A life of a career hairstylist can be a rewarding, and beautiful one! The one thing that makes this possible, and is not a painful feat, is retaining clients through the years. This allows a stylist to be consistently busy, while building meaningful relationships, and receive plenty of referrals from their clients who know them. Top notch customer service, listening, booking ahead or having an easy solution for guests to book, self image, and staying up to date on skills and trends are all things that keep a client wanting to come back.
Customer service should be any salon’s first priority
It’s obvious as a hairstylist customer service skills should not be lacking, we are in the industry of guest handling, and it is something we should all take seriously! From the second that customer walks through the door they are a guest in your salon, and should be treated like VIP every time. Make sure they are comfortable along the way, having a beverage, a comfortable seat, something to read, and having a swift easy checkout are all things that add to a great service. Make them feel beautiful and important (they are paying for our TIME, we need to give that whole-heartily to them). Not rushing a service, and being present for your guest the whole time they are in your chair are crucial. Your cell phone should not be in sight where it will distract you, and the conversation should be kept between you and your guest, unless of course your guest strikes up a conversation with someone nearby. Overall, guests feeling fully attended to from the second they walk in the door makes them feel very special, and like they are cared for, this will keep them coming back for more!
Clients aren’t coming to listen to a hairstylist talk the entire time
The skill of listening can be a tough one, practice listening until your guest is completely done with a thought before beginning to think of a response, especially during your consultation before starting a service. Trying to answer before someone is finished with a thought can make a conversation not only take longer than necessary, but can also lead to missing some very important information your guest may be saying. Make sure to ask questions when you are reading someones body language that is not representing what they are saying. This really shows your guest you are paying attention and can make them very comfortable with you. Once a guest is comfortable talking with you, knowing you are hearing what they like and want, so you can execute exactly what they’d like. Do this and they’re going to be coming back to you for certain!
Scheduling their next appointment is completely appropriate
Make sure you are always setting as many clients up for their next service as possible. I believe a lot of stylists feel like they are being ‘pushy’ recommending a date, and setting it up for their guests next visit. I disagree, and I would go as far to say 95% of your guests disagree as well. This is a closing out part of the service our guests are looking for us guidance on. This is the moment we share with them when that new pixie may need a trim, or that fresh red color will possibly fade and be ready for a touch up; therefore, it’s an integral part of your service! In fact, I believe we are doing a disservice for not at the very least suggesting a time frame, before asking them to pre-book. And for those guests who prefer to wait to book, having an online system, or an easy way to contact us personally helps assure more than half of those people get scheduled properly with ease and at their own convenience, which leads them back into our chair! Don’t miss the mark by not supporting your clients, they come to your salon for you, not to have round about conversations about booking with your front desk staff, or end up booked for the wrong service, or even worse, with another stylist who was easier to book with.
Hairstylists are part of the decor and overall impression also
A nice reminder for our clients to why they come to us is having a great self image, this is especially important with first time clients, after all shouldn’t we focus on making the best first impression. We’re hairstylists, that equals having our hair done always, makeup on, and dressing to the 9’s to not only give us confidence, but it screams “you can trust me, I know what I’m doing, I care enough about myself so that I can take care of you!” Schedule days in the salon with staff to do service trades to keep color & cuts trendy and fresh, we are our own walking billboards, we should be taking care of each other! Being aware of how you’re carrying yourself in front of guests, and conversations being held is something I always work hard to remember. People are always watching when we’re out on the floor, it’s great to not be hiding in the break room so clients can see us, but we should be doing everything in our power to improve the image of ourselves and the salon while on the salon floor.
Evolve or die
Staying up to date on trends and skills in our industry for hair color, cuts, and styles will help keep ourselves and our clients on trend, and be another thing that makes our clients trust us in-order to keep coming back. Freshening up on skills will help us to be certain we are always using best practices in everything that we do, participating or hosting in salon classes is a fantastic way to stay fresh. Your salon team should learn from each other, grow together and help keep your fellow stylists accountable for their skills. Practice makes perfect, supporting stylists, and being supported by stylists will help us always give the best service to our client, and get them the exact hair style they are looking for. At the end of the day, I believe is one of the most important ways to keep our clients coming back, along with everything else you keep in your experience bag.
It’s about providing value without any “quid pro quo”
You may think this is about skill, it’s not, skill may be involved, but it’s truly about providing value to your clients new and old without asking for anything in return. Try placing your mindset into revolving around customer experience and services that we provide, it’s given me the opportunity over the last 12+ years to grow and maintain a steady business. I’ve been able to move from 4 salons during this time, each time moving up in position and responsibility, ultimately affording me the opportunity to go into business for myself. These values along with improving my skill gives me the confidence and excitement in-order to help grow and cultivate a high value culture for other stylists an build my own salon in 2020. Now, I will be able to grow a team, in an atmosphere where guests are happy, well cared for – in turn our team can enjoy themselves, be busy with new clients, and continually strive to bring value to our salon’s clients in every aspect of our services.