Customer service is the cornerstone of every business and everything we do in the salon industry.  The advantage of this aspect of our business is that the research is FREE!  Look around you and you will find examples of how to do it “right” and “wrong” are all around us.

One example, Catherine went out for dinner with some out-of-town friends.  She wanted to take them to a favored restaurant where there is a beautiful patio with views of the water.  After placing their order for the Chef’s four course meal, they were served two courses together and then had to wait another 55 minutes for the next course. In addition, it took so long for the server to come by and ask if anyone wanted a drink. When Catherine suggested their drink should be complimentary due to the wait, the server retorted, “Well, everyone is waiting for food!”  Bad attitude or bad training: I’ll let you decide.

When Catherine asked to speak with the manager it turned out that there wasn’t a manager on the premises; just the accountant.  The accountant came down to discuss the situation and resolved it to the guests’ satisfaction.  But lets face it, the bad taste is already in your mouth and it takes awhile to wash away.

Here’s what we can do to counteract any negative feedback from our customers or clients.

Systematize the Guest Path Experience

That means that you determine exactly how you want your guests treated and then you put it in writing and then you train, train, and train again!

Just think, in the case of Catherine’s experience, all that needed to happen was to have the server understand the situation and take the initiative to resolve it. Sometimes we can’t help running behind but we CAN make our clients feel great about it!  If you keep a client waiting more than twenty minutes, give them $20 gift voucher off any services that day.

If time is of the essence offer the services of another service provider or the opportunity to re-book their service, with a gift voucher included.  Remember, it isn’t about YOU!  It is about the service the CLIENT is receiving!

Create Experience Consistent Policies

A policy shouldn’t make you look out of touch or out of your mind.  If you have any policies in place that are simply wrong or that you know irritate customers or employees, what will you do to fix them ASAP? Determine how you want to make your guest feel and then make that experience consistent throughout every client visit.

Hire for Positive Attitude Always

Let’s make sure our staff understand that the weekend is a major buying experience for all those people who work Monday to Friday. No one wants to visit a business and be greeted with poor attitude. We recently went shopping, excited and the first at door. When is came to being greeted, it was very clear right off the bat that the sales associate was in a foul mood. Her energy immediately dampened our experience. Remember that presentation sets the mood. Customers who come in happy are more likely to leave happy.

So, in saying all of that we urge you to take a look at your business and evaluate how you play “the great game of customer loyalty!” As Donald Cooper says, “The simple truth about customer loyalty  – it’s not dead until you kill it!”