Customer service can be a distinguishing factor in an industry bursting with individuals and organisations offering the same products. How do you differentiate between one classic French manicure and the next? By the service that you received at the salon.
Richard Branson, arguably one of the world’s most famous businessmen, once said: “no matter how big you are, details count”. If you are thinking of opening your own salon or becoming a mobile beautician following the completion of our IAO Level 3 Diploma in Beauty Therapy Techniques (RQF), customer service will play a hugely important role in the success of your business.
Creating the perfect experience for your clients can lead to:
- Increased customer loyalty
- Increased word of mouth promotion
- Widespread brand awareness
- A full diary/appointments book
- Higher profits
You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money on changing your approach to customer service. Focus on these 10 simple tips and you’ll soon be reaping the rewards.
1. Provide Service with a Smile
Natasha Gordon, Co-Founder of The Trusted Beauty Guide states that by acknowledging a customer with a smile within the first 15 seconds of them entering your salon can have a huge impact. Smiling at a customer, especially if they are new to your business, relaxes them and ensures that they feel welcome and comfortable. If a ‘walk in’ client is not greeted by a friendly face, it’s highly likely that they won’t stay, and those that have booked for the first time are unlikely to come back.
2. Communication is Key
In a beauty salon or as a mobile beautician, you are providing personal and often intimate services to your clients. It’s incredibly important that you communicate clearly and find out exactly what they are looking for before carrying out any treatments. Whether you are giving a customer a manicure, reshaping their eyebrows or giving them a makeover, asking them to show you photographs of what they have in mind can be helpful to ensure that you deliver the desired results.
3. Keep the Salon Spotless
The toilets, treatment areas and the cups and glasses that you serve customers their refreshments in should all be spotless. Beauty stations littered with evidence of the previous customer are unhygienic and can be off-putting to other customers.
4. Keep the Customer Involved
Let your customer know what’s going on. Tell them why you’re carrying out certain procedures, what is coming next and how long they have left. This is particularly important for treatments where the clients’ eyes may be closed or if you are carrying out a treatment that they cannot see. It is poor customer service to leave your clients in the dark during intimate treatments, keeping them involved ensures that they remain confident in what you’re doing.
5. Know your Products
Customers will often ask about the products that you are using on them, or for you to recommend other products based on their hair and skin types or for a particular occasion. You need to know all of the products that your salon uses and sells in order to be able to upsell them to customers. As somebody operating within the beauty industry, not knowing about your products could lead to a lack of confidence in your skills and knowledge.
6. Stay in Touch with your Customer
Beauty salons can often run late leading to angry customers. Keeping in touch with your clients to keep them informed of changes to your schedule shows that you care about their custom and that your business values them. A simple phone call to a client, even if it’s just to let them know that you are running 10 minutes behind shows good customer service and can make a big difference.
7. Remember the Details
Last month you did your clients nails for a wedding, ask them how it was. You have another client in who’s having a facial as a birthday treat, how are they planning to celebrate? Remembering special events that your customer has mentioned to you will make them feel like they’re the only client that you deal with. If your client is a regular, remembering the colours that they usually go for on their nails, the lengths of the eyelashes that they like or whether they have their hair straightened or curled ensures that you’re prepared and can save time for both you and them.
8. Be Consistent
Having high standards across all services that you offer is important. Although you may specialise in one particular area, offering a poor service when carrying out other beauty treatments will lead to negative feedback and potentially, a lack of returning clients. Offering a multitude of beauty treatments in one place is convenient for a lot of people. Ensure that all of your standards are high across the board to upsell additional services!
9. Get all of your Staff Onboard
If you work in or manage a salon, ensuring that all of your staff know the standards of customer service that you expect from them is crucial. Regular customers will have ‘favourite’ beauticians, however, it’s not always possible for to get an appointment with a certain staff member. Training your staff to work to the same high standard reduces the risk of clients going elsewhere after receiving poor service.
10. Go Above and Beyond
American entrepreneur and founder of the J.C Penney stores, James Cash Penney once famously said “It is the service we are not obliged to give that people value most“. Visiting a beauty salon or having a treatment carried out by a mobile beautician often provides customers with an escape from the stresses of everyday life. Going above and beyond to provide quality customer service further enhances their experience.
Making a note of your customer’s usual drink order so that you can have it waiting for them on their next visit, giving a client a discount on their birthday or providing complimentary products to compensate for lateness can all encourage customers to tell their friends about you as well as to return themselves.
Putting it into Practice
The beauty industry is rapidly growing. Every year sees an increase in stand-alone beauty businesses, big name salons and mobile, self-employed beauty therapists. Differentiating your business in terms of the products and services offered can be difficult but customer service can be a game changer.
Customer service is invaluable in building your business and growing its reputation. When surveyed, only 42% of US respondents stated that they recommended a product or service that they enjoyed to other people. A staggering 75% told friends and loved ones about a bad experience. Negative feedback about your business will spread, fast, so ensuring that you’re offering customers the best experience possible limits this.
James Cash Penney said “Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement“. The public may be more likely to ‘spread the word’ if they’ve had a negative experience however, a huge 92% of consumers trust advice and reccommendations from people that they know making those ‘walking advertisements’ invaluable!