What is the one thing you need to do to improve customer retention in a Play Centre? Well obviously looking after your customers is the main thing, but in this business who is the customer? Parents or the Children.
Maintaining your Coffee Machine may sound like a chore, but it guarantees the optimal coffee result and measurably extends the lifetime of your automatic machine, you should always follow the manual that comes with your machine and use products that are recommended to ensure optimal cleaning without risk, here’s a brief informational bit on why you should prioritise the maintenance of your coffee machine.
When it comes to the perfect coffee and smooth machine functioning you need to be on top of the cleanliness of your machine. For most machines you can try the brands range of maintenance products that they have which should deliver a thorough clean and keep your machine in tip top shape. Some Coffee Machines include filters to help battle against mineral build up, the CLARIS filter for JURA Coffee Machines delivers high quality filtered water, the cleaning tablets they produce ensure the brewing unit is clean and free from coffee fats, and the milk system rinsing function keeps the pipes clean with absolutely no milk residues.
If carried out correctly and regularly, the amount of time and effort put into cleaning your machine is short. Maintaining most machines nowadays can be as simple as preparing your everyday morning coffee as a touch of a button is all it takes. With every coffee machine it’s a good idea to check the manual or the brand website to see what cleaning products they recommend as usually their maintenance products are designed to work with their machines to deliver impeccable cleanliness and consistently perfect coffee results.
Do you have a JURA Coffee Machine? Use a Filter.
Using a water filter such as the CLARIS Series filters limescale to bare minimum levels. Believe it or not water quality varies throughout the country, you may have heard the terms of soft and hard water before. This variation of quality depends on the filtered levels of minerals within the water and if it has been treated or not, hard water carries a lot of minerals such as magnesium and calcium whereas soft water has been treated and contains less minerals in it.
Using a CLARIS filter will help in dealing with unwanted mineral build up in your coffee machine system as calcium is the enemy of fluid systems, other elements in water such as lead, copper and aluminium may also be harmful to health. Chlorine also has a negative impact on the taste and smell of the coffee so using a filter to reduce the number of elements in your water is always a good idea if you want quality tasting coffee every time.
Descaling your Machine
Dealing with limescale build-up is something you will have to come across in your machine’s lifespan. Adding a CLARIS Filter will reduce the effects of build-up, but it won’t eliminate it. When the time comes for the descale make sure you are using the brand recommended product to ensure you are getting a thorough clean, for most machines descaling is a simple process and with certain brands is pretty much a one button process.
Can Mineral Water be Used?
The short answer is no, it’s not recommended due to the high amounts of calcium and that the level of water hardness is above the guide of 60° dH making is unsuitable for most coffee machines including JURA.
This has been a brief look at the processes involved with cleaning and maintaining your coffee machine. If you are still looking for advice on how to descale/clean your machines or information on the products to use for cleaning then don’t hesitate to call us at STAFCO on 01282 862822.
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.”
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.
If you want to take your salon to the next level, but you’re not sure how, maybe it’s time to look at how your competitors are rocking the hair and beauty industry.
What are they doing that you’re not? We’ve got the info, so can plan your next spectacular success.
1. THEY EMBRACE AN ENVIRONMENTAL ETHOS
One of the first things your competitors have embraced is an environmental or ethical mission statement for their company. There are growing numbers of customers who search for niche hair salon brands like Aveda because of their environmental and ethical credentials.
This combination of wellness, health and beauty credentials is particularly attractive to clients who want organic, chemical-free products and aren’t willing to compromise. As well as saving the planet, ethical products and companies tend to attract high-end clients who are willing to pay a premium for sustainable hair and beauty services.
2. THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE ROCKS!
The most successful hair and beauty salons train their staff to put client satisfaction at the very heart of everything they do. Australian company Masci Hair and Spa realised that their hair salon clients wanted the same level of attentive service as they received in the company’s spa business.
This discovery changed everything. Hair stylists were retrained by their beauty therapists to make every moment of the client experience deliberate and considered, from appointment booking to complimentary massages. Now staff training is an ongoing process, with salons closing for training every quarter to refresh and develop staff customer service skills.
3. THEY SERVE TOP QUALITY REFRESHMENTS EVERY DAY
Part of every salon’s routine is offering clients refreshments during any hair or beauty treatment. But the quality of these refreshments isn’t always as good as the rest of the service. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to improve things.
Many salons have opted to boost their beverage offering by buying a professional coffee machine that can make high quality lattes, cappuccinos and mocha coffees. Investing in coffee machines like our Jura E6 P.E.P. allows hair salons to offer their clients bespoke espresso, Americano or cappuccino coffee with freshly foamed milk at one of eight strength settings. It’s pulse extraction process technology enables the machine to produce a full coffee flavour, whatever clients’ individual tastes.
In the same way, organic teas and specialist organic juices have also proved popular with customers during daytime appointments, while offering glasses of prosecco or champagne can go down a treat with evening clients or with bridal parties.
4. THEY’RE AT THE CUTTING EDGE OF SPECIALIST HAIRDRESSING TECHNIQUES
Hair and beauty salons that offer the latest specialist colour and styling techniques can prove very popular with clients who want to stay at the cutting edge of the fashion industry.
Your competitors are making sure that their stylists are up to date with the latest hair techniques such as Brazilian blow drys, Keratin treatments, and specialist colouring skills. To boost their profile, these salons make sure their stylists have an opportunity to work with high-profile brands and showcase their skills at events in their local area.
Some businesses go further, offering niche hair salon services like a blow-dry bar, where clients can pop in for express styling from a simple wave to a glamorous up-do. They’re a hit with style-conscious young women who want to look good on the go.
5. THEY OFFER A RANGE OF TEMPTING SPA TREATMENTS
Salons aren’t just a place to get a hair cut anymore, as your successful competitors already know. Today the most popular salons also offer a range of wellness treatments, such as different types of massage, reiki, aromatherapy, and skin treatments.
As well as booking individual treatments, clients are increasingly likely to want to combine hair and wellness services in their appointments.
Salons that have incorporated extras such as essential oils and facial massages into their hair appointments have found that customers will happily pay more and stay longer at the salon for what they perceive as enhanced value and experience.
6. THEY COMBINE HAIR WITH MANICURES, PEDICURES AND NAIL EXTENSIONS
Nail bars have sprung up everywhere in the last few years, and many of your successful competitors have decided to ride the wave of their success. For many clients, booking a manicure, pedicure or nail extensions appointment is an inexpensive way to treat themselves.
Being able to combine these services with hair cuts allows salons to take advantage of the popularity of nail bars to attract more fashion-conscious customers, who may also be interested in more adventurous hair styling and colouring options.
7. THEY TRAIN STAFF IN PERMANENT MAKE UP TECHNIQUES
Most hair and beauty salons have offered professional make up and eyebrow shaping as part of their bridal service for years, but recent trends towards permanent make up and eyelash tinting call for beauty technicians with a whole array of new skills.
Your competitors have trained their staff in permanent make up techniques that target the busy beauty-conscious women in their area who otherwise couldn’t go for these techniques.
They are unlikely to go to a tattoo parlour or expensive beauty spa, but they trust your brand and are thrilled at the opportunity to get treatments that suit their lifestyle. It’s a golden opportunity!
8. THEY’RE ALL OVER MEN’S HAIR AND BEAUTY TREATMENTS
A relatively neglected section of hair salon demographics, your savvy competitors have figured out that men’s health and beauty services have bags of revenue potential. Whether it’s the growing popularity of specialist barbering services or ‘manscaping’ wax treatments, top hair salons have been quick to offer an expanded range of beauty options.
The trend for men’s facials and skincare products is attracting male customers to salons for the first time. Many young professionals are keen to keep their appearance sharp and groomed, and are increasingly happy to pay for eyebrow tidy ups, spray tans, professional nail services and aromatherapy massages. Your competitors are already on it, why aren’t you?
9. THEY OFFER FLEXIBLE HAIR AND BEAUTY SERVICES
Some clients can’t get to a hair salon because of hectic work and life commitments, so your competitors now offer flexible hair and beauty services that meet their needs.
These innovative salons have created mobile services that brings their complete hair and beauty offering to customers whether they work long hours in the financial district or are getting married in a remote countryside location.
Busy clients like these are willing to pay a premium for the convenience of getting hair and beauty treatments when and where they can fit it in their lives.
At the same, some clever companies are capitalising on their quieter periods to offer clients themed drop-in sessions, such as a ‘Blow Dry Breakfast Club’ or ‘Lash Tuesdays’ to attract clients through discounting and special offers.
10. THEY LOVE NON-SURGICAL BEAUTY TREATMENTS
With a whole range of non-surgical beauty enhancements now available, some hair salons have decided to embrace this trend, training their staff in treatments such as Botox, microdermabrasion, contour rollering, and CACI non-surgical facelifts.
Many of these techniques can have a transformational effect on clients, and coupled with top quality hair and make up treatments can be a great way to wow new clients and gain a devoted local following.
Your competitors have seen the potential of including these treatments in their salons and are reaping the financial rewards. What’s stopping you from doing the same?
One of these ideas could turn your salon into the next rising star of the health and beauty industry. Buying a professional coffee machine from our Jura range is one way to wow clients and provide a positive experience to remember. But which of our top tips will you pick?
Discover more amazing health and beauty facts by downloading this fab infographic.