Warning! Some salon owners may be offended by this article.
Why? Because I am going to share some of my salon customer experiences from a clients point of view and it’s probably not what you want to hear!
But first, let’s look at what is salon customer experience?
What is Salon Customer Experience?
Salon customer experience is; The result of the interaction between your salon and client, throughout the entire relationship.
Good salon customer experience means that the client experience matches your client’s expectations at all times. Meaning, the salon customer experience is the client’s perception of their overall experience in the salon, not yours.
The salon customer experience starts from the first point of contact with your salon business. The first contact may be made via your website, a phone call, social media channels or even review sites. Your clients are evaluating their experience all the way. Some potential clients may not even progress through this stage if they don’t like what they see, read or hear.
The salon customer experience then progresses to the salon treatment stage, including the salon environment, cleanliness, style, treatment, waiting times and service. Your salon is being evaluated by the client every step of the way. Additionally, the payment process, further follow-up contact and future marketing campaigns and correspondence are also part of the overall client experience.
Remember, the perception of your business is a fragile and changeable entity. Every interaction is part of the salon customer experience. So, understanding the importance of each interaction is necessary.
These days clients have so much choice in choosing a salon, spa or barbershop. So keeping a client loyal is a real skill that you need to develop.
Furthermore, the client has all the power. Why? Because clients have the benefit of review sites and social media. Sharing their complaints or poor client experiences on social media can have a detrimental effect on your salon’s reputation.
However, the sharing of a positive salon customer experience can be a powerful marketing tool for you. Online review sites are equally powerful drivers of business.
How valuable is the Salon Customer Experience?
Answer = Extremely Valuable.
The following is a list of advantages your salon will see when you have provided your client with an exceptional salon customer experience.
- Improved client loyalty
- Increased rebooking rate
- More referrals
- Positive online reviews
- Positive social media reviews
- Improved client retention rate
- More revenue
Loyal clients become your greatest marketing ambassadors. According to Neilson global trust, 84% said they trust the recommendations made by friends and family. Imagine if you provide an excellent salon customer experience to every one of your clients, and they sing your praises to friends and family or even online. That is pretty powerful marketing, plus its absolutely free.
Are you listening now?
Spilling the Beans on My Own Salon Customer Experiences.
So here goes, some salon owners might read this and groan, Oh no, not another whinger!
However, I assure you, these issues have negatively impacted how I view a salon and I am sharing them purely to help you see things from a clients perspective.
Furthermore, I have never actually told these salon owners why I had gone elsewhere. And you know what?
Statistics show a whopping 91% of customers choose not to complain and walk away from your business, just like I have done. So I am definitely not alone here.
As you will see, some of these experiences I have encountered would be very hard to bring up with the treatment provider, so instead of bringing up an embarrassing topic, I just walked away.
I want all salon owners to see that it isn’t just a botched haircut or a poor treatment that push clients to leave, but more subtle things you may not consider. So here goes:
Poor Time Management – Your clients time is as valuable as yours. Nobody likes to be left waiting for lengthy periods. Especially when it’s a regular occurrence.
Loud Music – Are we in a nightclub or a salon? Salons are places that people go to unwind, relax and get pampered.
Stinky Fingers – I know, gross right! Hands near faces need thorough washing. I don’t want to smell onions, garlic, fish or your cigarettes. Eww, just eww!
Poor Salon Hygiene – OMG…clean your toilets! Plus, make sure your toilet door has a lock. I had never felt so vulnerable as when I was wrestling a cape, a full head of foils and a toilet door that did not lock in a unisex salon.
Poor Personal Hygiene – Nope, I don’t like smelling your body odour or bad breath. I just don’t.
Animals – I am a big animal lover, but I don’t want to leave a salon with cat hair on my clothes and up my nose. Same goes for dogs running around the shop. I seriously have encountered both.
Poor Salon Etiquette – Before getting laser treatment in intimate areas, I was told to strip off but was not given a towel or robe to cover myself. I felt extremely vulnerable in a busy salon. Just because you do these treatments every day and nakedness doesn’t bother you, this may not be so for the client.
No Head Massage – Come on, guys. Everybody looks forward to a lovely head massage at the basin. It’s a cheap way to make your clients feel wonderful.
No Beverages on Offer – Always offer your client at least a drink of water or even have a jug and cups on the counter. Some lengthy treatments call for hydration. Even better, offering a coffee or tea with a biscuit is always welcome and improves the salon customer experience.
Uncomfortable chairs – Try spending 2-3 hours in a crappy chair. Not fun.
Distracted staff – It’s just plain rude to keep someone waiting while you are just gossiping with your colleagues. Show your clients they are worth your time and attention.
Moaning – I go to a salon to relax, not to hear about the fight you had with your husband or your family drama. Leave the venting for your friends.
Phone etiquette – Hello, are you still doing my foils or have you forgotten because you are chatting on the phone to a friend. Unprofessional and downright rude.
No SMS reminders – We all have busy lives, and I appreciate a text to remind me about my upcoming appointment.
Bill Shock – What?!? Why have I been charged for a service I didn’t ask for. Always be upfront about any additional treatments you provide and how much they cost.
Poor outcomes – Providing a thorough consultation will ensure you and your client are on the same page. Read how to provide a great consultation here.
Salon location – No parking nearby is a deterrent but not necessarily a deal-breaker if the service is up to scratch.
Inconsistent Treatment – Clients want to feel confident that each treatment or service will be as good as the last. Inconsistent results reduce trust in your abilities.
Poor Problem Resolution – If the client isn’t happy with the service, fix it. I stayed with my hairdresser for 20 years. Why? Because if I wasn’t satisfied with my hair, she always took the time to see me and rectify the problem as best she could. This fostered trust and loyalty.
No Magazines – Who doesn’t love to read some recent quality magazines? Clients find it immensely pleasurable to sip a cuppa and read a mag during treatments. Plus, don’t forget, if your clients are coming back every 6 to 8 weeks, new magazines are a must. Sitting in a salon for 2-3 hours can be very boring.
No Loyalty Program – Who doesn’t love a gift here and there? I love to be surprised with a discount or freebie once in a while. I feel that I am a valued customer and worth a special treat. Read how to implement a great salon loyalty program.
Talking During a Massage – Apart from asking if the pressure is right, I don’t want to have a conversation when I am having a relaxing massage. If you are talking to your clients while you massage them, please stop. It ruins the customer experience.
Time to Freshen up – I don’t know about anybody else, but I always look red and dishevelled after a facial or other skin treatments. It’s not hard to provide a mirror for your clients to check their appearance and touch up their makeup before they come out to pay.
Okay, so I know I have been brutally honest about some of the more subtle things that have bothered me over the years. However, I have written this to show you how little annoying things can add up to losing a client. Furthermore, it may have nothing at all to do with the treatment or service you have provided but rather the overall experience your clients have.
Remember, the salon customer experience starts as soon as a client views your website, social media or reviews. So make sure these essential aspects of your business are in order.
Providing an excellent salon customer experience from start to finish is critical in creating loyal clients who are more than happy to refer your salon to friends and family. Furthermore, providing a consistent and outstanding experience will have a positive effect on the reviews you receive from your clients. These reviews are a powerful and free marketing tool that helps make your salon a success.
To help create an enjoyable salon customer experience in your salon, why not consider using Neko to help you out. Neko can provide you with all the tools you need to create an excellent salon experience. Such as SMS reminders, loyalty programs, marketing campaigns and much, much more. With Neko, you can even measure your client retention stats and the health of your business with the valuable reporting features included in every package.
Why not try it for yourself. Sign up today for a free 14-day trial. https://www.getneko.com/free-trial/
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