Clients Have Feelings, Too
Jeff Grissler, Amazon Best Selling Author, Consultant and Educator
You can build your salon with the most expensive equipment or hire the finest interior decorator to finish the salons interior, employ the best marketing person in town to promote your salon or build the best hair salon staff in the country. All these things are important but they will not guaranty that your customers are happy and that you make them feel important. Many of us loose track on the significance of remembering that customers have feelings, too.
All of us want to feel important on any given day. We remember when someone goes out of their way to make us feel special or appreciated. It can be a very small gesture. It really doesn’t have to be a material thing but whatever it is, we do remember, talk about it and share the experience with friends and family. Most of us will go out of are way to be around that person or their place of business. People gravitate to those who make them feel special.
There are many things you and your staff should be trained to do or should I say come naturally when it comes to service and customer appreciation. They are simple to put in place and don’t cost the salon anything to initiate. They must start at your front desk and follow through the entire salon.
Use Your Customer’s Name
The easiest thing to do is to remember and use your customer’s name. Your receptionist knows the customer is coming in at a certain time. The appointment is on her computer or logged in the appointment book. How nice is it when you walk into a place of business and be greeted with good morning Mrs. Customer it’ s so nice to see you again and we are looking forward to servicing you today. Wow. Was that hard? No, of course not but that’s the first step. The second step is when the shampoo person greats the same customer they use his or her name and say the same thing. This is a sample of an easy way to make someone feel extremely special. Do you do this in your salon today? You have their name use it. These simple things are so easy to make your customers feel special.
We all have experienced waiting in line for something. Most of the time we have gone out of are way to be there at a specific time. We have all experienced sitting in a doctor’s office. Has anyone ever said they are sorry for making you wait? Most of the time you go unnoticed and that your time is not valuable. Well your customer’s time is valuable. They have jobs, families just like you and I’m sure they have gone out of their way to make their appointment with you on time.
When your customer is sitting there in the waiting area acknowledge they are there. Walk over and smile and say hello. Shake their hand, give them a hug. These small things take away the fact that you may be running late and you have gone out of your way to make them feel special and let them know they are important. Remember the doctor’s office when you were ignored. You don’t want to be that person. It should never happen in your salon.
In business they say, "always expect the unexpected." Don’t think your salon and staff will never run into problems. You have many different personalities which in fact creates drama, stress, chemicals, scissors, electrical equipment, and water. That in itself is an accident waiting to happen. How is it that more bad things don’t happen in the salon in a given day? Whatever the circumstance that does arise, always remember that the customer is always right and be the first to apologize. When things do go terribly wrong and Murphy’s Law strikes, make sure you and your staff simply say, “We are sorry.” A sorry goes a long way. This is a simple way to build a loyal customer. The better person always apologizes first, don’t let your ego get in the way.
How many times has someone said to you, are you listening to me? Maybe it’s your children, spouse or clients? Most people can tell when you are listening to them. It makes people feel important when you really give them your ear and pay attention to what they are saying. Your customer may be going through an illness, divorce or work related problems. More importantly telling you how they want their hair. Listening to their stories is important to them because true listening in today’s world is rare. You have to apply a hair color or haircut why not pay attention to what your customer has to say. If it makes them feel good go out of your way to be a good listener.
Training your salon team to become good listeners is very important. They are representing your company. You want to make sure they are applying the exact color or giving the hair style your customer asks for. It’s not always the story you have to listen to but the service your client is asking for.
Make Your Clients Part of Something
Making your clients part of your business is important. Sometimes it means you have to think out of the box to include them. If your distributor is offering education to your staff include some of your clients. Have them come in for a free service and use them as models. This will make them feel special and also get them closer to you and your staff.
If you are having a ladies night out include some clients. Inviting them will make them feel special they may not participate but the invite will surely let them know that they were included. Sometimes the thought is all the matters in making some ones day.
The easiest way to make any customer feel good and appreciated is to say thank you. It doesn’t cost you a thing to show much you appreciate the fact that you have loyal customers who keep coming back to your salon. How many times have you forgotten to say thank you.
A good hand shake or hug goes along way and a very big Thank you is the nicest way to show your appreciation to your clients. It also makes a big impression when your staff does the same thing.
We stated in the beginning of this chapter that saying hello and using the customer’s name is important. It is just a as important to say goodbye and thank you using their name as well.
I always use this saying and it has worked for me for over twenty five years. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use this.
“Thank you for your business, as always it is well appreciated. Your continued business is appreciated by my family as well."
All of us should implement these practices at work each day. When you practice these simple tasks it will make your work more enjoyable and create a strong legion of customers that will continue to support your employees and your business.