Clients sometimes see a hairdressing salon as a ‘back-up’ option – not their first choice, but a reluctant fall back option if they’re desperate. If you’re an owner striving for a more consistent income, you need the majority of your clients to view you as their number one option, which means offering the best possible client service.
Perception of a lack of broad expertise, high staff turnover and bad customer service (including long wait time, poor parking, bad service from staff) are all factors that could put a salon in the back-up zone. The problem that salon owners have is that often they don’t pick up on the clues that they are part of that “maybe” mentality.
The signs to look for are that the clients tend to not rebook right away and have long lapses in between visits. You have to continue to review your key client metrics to discover that you have a problem early enough to take action.
What you should do:
1. Hire staff that match or can mold to your approach to service.
Clients view your hiring decisions as a reflection of you. Make repeat bookings a key target for staff and flag up to anyone failing to do this how much money they’re losing out of their own pocket. Think twice about giving new clients to stylists who aren’t rebooking existing ones.
2. Follow up with your existing clients regularly.
You should devote some of your marketing budget to communicating with your existing clients.
3. Make time management a priority.
I know that many of our colleagues attract professional and influential people to their businesses. Well, high- profile clients are busy people. These men and women want to look good but have limited time. If you can’t consistently cater to this need, you will be viewed as a back-up, so make sure all staff know that wait times and slow service are not acceptable.
The beauty business is competitive. Clients know that they have options. Your financial success depends on your ability to produce the best service experience for not only your new guests but also your regulars. The better you can deliver on your service promise, the more likely you will be their number one!