Clients visit salons to get primped and pampered, but are you sending them out with an unintended side effect – increased stress levels?
Is your salon environment one that brings clients back, or do clients just endure the experience so that they can get a great look?
On the scale of results-oriented vs. experience-oriented businesses, salons definitely fall somewhere in the middle. Sure, we tout our luxurious environments, but the services that attract clients have visible, measurable results. Clients are often willing to overlook small hiccups in the experience to leave with the outcomes they were expecting: a beautiful hairstyle or elegant manicure. However, if your salon includes spa services with fewer measurable results, the overall experience becomes even more important.
It’s difficult to experience your salon environment like a client does when it’s where you live every day. Just like in your home, small glitches become part of the landscape. Hiring a mystery shopping service can be a very revealing investment, but at minimum, make a monthly practice of standing back and observing the interactive experience you create through the lens of a client.
When you call the salon to make an appointment, how does the receptionist answer the phone? Does someone respond calmly with a welcoming “smile” in their voice? Or is it more of a “Hellocanyouholdplease?” experience? If you’re placed on hold, do you hear soothing music or messages that help you to get the most out of your visit, or just silence?
Entering the salon can be an intimidating experience, and that can be compounded if the client feels unsure about where to go to check-in. Make sure that your check-in area is clearly identified and properly staffed. You know what they say – you only get one chance to make a first impression! If the reception area is filled with noisy activity, ringing phones and folks rushing about, that hardly sets the stage for a stress-free visit.
In your salon floor, there is already plenty of noise and activity, with people chatting and laughing and blow dryers going. Make sure that your music selection is appropriate to energize the staff but not to take over the experience.
As the client returns to the front desk to check out, they may find the same chaotic environment that existed when they checked-in. Hopefully at this point, someone behind the desk will at least remember their name and can quickly access their appointment information and inquire about retail purchases. Forcing the client to once again identify themselves or wait for the staff to look up their appointment or pricing increases anxiety.
A salon can be a fast-paced, high-energy environment, especially on busy days, which in your salon may be every day! Some clients enjoy the liveliness, but if it borders on chaotic, it becomes less enjoyable. Even though environment may not be your claim to fame, making sure that each aspect of the client experience is uplifting and enjoyable will increase the likelihood that the client will pre-book their return visit.
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