What makes an award-winning salon? We visited Vivo Chancery Square in Auckland CBD, winners of New Zealand Hair Salon of the Year at The Industry Awards 2020, to find out the secret to their success.
We spoke with Peter Emery, Salon Manager at Vivo Chancery Square, his second in command, Cowan Wyatt, and Lynden Mason, Executive Director of Vivo Hair and Skin Clinics. Find out what they had to say about their New Zealand Hair Salon of the Year win by watching the video, and read their recipe for success below.
The recipe for an award-winning salon with Vivo Chancery Square
When the team at Vivo Chancery Square decided to enter The Industry Awards‘ New Zealand Hair Salon of the Year award, they spent an entire year doing everything they could to turn their dream into reality.
Their hard work paid off, taking out the prestigious title for 2020, and here’s how they did it.
Develop a reputation for excellence
Vivo Chancery Square’s reputation for excellence has led to the salon receiving five star reviews online and attracting an inflow of new clients as a result, Peter explained.
“When I ask people how they found out about us, they usually said they looked online and saw our five star ratings.
“Vivo Chancery is unique because the quality that we put out at our salon is of a high standard. The execution of our work is very important and we have to be on top of our game. All our staff are educated to be able to provide a great service. We’re an award winning salon, and people want to come to a salon where the staff are caring, award-winning people who are great at what they do.”
Provide an outstanding client experience
Part of what helped to create a reputation for excellence is the client experience offered at Vivo Chancery, which Cowan said begins with a warm welcome.
“Here at Vivo Chancery we treat each other’s clients as our own clients, and when a client walks through the door we make them feel that way with how we welcome them. They sometimes comment even before they sit down that they know they’re in the right place,” Cowan explained.
Peter agreed: “Yes, that gets said at least once a day, and that makes me feel really good. I have contact with every client that comes in here and make sure that when they leave I’m there to say goodbye to them.”
After making a client feel welcome, Cowan said the client experience continues with a thorough consultation and realistic expectations of results.
“I try to give the most thorough consultations so I can know exactly what the client wants, because often they don’t know the terms that we use. They can show us a photo, but it’s always going to be different on a different head of hair and face shape. So I think if you can explain exactly how it’s going to come out, and you’re on the same page, they’re going to leave happy.”
Lynden said providing an outstanding client experience is important because it naturally leads to increased client retention.
“At Vivo our main focus is repeat customers. For us it’s a success when we get people who come again and again, and the way that we aim to achieve that is by focusing on the experience. What we believe is that it’s not enough to be technically brilliant, it’s about how you make people feel, how they enjoy their time in the salon, how they feel listened to and heard. For us, it’s about the complete customer experience – that’s what truly leads to success.”
Both Peter and Cowan credit Vivo for giving them the support and opportunities they needed in order to take their careers to the next level.
Peter said Vivo has helped him to achieve a successful hairdressing career in his senior years.
“At Vivo I have exceeded what I thought I was capable of. I’ve got great staff and I’ve been able to educate my staff to the Vivo values; love it, own it and grow it,” he explained.
Cowan agreed, explaining how much support he’s received from Vivo.
“I feel the same way as Peter – I feel very lucky that, at a young age, Vivo has given me the opportunities that they have.”
Peter and Cowan’s stories are not unique at Vivo, Lynden said Vivo works hard to create an environment where people can follow their own career paths and feel supported to pursue their dreams.
“It’s different for every team member, and we’re successful when we’re able to cater to all those different career pathways that people want to achieve.”
Use salon software to its full potential
In addition to supportive leadership, developing a great reputation and providing an outstanding client experience, Peter, Cowan and Lynden all said their salon software was another contributing factor to their success.
While Kitomba helps Vivo’s many locations to effectively manage their day-to-day and fill their appointment books, the comprehensive reporting offered by Kitomba has enabled them to take the business to the next level, Lynden explained.
“For me as a business owner, Kitomba delivers all the key information that we need for our business. We believe that KPIs are important but it’s about focusing on the right KPIs. KPIs are numbers, but what they represent is actual behaviours and outcomes and experiences that happen in salons. So what Kitomba does brilliantly is it turns experiences into numbers that you can measure and monitor, and makes it really easy to do that.”
Final advice for business owners
Lynden said: “My one piece of advice for other business owners would be to value your staff. Create an environment in your salon that allows your staff to be themselves; that allows them to achieve and develop as people. Try not to micromanage, but instead trust in people and build ways for them to succeed, and achieve their version of success.”
Cohen: “Think long term. Don’t just think about how much money you can make that day. It’s about building relationships with your clients. If you do that, you’ll be where you want to be before you know it.”
Peter: “My piece of advice is to look after your staff. Make your staff feel special, make them want to come to work. Educate them and create a safe haven for them so they can work at the capacity you’d like them to work at.”
Want to find out if Kitomba can help your business thrive like it has for Vivo Chancery Square? Book your free demo!
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