Going the Extra Mile for your Beauty Clients
BUT one thing cannot be guaranteed; the one thing that will keep you employed and your business running... THE CLIENTS!
In these difficult economic times, gaining and keeping hold of a loyal client base is facing up to be every salon’s main challenge, much more than it ever used to be. With the market place flooded with new salons and mobile therapists, the few remaining clients out there, with money to spend on themselves, can be spoilt for choice and are thus much less willing to part freely with their hard-earned cash.
Many treatments, such as waxing and nail services, are still in high demand, as they are difficult to do in the client's own home. Treatments such as massages and facials however, are becoming much more of a luxury “treat” to many clients, and they are much more likely to see them as non-essential. Some people may have more important things to spend money on instead.
Clients are now much more likely to be shopping around for bargains in different salons, rather than staying loyal to only one. They are looking for more value for money, which in itself is not a problem. What you do to keep them coming back is more important.
The one thing that can set salons head and shoulders above their rivals is outstanding customer service. Going the extra mile to make customers feel special and valuable is a skill every therapist should have and put into practice at every opportunity.
Here are a few simple hints and tips to start you off on the right foot
The salon ambiance. This tip is aimed at salon owners, I cannot stress this point highly enough: BUY GOOD COFFEE! And serve it beautifully. As silly as this may sound I promise you is can make a huge difference to your chances of returning clientèle. If a client is waiting offer them a choice of beverages from a refreshment menu and serve it in a beautiful cup & saucer, with a chocolate or a small biscuit. This is simple and inexpensive but these little touches will get your clients returning. Make instant coffee & powdered milk a salon no-no and watch the difference it makes to your profits!
And don’t forget reading material in the waiting area in reception. Keep the magazines current and in date.
Loyalty cards Take a leaf from the major supermarket’s books and encourage your clients to return to your salon with a loyalty card. the promise of points to use against products or treatments, every time they have made a purchase or had a treatment will mean that they feel they are gaining something back in return. It's a win-win for both you and your clients as they will be encouraged to return to collect more points and look forward to collecting enough to have a free product or treatment - who doesn’t love a freebie?
Birthday cards Send your clients birthday cards with a voucher to spend towards their birthday treat or, if your salon can afford it, the card could contain an invitation to pop in and choose a free birthday gift in the form of a treatment or product. This way the client feels special as you remembered them and are thus more inclined to return.
What’s in a name?
Where appropriate always use your clients first name and never forget to tell them yours! I've been guilty myself on very busy days in the salon of forgetting to introduce myself and just “getting on" with a brow shape or wax!
This does you no favours as you will come across standoffish, and even if you have done a wonderful treatment your client won't ask for you again as she did not catch your name!!
When using your record cards to write down your client’s treatment information make a note of certain points of the conversation you had. Now I don't mean in the form of an essay but just some highlights I.e. special occasions coming up. Was she talking about her favourite television programme or book she was currently reading or holiday she was booking? These little pieces of information are easily forgotten by the time you have moved onto the next client, but by writing them down next time "Mrs Jones" comes in for her treatment you can have a quick read of her record card and continue your conversation where you left off e.g. how did your holiday go? How did your book end?
By practising this simple method of reminding yourself about your client it will go a long way to make her feel special, remembered and important to you! This will ultimately gain client loyalty.
Every client is important
Treat every client with the same respect, from the ones who are spending hundreds of pounds on expensive treatments and products, right down to the one who comes in once every 4 weeks for a £5 brow tidy.
They are all important to the salon’s business, no matter how much they spend.
You would think this goes without saying, but rudeness is one way to alienate a client from your salon for life. Go out of your way to be courteous and pleasant at all times.
Don't talk about yourself too much!
I always remember my first beauty tutor telling me 25 years ago.....
- A beauty therapist NEVER is ill
- Never moans
- Never has problems with her home life/boyfriend
- Never is down!
- Is ALWAYS courteous and polite
- And loves her clients like they are family
Basically what she was trying to get across is that the client does not come into the salon to hear the therapists grumbles about her life etc. The client comes to a salon to feel special and pampered and escape the rigours of her work or home life. She is the important one in the treatment room NOT the therapist! Ask her how her week has been; ask her how her family is etc. Try to keep the conversation light and focused, on her NOT you!
She will leave the salon feeling looked after and think her therapist is a good listener and interested in her well-being
This goes a long way towards building loyalty as we all like to feel listened to and that people have time for us.
Every salon should use these, in case you have run out of stock of a product that you have recommended or that a client has come in to buy. Take your clients details and make sure you phone her as soon as it is back in stock. You could also offer to take payment and when it's in stock have it delivered straight to the client’s door. This is a good way of keeping your client satisfied and also benefits the salon in case she decides to buy the same product elsewhere .
Follow up call
After performing treatments such as glycolic facials or electrolysis I always like to give my clients a follow up call about three days after the treatment, to ask how they are getting on with the results. Ultimately the follow up call is a way of making them feel more valued and remembered .
Visit our career hub for more workplace tips