The beauty industry is one of the types of business where you’re only as good as your last haircut, nail polish, or massage. Most clients don’t complain, they just don’t come back. Businesses can change over a period of time without us knowing since we’re caught up in day to day operations and aren’t paying notice to news stories and aren’t aware of trends. Then there is the flip side of the coin, it can change with the blink of an eye. You need to constantly reinvent yourself and make sure your service, the appearance of your storefront, and staff members, are held to high standards and service is top notch and worthy of a referral.
Improve Customer Service
Business owners often ask themselves, “How can I improve on customer service?” One of the first places that you need to focus on is the telephone situation. When a prospective or returning client calls, what is the first thing they hear? It’s important for the receptionist to interact with the person and maintain a proper tone of voice, and provide superb customer service. If a client calls you to cancel an appointment and says they’ll call you back, often times they won’t. A little goes a long way, pick-up the phone, call them back and reschedule.
Make them Feel Special
In the salon trade, make the person sitting on your chair feel irreplaceable. The salon I visit to get my hair cut has a team of 12 stylists who are constantly busy. I don’t have a particular preference on which stylist cuts my hair; so when one of them yells out, “Next?”, I simply jump out of my seat and head on over to her booth. Last week, I landed on the chair of someone who I hadn’t met before, albeit I’ve seen her there for months. She was very affable and full of beans right from the start. What caught my eye was that she instantaneously cleaned off the brushes, blades, and combs in front of me by spraying them down with antibacterial disinfectant spray. She immediately put me at ease. After she finished cutting my hair, she didn’t reach for the blow dryer to fan away the hair clippings from my face. Instead, she strethced for her drawer, pulled out a brush, sprinkled it with some Johnson’s Baby Powder, and brushed all the clippings from my face and neck. “Wow”, I thought to myself, “I feel pampered!” At once, my usual tip of three dollars increased to six, just for the few simple acts of customer service.
Pay attention to your clients, often times they aren’t sure what type of service they want. In the spa business, your patron might not know the difference between a Shiatsu and Reflexology rub. If he tells you that he is under invariable stress and has had a sore neck ever since he started his job, it’s your responsibility to ascertain that he needs a deep tissue massage rather than a simple back rub.
Take the Proper Steps and Get yourself a Website
Stop being so old-fashioned and get yourself a website with staff member profile pages, a photo gallery of hairstyles, services, and products you offer. Are you a decent writer? How about integrating a blog within your website to write your thoughts and insights. Your client’s first impression of you is often determined by a brief visit to your website. Is it glitzy and flamboyant or dull and monotonous? These days, when someone is new to the neighborhood and is looking for a salon, the first thing they do is jump on the Internet, and search for “hair salons in Westwood, CA”. It is of the essence to have a web presence in this day and age. Adding a business Facebook account where your clients can become fans, post comments, and even make suggestions will tremendously augment your business.
Host a Beauty Party
We spend money everywhere. Why not spend some money on the business that pays the bills? I suggest hosting an after business hours beauty party at your salon. On a Thursday night, close your salon two hours early (of course, post signs, and send out newsletters about a month in advance to notify your regulars). Ask your staff to help out and clean up, decorate your salon, and get ready for your invited guests and potential customers. You can host a two hour event, between 7PM and 9:30PM, and increase and retain clientele in a sure fire way.
By spending a few hundred dollars, it can bring in thousands more. Yes, a few hundred dollars. Buy some balloons and decorations from a party supply store, hire a local DJ, purchase few bottles of red and white wine along with other refreshments, order some simple hors deauves from a local catering company or a local market (some supermarkets have an in-house catering department with a free delivery and set-up service). If your budget permits, you can spice up the event by offering prizes and gifts to raffle winners.