Your Instagram page is hot! Amongst your followers you list people from across the globe and even other industry professionals. You have thousands of Facebook followers, mint photos, gorgeous branding, stunning models, a swag of relatable hashtags. You have so much going on. You’ve got high tech gadgets, luxe fittings and your space looks incredible. You’ve branded everything in sight, from towels and coffee cups to surveys, t-shirts, caps, business cards and vouchers. Everything’s matchy-matchy.
It appears your business is absolutely killing it. But is it?
Are those countless social media followers actually flocking to your salon, spa or clinic? Did you keep the clients who booked in during your celebrity ambassador campaign? And were they A-grade clients?
Be honest. If your appointment book has more gaps than an old picket fence and your sales statistics take you on a roller coaster ride, you’re not killing it. Probably the only thing going up is your expense chart.
It’s easy to get caught up in what you think you should be doing – the fun and fancy stuff, rather than the mundane. The truth is this: boring is profitable. All that glitz and shine looks great but if it’s not growing your bottom line, you need to re-think it.
So what’s going on?
Marketing your business successfully is like a diet. You buy the membership, you have the jazzy key ring, you tag yourself in photos at the gym, you eat the protein bars but you still can’t build muscle or lose weight. That’s because the boring stuff isn’t getting done – eating healthy, weighing foods, preparing foods and even counting macros day in, day out is boring! We all know it works. We’d just rather take the easy way.
The same goes with fun and fancy marketing. The key to success isn’t the dollars spent, it’s the day-to-day basics that underpin your plan. In our industry, the foundation is great customer service. Nailing every client’s journey every time is a success factor that far outweighs any marketing investment.
Here’s how you do it, step by step
1. An amaZING welcome
Have an open discussion with your team about how to greet a client at the salon door. Have a large team? Split them up and ask them to put together a step-by-step procedure for a salon ‘Welcome System’. Ask them to present and discuss what they’ve come up with.
Combine the best ideas to create your new ‘Welcome System’. Everyone on your team has input, ownership and accountability for sticking to the system. They feel part of making your salon, spa or clinic amazing.
2. A cracker of a client consultation
Follow-up your ‘Welcome System’ with similar exercises to create ‘systems’ for client consultation, answering the phone, wrapping a client for a colour, processing a refund, right down to making the perfect cappuccino. Once your systems have been created, add everything into your salon, spa or clinic manual for easy and quick reference.
Place a client feedback survey (with a pen) at each station, so it’s easy for your client to provide feedback. Arrange an automated survey to go out to each client after each visit. They might not fill it out every time, but you’re giving them the chance to tell you straight away if they’re not 100% satisfied.
Be proactive. Call all new clients from the previous week and ask about their recent salon experience with you. And, if they didn’t rebook, ask them why? Ask how their experience with your team could be even more amazing.
3. A foolproof finish
Are you still asking clients if they’d like to rebook? If so, you’ve probably missed something during your consultation.
During the service, you should be discussing the client’s plan, for example, ‘You’ll need to come back for your next treatment in four weeks time.’ Or, ‘I’d love to see how you’re going with your new fringe.’
Instead of ‘Would you like to rebook?’ try something like, ‘I’ll get Jane to organise that next appointment for you’ or ‘In four weeks time, I have an 11am or 2pm on Wednesday; which one suits best?’
Your process might follow through with helping your client put their jacket on and walking them to the door. Whatever you decide is the right ‘farewell system’ for your salon, spa or clinic, make sure you’re all doing the same thing. It’s all part of wowing each client and making them feel special.
Keep it up
Let’s look at how you maintain your new system. Your grand new plan isn’t a flash in the pan. It’s always. The moment you slip is the moment you lose a client.
Like all new procedures you must monitor that it’s being followed every time and that you’re delivering great customer satisfaction. How? By looking, listening, asking for feedback from clients, having feedback forms. Forever.
By perfecting and executing these salon ‘systems’ alone, you’ll be putting your salon on the road to success. You need to put them on repeat – over and over again.
Just keep reminding yourself – boring is profitable. Know that when you’re relentless about delivering excellent customer service every time, you create a cohesive team, an efficient salon and a much bigger bank balance. Now, who doesn’t want that?
All that marketing glitz and glamour? It’s the cherry on top. Your customer service is the cake – make it deliciously irresistible and you’ll keep them coming back for more.
Estelle is a salon coach at The ZING Project. To get in contact with Estelle reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or join our private Facebook group: ‘ZING inspired salon collective’.