A salon experience to remember

28 Jan 2015 by Kitomba

With consumers increasingly expecting more from their salon visits, how are some of our most successful salons meeting the needs of today’s clients and delivering a more personalised experience?

Michael Beel – Buoy Hairdressing, Wellington


Michael Beel – Buoy Hairdressing, Wellington

As Creative Director of Buoy Hairdressing, Michael Beel discusses their move towards being a ‘destination’ location and rewarding client loyalty.

Buoy Hairdressing opened a medi-spa over 18 months ago. The extension allowed us to offer traditional beauty spa services, along with more in-depth treatments, including Botox, IPL and peels. This expansion in service menu has made Buoy a destination business for women and men’s beauty and hair needs. We also offer an array of alternative appointments for clients, sessions which include tips on how to do hair at home and services through our rewards program which introduces clients to beauty avenues they haven’t explored.

Being a destination location, we strive to make every visit special and want to reward our clients for 26 years of loyalty that money cannot buy. We’re constantly trying to improve on all aspects of the Buoy service and experience. With the recent shifts in economy, a lot of our clientele saw their employment positions alter drastically. In order to cater for this, we now offer more cost-effective services, such as part-line colouring.

In our industry, and due to the prices we charge, the expectations to satisfy are extremely high and so consistency in everything we do is paramount. We are continuously trying to enhance the customer experience and aesthetic enjoyment. We recently installed an upgraded heating and air-conditioning unit, as we’re essentially working in a glass house; hot in summer and cool in winter. This changed the comfort level for both clients and staff dramatically.

We constantly revamp our interior through paint change, and are about to undergo a change in our retail area. As a creative, we all personalise our services and become close with our clients. For instance, how I cut a bob is different from other staff members – it’s just different approaches to essentially the same cut. What needs to be consistent is the client satisfaction, and this takes training; ensuring our team realise the Buoy standards and levels that we don’t slip below.

We pride ourselves in our finishing work and are consistently training in this area. We have instigated a loyalty programme that creates a personalised rewards system for clients. A large portion of our clientele have been with Buoy a long time, and they visit the salon feeling like they are part of the family. This aspect is very important to us and every member of the team greet clients by their name, and acknowledge them throughout their appointment.

Mana Dave – Blaze, Auckland

Mana Dave Headshot

Mana Dave – Blaze, Auckland

Colour expert, educator and salon owner, Mana Dave, discusses Blaze’s core salon values, effective communication skills and creating a brand that wholly embraces what it stands for.

Our salon tagline is ‘BLAZE loves you’, so we make it clear we are committed to providing clients with quality care during their visit. We strive to enhance the sensorial experience of the client – different elements combined to stimulate the senses.

We offer an in-salon menu of complimentary herbal teas to help clients de-stress. Scented candles and diffusers are used to create a signature fragrance that they connect with the salon. The colour palette of the interior has been chosen specifically to denote a sense of comfort and familiarity, and we’ve selected capes that are practical but soft to the touch. These subtle elements play a large part in creating the type of experience we want for our clients without them being consciously aware of it.

We’ve used coloured panels of glass in a creative way to generate a sense of comfort and calm. As hairstylists, we’re fully aware of how colour impacts state of mind. The clever storage areas hidden behind the glass panels give an uncluttered feel, with concealed storage for tools and client’s personal belongings. Clear personal space, clear headspace. Our client chairs have a specially designed feature that allows them to be used as a ‘rocking chair’ to alleviate back discomfort and tension.

We’ve taken the approach of establishing Blaze as a strong brand connected with exceptional colour work and developed a reputation through a number of successes in high-profile, colour-based competitions. To compliment this, we streamlined our in-salon colour menu to make it simpler for clients to understand the provided packages where the treatment and blow-wave prices were all-inclusive.

From my experience, I’ve learned that a great client experience comes from two fundamentals. Firstly, have a clear idea of your team values and the type of salon culture you want your brand to be known for. And know that the quality of communication skills your team possesses is a direct connection to the quality of the client experience that your brand will become known for.

We have three core values – community, respect and self-development. When hiring, these values are front-of-mind and help us streamline the right candidates who will embrace the culture that is unique to us. It’s this foundation of values that helps us find like-minded stylists who believe in helping others achieve their goals with their personal sense of style.

We spend a considerable amount of time training our team on effective communication skills. It’s key to a successful client experience, as most issues that arise from client dissatisfaction stem from poor communication; either from the stylist not asking the right questions or by simply not listening to what the client says or incorrectly reading their body language. Once these two key components are fine-tuned, the cosmetic details of what defines your salon experience can be added into the mix.

Article supplied by Headway Magazine as part of their Summer 2014 edition. Check out Headway on Facebook

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