1. Look at your customer’s experience from the outside in
When we’re thinking about new customer service angles in our own hair or beauty business, we tend to fall back onto familiar ground, look for patterns that worked for us before, and rely on our past norms and assumptions.
Yet, when we look at someone else’s situation we are much more likely to approach it with an open mind. We come to it fresh. How many times have you heard yourself say, “If that were my business I’d do…”
It’s because we’re not bogged down by our past business experiences, worries and prejudices. We’re not frightened of failure, or of looking foolish – because it’s not our business.
Thus freed up, our brains become more creative, innovative, even radical.
2. Brilliant client experiences start… elsewhere
Look outside the hair and beauty industry for brilliant customer experience inspiration.
The hospitality sector has much in common with our industry and makes a good place to start.
It isn’t always the ones with the flashy rooms and the scrummiest food that make the headlines. You only have to dive into TripAdvisor to understand it’s typically the total customer experience that drives reviewers to rave, or to rant.
So indulge in a spot of restaurant research – there are worse ways of spending an evening. Pick one. Then really scrutinize your experience.
How did you first discover them? Online review, food critic, their website or on social media? Whichever it was, focus on that first impression. Pull it apart. What are they doing that you could do in your salon?
Now move onto the booking. What exactly made you feel great/indifferent about the experience?
I’ll leave you to enjoy your meal. Just remember, the devil is in the detail.
3. Is your salon trapped in a dead end?
Many of us are guilty of creating cul-de-sacs in our salons and spas.
Business ‘full stops’ I call them. We’ve gone so far down a route we don’t feel we can turn back.
You need to look beyond these customer care cul-de-sacs. But it is difficult. We’re hemmed in by what we see around us, the time we’ve already invested and our perceptions of the world.
So my third tip is: Make time to be creative.
This tip doesn’t happen in the hustle and bustle of the salon, but in the quiet time you make.
It’s difficult to just sit and stare and think. But if you want to take your salon customer care to the next level you’d be wise to make this time.
4. Learn from the best in the hair and beauty business
Having given your mind its creative free rein you’ve hopefully hatched some great ideas for improving your client’s salon experience.
Now, and only now, see what others in the hair and beauty business are doing to create something special for their clients. Combine your exciting new ideas with the best in our industry.
I’m often surprised how rarely salon and spa owners do mystery shops. I’m in and out of hair and beauty businesses all day – they are my greatest source of insights and learning.
Book in as a client (incognito, of course) at the best business-orientated successful salon you can find. It’s well-worth your investment of time and money. Don’t skimp – go to the best.
Then watch, listen and look. Ask discreet questions. And learn.
Standing out from the crowd is hard
When you’re chasing your tail, running your salon business, it’s often difficult to see the wood from the trees.
Just staying up with the pack is headache. Being different and being exceptional takes what can seem like superhuman effort. Yet if you want your hair or beauty salon to grow you need to make finding out what your customer wants, and then giving it to them, the goal of your entire operation.