Many salons rely on word-of-mouth recommendations to build their businesses. Happy clients tell others about their experience and recommend the salon or stylist to their circle of friends, co-workers, and family. However, a salon must first step up its game to provide the best possible service to its existing clients.
Offer Concierge-Level Service
How do you make the most of that first impression and set the standard for the rest of their journey as a guest in your salon? Simple: offer concierge-level service.
Instead of viewing your reception area as a gateway into the salon, see it as an opportunity to be a salon concierge. Think of it as the friendly person you typically see at high-end hotels. These are the people who greet you by name, know the length of your stay and offer a list of restaurants or activities chosen just for you. The concierge is always available to make your stay enjoyable. And, they seemingly know what you want or need before you do.
The epitome of ultimate customer service the concierge model makes sense to adopt in your salon. After all, salons are in the service industry, and people come in expecting to be pampered.
Whether it’s a receptionist from behind the front desk or podium, a manager who acts as a host, or a concierge position in a deskless salon, this frontline experience is vital. In smaller salons, you can have your entire team step up or take turns for the task, but larger salons will want to consider a dedicated person, at least at busier times of the week.
Regardless of who steps up, have your salon concierge follow these tips to provide the best possible experience for your salon clientele:
Make Everything About the Client Experience
Always greet clients, if possible, by name and with a friendly smile as they walk in the door. At check-in, confirm who they have come to see and invite them to take a seat while you notify the stylist. If your salon uses Curbside Check-in, you’ll already know who the service provider is and that they are ready for the client. You can skip ahead to showing the client where to put on a smock or get seated in the stylist’s chair.
Either at the front desk or chair-side, start the checkout process by asking how the client liked their service. Ask if there is any product they may need for at-home use, making recommendations using your suggestive selling feature in your salon software. Whether by physically running the client’s credit card or accessing their card or file, process their payment and email their receipt to complete the sale.
Next, check to make sure that their next appointment is scheduled. If not, offer to schedule it for the salon guest. Before the client leaves, thank them for coming in and wish them a good day. Stay focused on the client throughout the checkout process, so they know they are important to you and the whole salon team.
Pay Attention to Details
Clients like to feel special and appreciated, so pay careful attention to everything about them. Know a little about their families, what each client does for a living, and maybe even a few interests. Make notes on their client files so that it’s easy to reference on later visits. If appropriate and to your liking, complement their new hairstyle, notice the subtle change in their hair color, the smoothness of their skin after a facial, or even the tan from their recent vacation.
The reception area or the roving concierge is central to the salon operations, so clients look to this person for information. That knowledge starts with familiarity with all services the salon offers, the strengths and specialties of each service provider, and a solid understanding of the products and tools available for retail.
To gain this knowledge, try to experience each service, if not witness the process and the result, so you can speak intelligently about it to others. Know pricing or at least have easy access to it and get to know each operator and their work so that strengths and specialties are easily identified. Also, sit in on as many product knowledge classes as possible as there is a wealth of knowledge taught by a representative of the brand, as they have much to offer you. If nothing else, cruise through product catalogs or the brands’ online presence to get to know what to use on what type of hair or skin and for what desired result.
For each day, know the schedule and stay on top of how things operate. Be aware of when a client is running late or is a possible no-show. In that case, inform the operator and take the initiative to contact the client to see if they are still coming or if they want to reschedule. If a service operator is running behind, let the client know when they arrive. Clients are far less likely to get upset about delays if they are informed at check-in.
There are many ways that technology can help streamline the salon concierge duties. Sending a text to a stylist when a client has checked in or is running late, using salon management software to access client information, make product recommendations, and schedule appointments. Even use facility cameras to monitor the status of treatments and services and to gauge when a client is ready to check out.
Be the Ultimate Customer Service Pro
Remain unscathed during rushes but make good use of your downtime to tidy up, make coffee, straighten up and even restock retail shelves when things are slow. Also, look into retail, back bar, and dispensary inventory so orders can be made as needed.
But when things get overly busy, know when to ask for help. Sometimes, you’ll need a manager or the owner to step in to take care of an unruly customer or an assistant to help during rushes. When the phone is ringing off the hook, and there’s a line to check in and out, get help immediately. Work out a plan with the rest of the staff so they know when to step up and help at reception or become their own concierge without being asked.
Just like your salon service providers, put some time and effort into your continuing education. There are always better ways to do things in a business and more opportunities to make the client experience more memorable.
Make it Memorable
How your clients feel when they leave your salon and their experience when they come in for their services is essential, and it is how and why they walk away with a sense of heightened confidence, satisfaction, and well-being. And if they’re happy, they rebook and tell others about your salon’s amazing concierge service.