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The hair salon: Honesty with clients relationships formed

08 Feb

Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR: 

 Regular postings of fresh new topic’s.

A place to share thoughts post comments and idea’s on matters relating to hair colouring skill and techniques and anything industry related.

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How do we respond to the issue’s and demands that face us in todays salon?

In todays economy? How do we get that edge? How can we compete and attract new business and indeed retain our existing client base? Should we discount? If so how? If yes why? Should a long term client expect special treatment? A deal?

It’s is my view that if we are doing our job properly we should not have to discount. What is properly?  Service. Attentiveness.Skill .Professional and honest advise. Knowledge.Creativity.Passion. If you go to the dentist every 6 months do they offer discount for their service? I think not.

We need to cherish our clients outstanding service consultation genuine caring.

For me as a stylist giving back would be working with community to help raise awareness on certain issues, Charity work fund raising. Making a difference improving things for many. Not just giving out the odd discount to make someone feel extra special!  Check out raising funds locally for cancer relief. Your local addiction centre. Maybe a children’s charity, Aids research, choose a cause that works for you and your staff support it as a team and as a business. When asked for a discount you can say ‘sorry rather than discount we support our given charity’

How many new clients come through our door only to leave never to be seen again?                                                                                                                 

Maybe instead of constantly trying to attract new business we should concentrate on the business we have. It is a fact that over 25% of clients that visit a salon never return.Why is this? Be honest time to look in the mirror ! have we let things in salon slide? Are we paying attention to our clients need wants expectations? Does the salon represent who your are what you do? Does it all come together to make a statement?

‘Welcome we are open for business how can we help you’ 

Looking into the topic of Service that ultimate salon experience:

This by definition is a total package of pampering making our clients feel very special affording a very unique standard of service this can be the environment created the atmosphere furnishing image all key to this experience. This being said we must not detract from importance education knowledge and communication all the tools required for the ultimate consultation. In so many cases the consultation is either very short rushed none caring uninformative.

It does not matter how much time energy and money are committed to the visual the comfort level the service the overall  experience if the  package is not supported by honest caring hands on service from a knowledgeable stylist.The consultation should be your time to shine but it’s also your time to connect with your client  make them feel at ease discover the issues the history of the their hair what brings them to you.

Taking a journey together:
Discover what you can do for them how you can take a journey together to reach their desired goals discuss condition, image, look find out what makes your client comfortable putting people at ease yet taking control comes with experience assure them that everything is possible it just takes time patients and a game plan.I read one comment that suggested turn the conversation to what they client needs and wants! How can we do this if we do not take the time to discover who they are and what those needs and wants might be!

We have to take the time to ask all the right questions and listen to the response. It is not about us or what we think is needed it is up to us to discover unlock those inner needs. The skill is patients and asking the right questions. It is my experience that women do know what they want sometimes by finding out what they don’t want we get an idea of a direction to move toward. The skills we need go far beyond those of just wanting to do hair. To truly succeed we need to be skilled and versed in so many fields communication public and human relations.

I also think that it’s very important to touch on the topic of boundaries we cannot please every client we cannot take the same journey with everyone. Sometimes after a consultation we just know that this is not going to be a fit have the courage to say you don’t think this will work trust me when I say you get more respect and it will not effect your business to have clear and defined boundaries.

In some cases it’s all about the deal. If the deal is the expectation of discount maybe this is not who you want to work with. Making some one feel special and look great offering sound advise solving hair issues is the business we are in. If it takes a discount to make someone feel wanted and special. Then maybe they need to find a discount chain.For the chances are they will never be happy with their hair or the salon or stylist! It is not failure to not get involved it is failure to let your EGO say i can deal with this rather than admitting it’s not a fit and adviser maybe a different stylist or salon.

Lets take a look into our make believe salon: Have that consultation together. This could be you the stylist or you the client!

It could be any where any town on any high street maybe as you read you will think hey that’s me that’s us.

I’m booked into a local salon having been recommended by a friend that the stylist here was very attentive very talented offered excellent service. I’m excited a new stylist a new vision a new look! My friend had been on a Saturday and said the place was very busy another good indication or so we like to think . I work Saturdays Tuesday is my day off My appointment booked  i arrive a little before my appointment I hate being late. It’s 10am as I enter the salon a young lady look up from the reception desk she is on the phone smiles and indicates i should take a seat. It’s early i know but the places is empty!

The receptionist look up having finished on the phone and says can I help you I inform her who I am and that I have an appointment with [ stylist ] she looks at the book vague look on her face then says oh sorry she is not in today I have booked you with [new stylist] not the one recommended, Oh that’s a shame I was recommended oh they never work Tuesdays hum! so why was I not told this when I made the appointment instant unease.Two very young looking stylist appear from the back of the salon talking with each other as they get nearer to the reception i am introduced to one of them as your next client [ warning lights are going off]

This young person takes me to a chair stops chewing her gum long enough to introduce her self to me and say what are we doing  for you today all the time talking to me in the mirror looking at her self.

Time to leave  !!

Are you laughing yet of course this is not you! is it? Trust me it happens all the time and then stylist wonder why they loose business and clients. Yes maybe a bit extreme but i have seen this situation many times. What should this experience for our client be this person who we want to build a relationship with this person the we hope will recommend us and the salon for the service and skill we provide and offer.

The Service the consultation and linked they are both key to success.

From the moment a client enters into a salon the experience begins those first impressions the look the feel of the place the atmosphere.

That first greeting that welcome normally receptionist or a salon staff member who job is to meet and greet. This is a hugely important role if given this role, don’t turn it down it’s a way to hone your people skill.

With new clients some salon will have a questionnaire this is great for both stylist and client it show the salon cares it puts the client at ease whilst waiting for her appointment maybe whilst having a coffee or tea.

From a stylist point of view it gives us back ground information so we can ask the right questions during our consultation without information. How can we give sound advise. Once this has been filled out as a stylist i think it’s important to come a meet your client introduce your self to the client you should already know your clients name this should be on your personal day agenda sheet.

Yes a list of clients for the day].

The service they are hoping for and weather they are new or return or recommend clients. I say hoping for because with out having a consultation all the facts how can we decide what is possible !! we cannot.

Trust me when i say i have seen many stylist work out their days take before the day starts. I have worked with one stylist  who would get into work look at the day sheet and get all the tubes of colour out for that day putting them aside, how could you possible know what a client wants in advance of them of talking with them. How boring ! well this stylist was really very boring personality of a  dead fly!!!

Back to the plot 

First impression count how you look and present your self says who you are its all about the image you project your dress hair makeup! that look that says this is me! what can i do for you? We have introduced our self walked our client though to our work station this area is representative to who you are how you work , untidy dirty chaos does not work! With the clip board on your lap sit next to your client  eye level eye contact remember you have some information to hand so use it. Not what are we doing today !

‘How about’

I see from the information you have kindly filled you you had a hair cut 6 weeks ago  how has that been working out for you. How manageable have you found it as it’s grown out. when that leads into what brings you here today how can i help all leading  open ended questions. This now leaves the door open for easy conversation you have relaxed your client you are starting to build trust.

Personal routine, products used, if chemical service has been carried out on the hair even if not being re done on this occasion it still needs to be touched on for future booking and for advice and comment. Never ever put a colour chart on a clients lap and say what colour do you want today it’s our job as professionals to advise on colour that can work and look stunning. Having established History and indeed wish list we can move on the recommendations.

Style. Look Length. Colour. Products. Styling tips. Maintenance be honest.I like to refer to a relationship as taking a journey together that with patients honesty open the doors to endless possibilities.In closing having a fully booked day is what most stylist long for consistently busy, but consider when fully booked or over booked we lose clients ! Why however good we are the standard of service drops.

Don’t take short cuts, keep clients waiting, you sacrifice your standards for a few extra £££ or $$$$. If you do this and you do more damage than good a dissatisfied client will go else where taking her friends with her! it’s

Service. Reliability. Service consultation. Service. Skill. Oh! Did I mention          

                                             More Service!!! 

It’s not. Discount to buy a relationship buy a client! Salon and business: Support help advise.

Mike B2MR

http://www.back2myroots.co.uk/

If you need a little help advise a little one one time maybe you feel you would like your team to step things up need help i’m just a phone call or e-mail away.

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