Service: 9 Steps to WOW First Time Clients
I think you will agree, full time salon work is tough; even for the highly extroverted. There is an emotional energy displaced for every client in your chair.
At the end of the day, you are wasted, and before long, you may even begin to resent the very clients that pay your salary.
So what do you do to keep the customer service top notch, and still remain sane? I am going to give you 9 steps to great customer service (which is the first part of the Salon Profit Circle), and the tricks to maintain your cool.
1. Act Like A Star & Your Name Will Go Far
Pretty corny, huh? But seriously, your chair is your stage, and you are the star of this performance.
If you think of yourself as the star, everything will follow suit.
Your voice will be slightly louder and authoritative. Your body language will be more confident, and your client can relax and enjoy the show.
Why does this matter?
New clients are always apprehensive when visiting a new hair stylist. If you are well rehearsed and confident, your client will be at ease, and trust your work.
Not only that, but they will trust you with their story. Greeeeaaaat! When they can trust you with their hair, and with their story, you have a client for life! And when they love the product, they will tell their friends (hence, your name will go far)!
REMEMBER! Its ACT like a star. Have fun with it, because when you act, you are actually using less emotional energy. Still be you, but there is no need to give all of YOURSELF all of the time.
But I thought there was 9? Keep reading!
2. Become A Pro at Asking Questions
You know a stylist (or maybe it is you) that loves to tell their story and control the conversation. Secretly, the client is screaming in their head, “SHUT UP!”
The art of asking questions is brilliant for a few reasons.
First, (and most practically) it keeps the conversation going when you run out of things to say. Let the client talk, about their cat….and then ask every possible question you can about their cat until there are no questions left. Then move on to the next topic!
Next, it places you in a place of humility. When you ask someone else a question, it psychologically puts you slightly under them, and sends the message that you can learn something from them.
You are the STAR…that wants to learn something from them! People love this, it makes them feel good, affirmed, and more connected to you without having to spend much energy at all.
Finally, when you are the one asking all the questions, your client feels that you care. And that is all that matters.
You and I both know that we can’t possibly care deeply for all 300 of our regular clients. But asking questions makes them feel that you do, which creates connection, and a repeat client.
3. Simple Touch
Believe it or not, we actually have an intimate relationship with our clients. Where else is it socially ok to wash someones hair?
As part of your job, give an excellent head massage when you are washing out their hair. Give your clients something to remember you by.
But also, find ways to simply connect with simple touch. Put your hands on their shoulders for a second during the consultation, or when giving a complement. When done appropriately, the client feels valued and will remember their experience with you.
4. Offer a beverage
Our goal is to make them comfortable, and sometimes a cup of water, coffee or even a glass of wine will go a long way and add a special touch.
5. Show your teeth
Again, you are on stage playing a role, and the role is a happy friendly hair stylist! People notice body language, and more is said through facial expression than anything.
A simple smile lets the client know you like them, and like what you are doing!
6. Compliment their look
There is enough bad news in this world; be the bearer of good news! Be sure to let your client know they look beautiful with their new style.
Sometimes, if they are unsure, positive affirmation will make it all better. Not only their look, but if you have the chance to affirm them as a person, a return visit is a done deal!
People do business with people they know, like and trust. And everyone likes spending time with a nice person.
7. Make sure they are happy before they leave
If you have the chance to fix it in the moment while they are still in your chair, do it! Fixing small issues on the spot ensures a happy client, and saves you a headache down the road.
8. Change Your Mindset about Salon Retail.
If you are like the average hair stylist, you hate “selling” retail. Lets shift that mindset RIGHT NOW!
When you offer a superior product that will specifically complement their color process, you are doing them a service!
While you are asking questions, ask them specifics about their hair. This will give you more understanding of what they want their hair to look like, and the frustrations they experience along the way.
You are the professional, and they are coming to help them look their best. Place something in their hand that will help achieve that goal between appointments. If they decline, at least you know you did your part!
Hopefully your salon has a good retail commission program so everyone wins!
9. Take Excellent Notes
I remember as a kid always being fascinated with the dentist. I only got my teeth cleaned, but somehow everyone in the office knew what was going on in my life.
How did they do that??? They took notes!
If your clients come to you to make them look beautiful every 6 weeks, you are a big part of their life.
Take detailed notes about their hair process, and what you learned about them, so you can follow up where you left off at their last appointment.
If you have a 300+ person clientele, you cant possibly remember everything about every client. So find a note taking system that works for you. I recommend getting a comprehensive salon management system where you can keep all client details in one place.
This post about excellent salon service is the first of a 4 part client retention system I call the Salon Profit Circle. If you want to get your client retention above 50%, you need to watch the Salon Profit Circle strategy video.
Click here to watch the Free Salon Profit Circle training!