As a hair or beauty business, you want to make a consistent, great impression on your client, whether he or she is a loyal regular or someone coming to the salon for the first time.
While some first impressions can nowadays be formed through your website, online booking process or social media profile, your receptionist is still very much the “gatekeeper” of your business. He or she is the person a client will encounter first – and you can’t afford to get this first interaction wrong.
Here are 5 simple tips for your team.
- ALWAYS FOLLOW UP MISSED APPOINTMENTS
- NEVER MOVE APPOINTMENTS
- DO LEARN AND USE YOUR CLIENT’S NAME
- NEVER LEAVE THIRD-PARTY MESSAGES
- NEVER REACT
I really do not think that there are an army of clients trying to scupper your business by not showing up. Clients simply have busy lives and it is down to us to keep our client’s appointment time in their minds.
You should always confirm the appointment at least 24-hours prior, by text or telephone. If a client doesn’t show on the day, contact them to make sure they are OK and reschedule.
Most clients will be extremely apologetic and grateful for the call. But the key is, if you don’t contact them, then they may be too embarrassed to return.
(I will be covering the topic of, the for and against of cancellation policies in a follow up email soon)
I find it incredibly disrespectful when a regular client gets moved from one column to another without being asked or consulted.
When taking a booking, always repeat back to a client their appointment time, treatment and who the appointment is with at the time of booking. These details should now be set in stone, unless there are circumstances completely out of your control.
If you do have to change an appointment, the client should always be fully informed and give their approval. Change without client acknowledgement at your peril!
This should be no different with new clients. The client may have noted who their appointment is with and will feel totally undervalued instantly at their first, and possibly as a result, their only ever visit to you.
Always introduce yourself and preferably wear a name badge. One sure way to make a client feel worthless is to refer to them in a three-way conversation as “he”, “she”, “him” or “her”.
Always ensure you remember a client’s name – and know the preferred name they wish to be addressed by, and then use it frequently during the conversation.
In written correspondence, where possible either always use a person’s name or a simple “hi” but never, ever refer to a client as “Dear client”. This is so impersonal!
If you need to contact a client and cannot get in touch, please only ever leave a message on a personal mobile phone. Never leave a personal message with a family member or friend, or on a landline answerphone.
Remember, it is a client’s own private choice to visit you, and you may be breaking their confidence and trust in you by revealing to a third party that they use your services.
If necessary, only ever leave a personal name, along with a contact number requesting for the client to call you back. Never mention the business name unless you are 100% certain that you are not divulging unknown information.
I always say that there is one thing you don’t ever know about a client – and that is what they don’t want you to know. When a client arrives, you don’t know what kind of day they have had, or what is truly going on within their work, family or life in general.
If a client does arrive in a less than pleasant mood, it is essential to read the situation and never, ever react. There is a saying “attitude breeds attitude” and it takes very little to accelerate a situation.
Always stay 100% professional, as there is a strong possibility that the client is unaware that their behaviour and attitude is noticeable to you.
Have a written policy and verbally go through the steps you expect your team to take if a client ever makes them feel uncomfortable due to their actions. It is not acceptable for a member of your team to tolerate aggression or abuse. Calling on someone senior and more experienced to help and intervene will normally result in a client apologising for their behaviour and your calming actions will help diffuse the stressful day they have previously experienced.
YOUR FREE GIFT THIS MONTH.
These tips are taken from my book, The Little Book of Client Retention, rrp £9.99, which can be downloaded for free, for this month only, when you join Beauty Entrepreneurs Hub. Click to join now and meet up with me and over 300 other salon owners supporting each other in our great private facebook community.