So you have done your training, got your qualifications and secured a position in a great salon. But the true secret of your success will largely depend on the client relationships that you establish within that salon environment.
A successful career in the hair and beauty industry demands far more than just technical know-how, with patience, compassion, genuine listening and effective communication skills also required. As a hairstylist you will need to be everything to everyone; a therapist, a friend, a mediator, even a counsellor. But one thing is for sure, if you get it right your clients will almost certainly come back for more. Studies have shown that clients base a whopping 85% of their decision making process to return to a particular stylist on the merits of that stylist as a person attributing just 15% to their technical prowess.
So you can already see how important good customer relationships are in this industry. It is often said that the success of a hairstylist is defined by their clients and as such you should never underestimate the importance of establishing these relationships. A client should leave looking and feeling a million dollars already looking forward to their next visit. Remember, great customer service is what separates you from the competition, from the other stylists or from the salon around the corner.
It’s all about you
With all the distractions of a busy salon it is not always easy to maintain your focus and give your clients the attention they deserve. However it is vital that every client that visits your salon is made to feel special, so always treat them the way that you would like to be treated yourself. When your client arrives acknowledge them and greet them with a smile, even if you are busy you can always make the time to make them feel welcome.
A great hairstylist will maintain a professional attitude at all times. Salons are creative and often vibrant places in which to work but you should always dress appropriately for the workplace, never too casual. Be aware that first impressions count. Your appearance can dramatically affect the way in which you are perceived by your client so always maintain a presentable client facing appearance. Be mindful not just of your own body language but also that of your client and respect their personal space. It may sound obvious but swearing or bad-mouthing others (especially other customers) is an absolute no-no. Always be punctual and remember that your customer’s time is precious too so, if you are running late, be sure to apologise and try to rectify the problem – perhaps they would like a coffee while they wait or would they rather reschedule?
Simply the best
When a customer visits your salon they are not only investing in a new look but in the whole salon experience. We have already seen that a client makes their choice of salon based largely on the stylist themselves aside from their skills and salon credentials. Their visit may be a well-deserved splurge or some much needed ‘me-time’. It is your job as their stylist to make their experience the best that it can be.
Turn that frown upside down
When working on the salon floor it is important to portray a positive and upbeat demeanor at all times. OK, so you may not be feeling on top of the world but that is exactly how your client should feel by the time that they leave your salon. Show the client your passion for the industry, your creative flair, your vibrant personality and always be eager to please and take pride in each and every haircut. If a client leaves feeling positive and empowered then they are almost certain to visit again.
Your client should always feel able to tell you any negative thoughts and opinions about their experience so it is vital that you as a stylist establish free flowing lines of communication with them. In order to establish a successful customer relationship you must be an excellent communicator and as such be able to take any criticism on board, act on it and turn it around to find a solution to the problem. Don’t take criticism personally, use it to your advantage and leave those channels of communication wide open.
The one and only
Each and every client that visits your salon deserves to feel special and as a stylist it is your job to ensure that they do. Remind yourself of some details about your client before they arrive, perhaps you could take a look at the original contact card they filled out. Do they have any particular interests? A family? Pets? Try and establish some common ground to break the ice and start the conversation but keeping chat relevant and professional at all times. During the consultation you should actively listen to what your client hopes to achieve from their visit and make sure that you both fully understand each other before you begin. Consider their lifestyle and make sure that the look that they are asking for will work for them in their daily life, but most of all make them feel special and appreciated.
Clients always like to be educated about new and relevant salon products but they do not like to be made to feel that they are being pressured into purchasing something that they hadn’t already budgeted for. Pressure selling could even prevent your client from making a return visit so simply offer them some well-informed advice and maybe recommend the products that you have already used on their hair today. A successful recommendation from a trusted stylist will not only result is repeat sales but also in repeat appointments. An overzealous sales pitch will not.
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