Salon 411 – Keeping your clients happy and returning.

The reason most cosmetologists get into the beauty industry is the love of making men and women feel their best and express their creativity at the same time. There’s no question that with servicing clients comes many emotions. The hair salon has been characterized as not only a place to improve your look, but a place where you can relax and commune with your community. Even the most seasoned cosmetologist can come across a client that may need a little more TLC and that’s ok! As cosmetologists you must remember important customer service tactics to keep even the most difficult client with a smile on his/her face.

1. Sympathize

Ever been upset? Ever had an attitude? Of course! The last thing you want when you’re feeling down is to feel like you’re the only one that has been there. If you have a client that is putting their bad day/week/year on you, begin with understanding! Using phrases like “I understand” or “I’ve felt that way too” can instantly ease any attitude. Whether you believe it or not, no matter how upset a client is about ANYTHING good old fashioned sympathy works every time. Don’t just pretend to listen or be interested in their issues. Really listen and provide positive feedback. Your client will know that no matter what, coming to you will ensure their mood is elevated upon leaving.

2. Be detailed oriented

It’s not as easy as it sounds, but paying attention to detail and making it a constant in your life will separate the good from the great. Take notice to what your clients bring into the salon with them. Bottled water? What kind of music are they listening to? What was the topic of conversation the last time they came in? How great would it be if you followed up on a certain topic, or offered bottled water in the salon because you know how much your clients love it? Not only will this impress your client, but you will gain a new insight on how to stay on top of your clients needs.

3. Be on Time….ALL THE TIME

If you haven’t already, make being 5 minutes early a norm in your life. There is a lot to be said about someone that is constantly on time. If your first appointment is at 8am, come into the salon at 7am to ensure that you are not just “there” when your client arrives, but you are prepared to begin servicing them, and the salon environment is ready for the day. Set all of the clocks in your house 10 minutes fast and stick to them not your cell phone. You will be able to check client loyalty off your list when they know that you are dedicated to your craft, and to servicing them.

4. Think Ahead

Take the time to think about constant improvements that can be made within the salon and ask your clients how they feel about them. For instance, you may have been thinking about removing the television from your salon, serving wine, or changing your hours to better fit their needs. Keeping your clients in mind and asking their opinion shows ambition and people love to be around ambitious people. Why? Because it fuels the “go-getter” in all of us and inspires others to do better for themselves.

5. Follow Up

Have new clients? After their first appointment, call them a couple days later to ask about how their hair is doing and how they enjoyed their service. A follow up call shows that you are not just interested in the client spending money, but that you care about the client. Not only will the client know that you care about them as an individual, but that you show integrity in your work.

6. Be Genuine

Everyone can spot a fake. Be sincere and genuine with all your words. Smile from your heart, show concern, and be truthful in everything you say. People are more inclined to genuine people. It speaks volumes of you. Be that person your client can count on to tell the truth and be sincere.

7. Keep it Clean

Your salon and your language. Salon cleanliness is so important to maintaing a solid base. Your clients can see clutter at home. Your salon is not the place for it. Devote 30 minutes each day to salon upkeep so that there are no big messes to tackle later. Also be mindful of your language. Steer clear of profanity or negative words. A positive environment is soothing for the soul and is appealing to everyone.

8. Look the Part!

We may not need to say this, but just in case! As a cosmetologist it is your responsibility to look your best everyday. Treat your salon like a day at the office. You want to put your best foot forward and project an image that your clients want to replicate. Want an extra bonus? Start living a healthier lifestyle with the foods you choose to eat and your activity. Your clients will want to know EVERYTHING about what keeps you fabulous, and will trust you to rub off on them.

9. Show Gratitude

Nothing wrong with being humble. How often do you tell your clients “Thank You” or express how much you appreciate their business? Do it more! The truth is, your clients are the ones that make your business successful and they should know how much you appreciate it! Send thank you cards to your clients randomly (hand written is best.) You can do a little at a time until you have sent one to all of them, but this shows so much character and appreciation! Your clients will be impressed.

10. Give Back

Do you support charities or give back to your community? Clients love to hear this! Try offering a fancy dinner to high school students that do well on their report cards, or serving food at shelters. Don’t forget to publicize your good deeds! Take pictures and save all letters of appreciation to you and keep all of it in the salon. Your clients will love knowing that when they spend their money with you, they are also giving back to their community.