I often get asked: ‘what’s the secret to creating a successful and long-lasting salon business?’ The answer?
Create an exceptional client experience that will keep them as lifelong partners for your business.
Thinking of your clients as potential partners is key. The stats say 85% of customers come from referrals, and in just the same way you would personalise a haircut for each client, you should personalise the way you look after customers too. Creating an exceptional client experiencecan be anything from offering personalised gifts to structured loyalty schemes, it's vital you remember that when done well, your clients will become your biggest advocates and will bring your customers to your door.
Not only that, looking after your customers and adding that extra ‘wow’ factor to every experience they have with you will build their loyalty and keep them coming back time and again. And with a loyal client-base who are all too happy to spread the word about the great service you’re offering, your salon promotion begins to take care of itself over time!
Every person you encounter, whether a potential customer or not, should be treated like gold in order to turn them into a raving client.
New Zealand based serial entrepreneur and founder of Recognise & Reward Angela Pile (who has a long history in the hair industry then owned a client servicing business in the building industry) explains:
“One of our main success stories happened in the very first week that we opened our shop. We didn’t know anything about the business! I was at the shop by myself, in the 850 square meter showroom - a big space. A woman pulled up at the front and was looking for a wool shop on the same street. I didn’t know where the wool shop was, but I offered to make her a coffee from the machine in our showroom, while I looked for the location online for her. We started chatting, and after about 15 minutes she said to me: ‘I have a confession to make - my husband and I are building a house.’ From that one coffee, she ended up spending just under $150,000 dollars with us.”
This example from Angela's earlier business perfectly illustrates the benefit of going that extra mile and taking a customer-focused attitude to business 100% of the time.
“I could easily have said to her ‘I don't know where the wool shop is’” she continues, “but I’m so customer obsessed, I see every person as a potential new client. But I’m so customer obsessed, I see every person as a potential new client.”
This story is living proof that without using pushy sales tactics, but through simply providing an exceptional customer experience and service, even when someone isn’t looking for it, you stand to build great relationships which can lead to great possibilities.
In the salon industry, where the majority of our day is client facing, this customer experience is even more vital than ever. As Angela says, treat everyone as a potential client.
Maintaining your reputation was always key, and we can’t stress enough the importance of word-of-mouth for your salon business. Social media has served to heighten this even more - a good review can spread across the internet in a matter of seconds, and so it follows that a bad review can too. If something goes wrong, fix it, and go out of your way to let the client know you’re doing so. Reward your clients from the get-go, whether it be with a beautiful bespoke gift like those offered by Recognise & Reward, or a loyalty scheme which rewards your long-standing clients, there really is an art to client recognition, and extra effort will pay dividends.
Think about your business as a stage on which you are constantly on show. Do everything you can to be the best in class, and be completely customer obsessed, ensuring each and every person walks out of your salon having received an experience that will make them say ‘Wow!’ every time.
Recognise and Reward provide the perfect follow-on for your customers, an online service allowing businesses to reward their clients with a personalised gift to say, thank you.