Good customer service is treating clients with the respect they deserve, addressing concerns immediately, and going above and beyond to ensure customers have the best experience possible with your salon, staff, and services. Key characteristics of good customer service include enthusiasm, empathy, ownership, adaptability, and authenticity. In other words, know your customer, do what you say, deliver what you promise, and be true to who you are.
Customers want a better experience. If one thing is true, it’s this: there is no shortage of salons in the current marketplace. Your clients likely have many options to choose from. And with social media they have an increasing ability to shop around. Customers today aren’t just looking for a better experience. According to a latest study, 70% of customers switched salons due to poor customer service.
Negativity trumps the positives. Unfortunately in business, negative experiences do more damage to a brand than positive experiences do to promote it. And in today’s instant-information culture, customers are vocal about their feelings. A study by Harvard Business Review found that 48% of people who had negative experiences told 10 or more people about it, while only 23% of customers who had a positive experience told 10 or more people about it. Bad customer service reviews are like an infection that can quickly spread to your customers.
Customers reward good experiences. The good news is that customers are more likely to stay with a salon they have a good experience with. They reward great customer service with loyalty. American Express did a study on the consumer and found 58% are willing to spend more on companies that provide excellent customer service. Making the interaction between your salon and the client as enjoyable and special as possible is the easiest way to turn occasional clients into consistent regulars.
How can you create a customer service mentality? In most cases, employees who are great at customer service have an inherent customer-focused personality, so hire well. However, there are some steps you can take to help your staff to be better at providing top-notch customer service and to ensure your clients have the best experience possible. Try these quick tips for providing great customer service:
- Be Proactive- Train your staff not to wait until they’re forced to act. If they see potential customer service issues starting to rise, act immediately. Have procedures in place to address them.
- Empathize - With your frustrated clients who are dealing with a service issue. Regardless of the issue, it’s important to try to understand where your clients are coming from—Think about your own experiences with customer service. Remember the golden rule “treat others (customers) how you would want to be treated.”
- Take Responsibility- Playing the blame game won’t create customer loyalty. Even if a situation is out of your control, you can always take responsibility for the situation by providing a more positive experience for a customer going forward. Focus on a positive outcome.
- Seek Feedback- A great way to conclude any service with a client is to ask them for feedback. Find out how to better serve them in the future. And most importantly, ask if all their needs have been met. Treat every client interaction as an opportunity to learn and grow.