Customer service is pivotal to businesses across every industry. Providing good customer service can greatly impact your business’ reputation. This is no different for beauty operators who may need to make additional efforts to offer a five-star salon experience.
As a salon business owner, you cannot undervalue the importance of providing excellent client service, as this will set your business for success. Tweaking a bit of your salon experience can impact your customers and ensure higher retention.
When customers are in your salon, your goal is to provide more than mere treatment. This means you give them the experience of being in a salon that remains unmatched by any other they have visited.
One of the first steps to enhance the experience for your salon patrons might include adopting customer service software to improve the efficiency of your support operations and the quality of your customer service.
Next, follow these essential tips to ensure customers get the most out of their time while in your salon.
First-time clients would undergo a proper consultation as if you are onboarding a regular customer. This includes a form asking about their music, drinks, fashion icon preferences, etc. — an essential step in knowing your customer better.
Collecting such data ensures creating a highly customized experience only for them. Also, the Association of Advertisers (ANA) named ‘personalization’ a word of the year in 2019. As a testament, a U.S marketers survey concluded that 63% of survey participants witnessed increased conversion due to personalization.
Once you know their tastes, fashion goals, likes/dislikes, etc., you can customize their treatments. For instance, Function of Beauty is a beauty brand that lets customers make personalized skincare and haircare products to match their requirements.
Therefore, providing top customer service in a salon begins with a personalized consultation. A lot of salons don’t have the time to do consultations. But, it is essential to know precise customer demands that enable:
- Identifying customer demands to gauge their requirements to come up with the right treatment.
- Communicating the duration of services to help customers plan their commitments.
- Personalizing customer services for better results
- Showing that you care for your customers
You can also provide digital consultations that take place before the appointment. This will enable you to define treatments and communicate the time required.
Here, consumers may upload images of the desired hairstyle and present hair to help them know the treatment plan.
Once they are satisfied with the consultation, schedule their appointment.
Online appointments + reminders
Your salon business can leverage an intelligent booking system beyond simply accepting online bookings. Here, the emphasis is on knowing your customer and helping tailor your service to them.
For instance, when booking an appointment, inquire about their hair and skin issues, their most recent hair color, skin and hair care products, etc. Not only will this benefit your customer service, but it will also give them the impression that you value their custom.
Schedule an appointment after a thorough consultation and knowing your customers well. And then, leverage the appointment reminder system to keep track of your appointments and minimize any potential dissatisfaction from your customers.
While you choose Google Calendar for scheduling, it is good to adopt a dedicated online booking system like Simplybook.me that notifies customers of their next appointment.
Automating appointment reminders via SMS, email, or WhatsApp will ensure fewer no-shows and more regular customers arriving on time. This will also help your salon staff prepare for the next treatment and provide quick services.
And, if the previous appointment is taking too long and the next customer needs to wait, notify the change in schedule via an app. Through the app, you can also provide a discount on treatments or complimentary hair or skin care items to make up for their trouble.
Effective complaint management
Customer dissatisfaction is inevitable, but it all boils down to how well you can manage those grievances. Framing an appropriate approach to handling your client’s complaint about the salon may completely change the course of events.
One step involves recognizing and reacting to bad internet reviews. Your client may leave a negative review on your Google business profile, but you must handle those online and offline.
Also, it is crucial to handle your complaints immediately to prevent any further issues. Thus a procedure must be in place for that.
Ultimately, customer experience is what sets your salon apart from your competition, and it is this experience that determines whether or not your business reaches its true heights. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain high levels of client satisfaction. Putting in the effort and keeping an eye on what your clients regularly say (over social media channels, Google reviews, etc.) can really help your business.
A professional response to customer complaints would involve the following:
- First, acknowledge it was your fault and sympathize with your customers. This is done by expressing how you understand their frustration, the consequences of your mistake, etc.
- Apologizing for the mistake and assuring that it won’t repeat.
- Explaining without blaming the customers and offering a different solution on their next visit.
Also, it is best to offer such customers monetary remuneration in terms of discounts, freebies, etc.
Loyalty offers + Social media offers
There’s a reason why 43% of customers are likely to spend more money on companies they’re loyal to than those they aren’t.
Now, if you have customer relationship management software in place, you’d know that many of those prefer you over other salons. To them, you can offer special discounts. This way, you reward existing clients for choosing your salon for their treatments and also prompt others to as well.
One of the crucial tips to consider before starting a beauty business is to identify how you’d make your regular clients feel special. First, you can provide them with a stamp card entitling them to get free treatment. And, if they recommend your salon to a friend, offer them a discount on certain salon products or on their next treatment.
With many competing salons in the neighborhoods to choose from, differentiate yourself by appreciating your customers and keeping them coming back to you.
Another way involves running competitions on social media like this one to gain more visibility.
Once a set of customers like a particular stylist, they will keep coming back to them. But, clients who don’t routinely go to the salon or prefer to try out new salons will give your salon a chance when you run such campaigns.
Follow-up texts and emails for reviews
While you may invest yourself much for pre-appointment, remember, post-treatment reviews also matter. Once you provide treatment to customers, ask for reviews which also help other customers to make the decision of opting for your salon.
Avoid the awkwardness of asking for Google or Facebook evaluations by using text and email. When you ask them to write a Google review, they respond affirmingly but seldom forget to review. Instead, sending them the review link over an email coupled with some offers to encourage the same would go a long way.
Adopting this approach for Google and Facebook reviews will naturally help grow your customer base.
Stay in touch with your customers
Modern-day technology has made it easier for businesses to stay connected to their customers. One way to ensure quality customer service for your saloon is to keep in touch with them. They feel valued when you remember them.
If possible, make your connection beyond a simple customer-salon relationship by inviting them to private salon events or sending them birthday cards. There are ways to connect with your customers meaningfully and go the extra mile for them. This includes the following.
Recording past conversations
Make notes about your customers’ important dates, upcoming vacations, upcoming social events, etc. Connecting with them around similar dates with special offers shows that you care while providing them with a reminder to visit a salon for any occasion.
Remember their preferences
Know little things about customers to show that you are not just a business but a friend. This way, they can associate with your business for a longer time. For this, it can help to know their partner’s name, occupation, preferred food/beverage, etc.
Blending the right technology set with personalization is a way to unlock your salon growth with a five-star customer experience. You can also adopt salon software to manage your salon business operations, accounting, revenue, and customer management. Such software enables automating daily operations like check-ins, customer appointments, etc.
If you can manage your small business using tech, providing a five-star customer experience is not too far. In all, you will need to redefine your workings and go beyond simply providing key salon services to drive unmatched customer experience.
Steven Macdonald is a digital marketer based in Tallinn, Estonia. In the last ten years, he’s helped e-commerce and B2B SaaS brands generate more than $100 million in new revenue through SEO, content and conversion optimization.
Author image: Steven Macdonald