How often do you truly put your clients’ needs first?

The word service is an all-encompassing word that covers a wide range of activities, but in the beauty industry, the most important definition of service is, “putting someone else’s needs ahead of our own”. All too often we get caught up in our own problems and as a result, we forget the true reason we are in the salon: to serve others!

Maybe the idea of “service” wasn’t what you were thinking of when you went to work in the beauty industry.  After all, isn’t it really about art and creating fashion?  We provide a service.  We perform a service.  We give service.  We talk about customer service.  But do we understand exactly what it is we are offering our clients?  Clients pay our salaries and pay the costs of running our businesses, so we provide value to the client by offering superior customer service and recognizing and recommending other services when the need arises.

Good service means having an understanding of the inventory on your shelves, your experience with the products and aiding your clients in making the best choices.  Holding back on professional recommendations does NOT aid your ability to provide great service.

Great service is when you truly listen to your clients, to their words, tone of voice, and even body language they will let you know what it is they want and need and how you can provide those services. Customers don’t buy products, they buy stories, good feelings and solutions to their problems.  The more you know your clients, the more you will be able to satisfy their needs.

People value sincerity and transparency.

Use your empathy and anticipate your clients’ needs. Put aside your personal issues and feelings when you walk in the door of your business and make your clients your only concern.  By making them feel important and appreciated, you will find that the good feelings you generate in your client comes back to you. Clients are sensitive and will know whether you really care about them.  Remember to use their names whenever possible and thank them every chance you get!

If you are one of the lucky salon businesses to have systems in place, make sure that your customers/clients understand your system.  Take the time to explain your re-booking procedures and how each service is orchestrated.

One of the best ways to gain client loyalty and trust, is by solving problems and how to apologize with grace.  This is the salon industry and things can go wrong even at the best of times!  Have systems in place that handle any issue and deal with them immediately.  Make it easy for clients to complain and then value their complaints.  Even when we dislike it, it will give us an opportunity to improve.

We always like to say, “under promise and over deliver”! Give your clients more than they expect, and think about what you can give them that they won’t get anywhere else. Finally, treat your staff as your number one customer. When they feel valued, they will pass those experiences on to their friends and family.  Appreciation starts at the top.