customers’ interests.
A sense of luxury is even important in the smallest room. Make sure customer toilets are checked regularly, with fresh-towels or a hand drier, and fragrant soap and hand lotion to add touch of luxury. Invest in some nice scent to freshen the air, too. Some customers will judge your salon by the state of your toilets, so make them an asset!
2. Make sure your staff are fully trained
Of course, you’ve hired dedicated, skilled hairdressers, receptionists and beauty therapists to work with you. But how good are your staff at offering amazing service that wows your customers?
Your receptionist will need to be warm and welcoming to clients, with a flair for balancing the competing needs. They understand that a quick smile and an acknowledgement on busy days can make the difference between a new arrival feeling excited to be there and feeling ignored.
In the same way, your therapists and stylists should be superstars at helping clients to relax and unwind. Creative customer service means including an uplifting head massage during a hair wash, or a soothing hand massage before a manicure. These little touches boost the perceived value of an appointment, and convert into enthusiastic recommendations to friends and family.
3. Give your customers some TLC
People love coming to salons because they’re an escape from the demands of everyday life and a chance to experience some pampering. The fantastic customer service you offer should make a visit to your salon something your clients look forward to for weeks.
Paying attention to the little things makes a big difference. Offer your clients high quality coffee, tea, or specialty drinks in beautiful cups or glasses. Investing in a professional coffee machine, like our fabulous Jura Z6 with its sleek black and aluminium finish, adds a touch of class to any salon. You’ll be able to offer customised cappuccino, latte, macchiato and flat white coffees with fresh steamed milk at the touch of a button.
And you could spend a little extra on nice biscuits or fancy organic bites, individually wrapped chocolates, or other treats your customers will enjoy. By offering something a bit out of the ordinary, your clients will look forward to coming back, and recommend your salon to everyone they know!
4. Listen to the customer
One of the signs of brilliant customer service in salons is that your client walks out the door on cloud nine. They feel lighter, happier, the very best version of themselves. And it’s all down to you.
Hair and beauty professionals need excellent listening skills. Many clients will talk about their personal lives as well as their haircuts, giving your staff a great opportunity to develop a positive relationship and tailor their service to each customer’s individual needs.
A skilled professional knows how to listen to what the client wants, and to tactfully give advice on flattering styles, colours and cuts that customers can maintain in their daily lives. This may involve gentle guidance away from poor choices, while still making the client feel special and listened to. Not always easy, but definitely worth it!
5. Offer tips on styling and maintaining their look
Another creative way to provide sensational value to your customers is by offering maintenance and styling tips during each hair appointment. Less skilled customers value being shown how to use styling products or techniques they’ve never tried before, and will leave your salon feeling confident and empowered.
Experiences like this will encourage your timid clients to try adventurous styles in future as they grow more confident in their appearance and your hands. You’re also more likely to get a generous tip!
6. Use the best quality products
Many style-conscious customers are keen to use the best quality products on their hair and body, and have greater confidence in salons that offer these brands as part of their service.
At the same time, clients who are impressed with the jaw-dropping effects of top products are more likely to become devoted fans of your salon, and buy these products regularly from you to use at home.
7. Ask for feedback during the appointment
The very best time to ask your customers for meaningful feedback is when they are right there in front of you. Rather than handing someone a feedback form to complete as they pay, or giving them a link to a website to feedback later, talk about their impressions of your customer service towards the end of their appointment.
Hopefully, they’ll be delighted, but if there is an issue you can resolve it quickly. Your clients will be impressed! And any negative feedback you get is likely to be specific. This information is so valuable – make sure you listen and act!
8. Personalise your client contact
As you now know, great customer service means making your customer feel fantastic. Take this to the next level by personalising your client contact.
Begin to gather personal information about each new customer – ask them to complete a short and fun questionnaire about their likes, dislikes and interests before their first appointment, and give them a frothy cappuccino and a fancy biscuit to enjoy as they do it.
Update the information in your records as you learn more about your customers over time. Use this personal information to keep in contact with customers between appointments. Send clients a postcard offering them a personalised discount on their birthday or for Christmas.
If some clients haven’t visited for a while, a personalised discount may just tempt them back to your salon.
9. Offer VIP events and other special treats for special customers
A fun way to build relationships with your highest-paying customers is to offer access to exclusive after-hours VIP events. These encourage your top clients to bring their friends and family and pamper them with new products and treatments.
Team up with other local businesses to offer fashion shows or makeover events and record video testimonials to share on social media. The boost in goodwill and publicity will be worth all the extra effort!
“We wanted to give our clients the little something extra and, in an area where our clients know the difference, we wanted quality. Alex and the rest of Stafco were really helpful in advising which machine and payment options would suit us best and we couldn’t be happier. The machine is easy to use, gives great coffee and all our clients have commented on how nice it is, at an affordable price!
They helped us set the machine up to our exact specifications and talked us through changing if we need it. Any questions we’ve had and they’ve always been at the end of the phone.”
10. Go the extra mile
Salons with the very best customer service go the extra mile for their customers. Whether its offering free umbrellas to clients on a rainy day, or organising valet parking in areas where finding a space is tricky, these salons understand that their devoted clients come back because of their creative customer service.
So, is the customer service in your salon up to scratch? Excellence is a habit these salons practise every day, not a marketing trick rolled out when business is slow. Make sure you’ve got all the basics covered, like a bespoke luxury coffee from our fabulous Jura coffee machine range. You know your clients are worth it!
To discover more amazing Health and Beauty facts, download this fab infographic.
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