Why Should Clients Come to Your Salon?
“The experience is remembered long after the price is forgotten,” shares John DiJulius in his best-selling book, Secret Service. Owner of award winning John Roberts Salons & Spas in Cleveland, he challenges salon owners to answer the question, “How do you compete? Do you offer the lowest price, fastest service, convenience or superior customer experience? The answer will help define your competitive advantage.”
John suggests that what you and your staff perceive that you sell will, at the end of the day, be what your customers buy and why they choose your salon. You must decide what experience you are selling and do everything possible to be the best. Below are 6 guidelines John offers to help determine and define what you are selling and how to make clients look forward to their salon experience!
• Identify your point of difference. Determine your point of difference as a salon: price, convenience, upscale, specialized services or superior quality services. What do you want to be known for? Describe your salon culture and define what customers can expect in their salon experience by sharing it on your website.
• Define what customers are buying. Decide what you are really selling and customers are buying. Along with the point of difference you identified, how do create the customer experience that is the whole package they buy when they come to you for services. Create service menus that offer quality technical skills, but present the options in creative, enticing ways. You want them to buy more services. You’re online menu sets the stage, and it encourages them to want to explore new techniques.
• Enhance customer interactions. Think about how every customer interaction can be more of an experience from the phone call to book an appointment, all the way through to follow up a few days after the purchase. Train your front end staff on proper phone etiquette, coach each level of service provider on how to engage and communicate with the client, and conduct follow up email or phone courtesy calls to ensure clients are happy with their services.
• Offer training programs that produce star quality staff members. Not only is it necessary to offer quality, technical training programs to keep staff at their best, but make sure those training programs instill a sense of theatre that enables your staff to see themselves as performers, in a sense, providing memorable service and each stage of the salon experience. Share the great work and recognition of your staff members on social media. Submit examples of their work to local newspapers and magazines that do features on hair and beauty.
• Turn unavoidable customer inconveniences into positive events. Wait times can be staged in a Starbucks atmosphere by offering refreshments, having local newspapers or magazines available, and making retail areas inviting and enticing. Call in hold times can be spent being entertained by creative messages on your telephone hold system.
• Celebrate customers to make them feel like VIPs. Find ways to celebrate customers making them feel like they are important to your business. Send greetings and recognitions for special events such as birthdays, weddings, graduations and other important life events. In addition, create VIPs programs that reward them for their loyalty and referrals. Base the levels on your price range of services and return appointment patterns.
John concludes, “While I believe our services are second to none, the reason we are so successful is that we sell an experience. Clients can go many places to get a good haircut or manicure for less. However, as a result of our Customer Experience Cycle, our clients feel that our service, or their experience, has more value.”
For details on how to establish a winning Customer Experience Cycle, find John’s book, Secret Service, in the BTC bookstore. It provides hidden systems that deliver unforgettable customer service, how to turn complaints into positive experiences and how to build a strong team culture.