It takes work to be known as a hair and beauty salon that’s a cut above the rest. Initiating outstanding service levels is simple. Maintaining them is the challenge, as your competitors catch up and the unexpected becomes the norm.
The good news is, client experience is an area where you can truly differentiate yourself from the crowd. This article gives you five ways to continuously improve your client experience to ensure you’re a cut above the rest.
1. CONSTANTLY LOOK AT YOUR BUSINESS WITH FRESH EYES
Because you visit your hair and beauty salon every day, it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. Not only are you busy, you’re also accustomed to the salon’s appearance and how you and your team interact with clients. But, while your vision is clouded, your clients see every aspect of your business with fresh eyes.
To become a market leader, step back and assess your business with a positive, open mindset. Find ways to improve your salon and keep your customers coming back for more.
Imagine you’re an industry hero or another entrepreneur you admire. Ask yourself: what would they do to improve customer experience at your salon? It’s also helpful to think about other similar industries that get customer care right, such as the hospitality sector.
Pick apart your last experience at a good restaurant – from using their website to the building’s appearance, the greeting, food and service. Study their strengths and explore how you can incorporate these ideas into your own business.
2. CURB APPEAL KEEPS CUSTOMERS COMING
Approach your premises as a customer would and try and see it through their eyes. A great time to do this is after a holiday when you are less used to seeing your salon. Is the pavement clean? Are the windows sparkling? Is the paint work in good order? If not, it’s time to invest in keeping up appearances.
Next, take a look at your signage. Help your customers find you and let passing trade know that this is a hair and beauty salon with clean, clear branding and signage. Windows cluttered with posters promoting special offers don’t make for a relaxing introduction to your salon. Think about using horizontal promotional flags instead. They’re more affordable than you might think and can be branded with salon colours and logos for a consistent, professional look. Alternatively, sandwich boards work well if your offers change regularly or you frequently run different promotions.
And, your website and social media accounts are as much a store front as your physical premises. Ensure a consistent brand across your online presence to keep hold of the 81% of customers who research you online before coming in.
3. KEEP IT CLEAN
In an industry where cleanliness is king, grubby surroundings leave your customers feeling unclean and untrusting. From ripped seats, soiled sofas and stained paint work to unkempt uniforms and old worn towels, your customers will spot the flaws.
And your cleanliness isn’t just judged on the salon floor – clean toilets and sinks with fresh hand towels or paper towels are a must. Some salons burn scented candles in the toilets to keep them smelling fresh and entice you to buy more product.
Why not task your staff with identifying items that need refreshing or replacing? This way you can all take pride in keeping the salon in shape.
4. CUSTOMER SERVICE GOES BEYOND RECEPTION
Being greeted as you walk in and thanked on the way out is basic customer service but it isn’t always done. We’ve all been made to feel like an afterthought by receptionists who are too busy to make eye contact or let you know they will only be a minute.
Research shows that customers are only asked for their names 21% of the time . Get ahead of your competition and personalise your service with this simple human touch.
If you believe the client experience is over when your customer leaves your salon, think again. The best hair and beauty salons think past the treatment and beyond the front door. Top up car parking to allow your clients’ pampering to continue uninterrupted and to prevent them from having an unpleasant end to their day.
If it’s raining, get someone to walk your client to their car with an umbrella to protect their beautiful new hair. Or, if they’ve just had their nails done, get their car keys out of their bag or pocket for them.
5. STAY INSPIRED TO KEEP YOUR EYES FRESH
To avoid stagnating, set regular time aside to take be a customer yourself, experience other services and continuously improve your own. Get out of the salon and treat yourself to a day as a mystery shopper, particularly at salons that have a great reputation for customer satisfaction.
Challenge yourself to come back with three takeaways to implement in your own business. These don’t need to be sweeping changes – It could be as simple as the receptionist using your name when introducing you to your therapist or providing your customers with a cup of coffee while they wait.
And not just any coffee. The best salons know only barista-quality brews hit the mark, investing in the likes of the Jura A7 – a professional-level coffee machine that’s perfect for impressing the clientele.
Another way to continuously improve is to understand your customers and know what they expect by reviewing your customer feedback. Ask customers to complete their feedback forms during their haircut or treatment (where possible) for less rushed and more meaningful results.
And don’t think that just because you don’t receive complaints, you don’t need a feedback form. According to Financial Training Services, 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain and nine in ten of those will never come back.
Assess your customers’ comments and where possible combine this with your market research to deliver better-than-expected service.
MAKE YOUR CUSTOMERS HAPPY
Creating an outstanding customer experience starts with a client’s first website visit and finishes when they get in their car to go home. These experiences build up to create their customer experience and determine whether they will continue to do business with you.
American Entrepreneur, Derek Sivers, sums it up nicely when he says:
“The single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are making people happy, as a side effect, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you.”