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Last updated: July 11, 2018

5 Things Clients Expect From Their Salon Visit

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5 Ways To Exceed Client Expectations In The Salon

“I don’t want to make more money,” said no one, ever. But even the most technically skilled hairdressers may not be earning to their potential, so what can you do? We have some answers for you straight from Aveda General Manager Barbara De Laere, so keep reading to get the five things clients today expect from their salon experience and what you can do to exceed their expectations—and ensure your books stay filled!


We met Barbara at Aveda’s Dare to Dream event, where hairdressers and students learned from some of the industry’s most iconic leaders and rising stars to get inspired and create clear plans to achieve their goals. Barbara is a BOSS—with 20+ years in the industry across 33 countries and 10 brands, she is majorly in the know. So when she laid out the state of the hair industry to a room full of stylists, we were all ears.


Barbara De Laere


Some #Truthbombs About The Hair Industry

Here’s the good news—your jobs aren’t going anywhere. “You can’t digitalize a hair cut, a haircolor,” Barbara said. And then some not-so-good news—according to Barbara, the projection for growth in the industry over the next 5 years is flat. People are spending money on beauty…just not with hairdressers. So Aveda decided to find out why.


Here’s what they uncovered. 97% of stylists say they do a consultation every single time their client comes in. At the same time, more than 90% of guests say they’ve never had a personalized consultation.  “Guests say they walk into the salon and the stylist tells them, ‘Shall we do the same?’” Barbara said. And that’s not good. When clients feel like the salon is the same old experience, they don’t really care to go back.


Aveda also discovered that clients feel the salon is a big, black box—they trust their stylist, but have no idea when they enter the salon what they’ll look like when they leave, how long they’ll be there or how much their visit is going to cost.  


So now that you have this information, it’s time to make some changes. Lucky for us, Barbara explained just how to do that!


At Aveda’s Dare To Dream, we heard straight-talking business advice and inspirational stories that helped us set our own goals and push ourselves to succeed.


5 Things Clients Expect From Their Salon Visit


1. Experience

People want new experiences and sensations—look at Starbucks, for example. They already sell coffee for $2 to $4 a cup…but with the Starbucks Reserve concept, you can get a specially-brewed, rare type of coffee for $10. Part of the price is the experience: hearing the barista talk about where it came from, seeing how it’s actually brewed right into your cup.


How You Can Improve:

Avoid the same-old, same-old by changing up your salon, like Brittany Adamson Hall, owner of Quattra Via Aveda in Carlsbad, Calif. She changes the entire salon every season—from the décor to the drinks to what her staff wears to work and how they answer the salon phone. Why go through the trouble? Because it means clients almost ALWAYS get a new experience.


2. Consultation and Personalization

Guests want you to know their individual needs and base your offerings on that—basically, they want to feel special. Take Habit, a service that personalizes nutrition for individuals. The customer takes an at-home nutrition test that looks at their DNA and blood, then Habit analyzes the findings and delivers the results to the customer. Based on that information, Habit creates a personalized daily nutrition plan based on the customer’s biology, lifestyle and goals.


How You Can Improve:

Here’s the thing about being a hairdresser—you already have the tools and knowledge to customize and personalize for each client at your fingertips! You already are (or should be) doing a thorough consultation and personalizing the cut and color to your client. Take it a step further by suggesting special add-on services based on your client’s needs. Aveda offers sensory experiences—scalp and shoulder massages, hand massages, a tea ritual, a makeup application—that can be tailored to the client in your chair at that moment.



3. Connection and Transparency

Shoppers today will pay higher prices if they have an emotional connection to brands. Here’s an example—clothing retailer Everlane is radically transparent. For each item of clothing, you can watch videos of the factory where it’s made and see the cost breakdown to understand why an item costs what it does.


How You Can Improve:

For hairdressers using a brand like Aveda, this is another no-brainer! With a mission and culture rooted in holistic beauty and environmental responsibility, Aveda is a brand that spurs emotional connection. The brand is rooted in Ayurveda, the indian healing tradition based on the knowledge of life and the interconnectedness of all things. Aveda has raised more than $60 million over the past few years for environmental protection charities, and plans to raise another $25 million in the next 3 years—proving that it goes beyond beauty with a wellness mission for both people and the planet.


As for transparency, that’s part of your consultation, too. Be honest with your guest during the consultation about how much the services you are recommending will cost them, and how long they’ll take. That way they aren’t hit with any surprises at check out, and will appreciate that you’re open to tailoring your services based on their budget or time restraints.


4. Time

If it isn’t already, time will soon be the #1 currency for your guests. This is probably no surprise, given the success of things like Amazon Prime (which delivers in as little as ONE HOUR in some cities).


How You Can Improve:

Offer speedy services that guests want, like Aveda’s Demi+ color line that can be used as an add-on shine service or to convert cut-only clients to gray coverage clients. Demi+ processes in as little as 5 minutes and clients can see it working as it processes.


5. Natural, Clean Beauty

Now more than ever, people are hyper-conscious of what goes into the products they use. Natural hair products are projected to grow five times more than non-natural products, Barbara shared.


How You Can Improve:

With a brand like Aveda, this is an easy one. The brand strives to increase its use of naturally derived ingredients whenever possible in their high-performance, botanically-based products. Sharing this detail with clients is a way to give them peace of mind about the products they use.


Want more straight-talking business advice? Click here to read Van Council’s big tip for making more money!