What Sets Your Salon Apart?
There are a lot of Hair Salons in our world; each salon unique in its own way. Even if they are unique in their own way, what sets your salon apart? Salons open and close on a regular basis, what is it that can guarantee, or at least help ensure a salon will remain in business for the long haul? Lets explore what sets salons apart.
If you read my blog ‘Breaking up with your stylist’ you may remember my reference to Professional Practice and how to keep a client coming back. In the professional hair care, salon world, customer service is corner stone to success. What is customer service and why is it so relevant in our world today?
It is quite simple really, but sadly many service oriented businesses miss the customer service boat. Think of yourself as a customer, we are all at certain points of the day. I just had a mani/pedi (manicure/ pedicure) and my customer experience was good, a reason I consistently go back to the same person at the same location is because I know what to expect and I am never disappointed. They are professional, friendly but not over talkative, always on time and work efficiently; I am always in and out in a timely manner, which is important to me.
Consistent Customer Service
Let’s break this down a bit, paint a picture if you will. Where do you like to shop, eat, get your car serviced? What is it about these places that keep you going back? Think about it, I am sure there is a reason you can identify. There is a pizza place near me that I really enjoy going to for many reasons:
- The pizza is good!
- When you walk through the door everyone working shouts “hello”
- If ever there is a mistake they bring it to your attention before you even notice and take care of it immediately
- They have a fun environment
- Everyone shouts ‘have a great day’ when you walk out the door
- They deliver the SAME service every time
How does your salon rate on the customer service scale? Be honest, think about being a client in the salon you work in and rate your experience. If you are a client in a salon, how does your stylist and those that work there measure up? Read what Blake Morgan has to say, she is a writer for Forbes magazine, specializing in the importance of customer service for success in business.
How to do it best
It takes thorough thought and planning to develop top notch customer service skills. First things first, define your business. Do you have a business plan, an “about us” story, a mission statement? What experience do you want your clients to have every time they come in for an appointment.
Start a list, think in detail; what happens when the phone rings, when a client first walks through the door? There is nothing worse than walking through the door of a business for the first time and not knowing what to do because no one is there to guide you. This happened to me in a restaurant once, I walked through the door not a server in sight, no signs saying ‘please wait to be seated’ or ‘please seat yourself’ and I never went back.
Think about it, make your customer service match your salon vibe. If you have a funky salon, create an experience that is up-beat, fun and funky. If you are more of a sophisticated salon spa, the experience should reflect just that.
Here are a few suggestions to help get that ball rolling.
- Script how to answer the phone
- Write your greeting for when a customer walks through the door
- Send birthday wishes
- Do appointment call or text reminders
- Always do a client consultation
- Don’t take personal calls when you have a client
- Be on time, never make a client wait
- Keep the conversation focused on your client, avoid telling your ‘dirty little secrets’
The list could go on and on; pay attention next time you are out and about. Think about the places that create dazzling experiences and mimic what you like. Creating a consistent customer service experience is an on-going work in progress. The businesses that do it right are consistently evaluating their customer service and always fine tuning, improving and searching for ways to be even better.
It seems as if providing good customer service should be a ‘no-brainer’, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to slip and become complacent in our world of hair. Being an intimate industry makes it that much harder for us to keep our professional practice in focus. But you can do it and it will change your business; it will help you retain clients and it can also help with client referral.
Sojourn Professional Practice could be just the tool you need to fine tune and take your customer service game to the next level.