Customer service is the life blood of the salon and spa industry, but how can we serve our customers better when so many other businesses seem to be falling behind in this area? It’s not as hard as you may think.
First we need to set our own feelings, opinions and wants aside. There’s no point denying it – we’re not there to express ourselves. We’re there to provide a service: the customer wants to improve themselves and we are there to help them do that. Holding on to our own stuff only serves to distract us from our best work, and from their best results, so – as hard as it may sometimes be – push your own issues to the back, and FOCUS on your customer.
Second, we need to LISTEN. In this day and age, so many are involved only with themselves and their devices. The level of detachment between people caused by the hardware that claims to connect us is amazing, but more, it actually physically robs us of at least two things: it robs us of the chance to be heard and understood, and so validated as human beings, and of the smiles and pleasures that can only come from actual interaction with other human beings. The simple act of listening to someone – not just hearing them speak, but actually listening to their words and acknowledging them with feedback – will do more to make a customer feel appreciated than any number of likes, shares or retweets ever could.
Third, I believe we need to SMILE. There is nothing like a smile to put a customer at ease, and to make them feel appreciated, and a smile will also create confidence and comfort in you and your abilities. But more than that, a smile lets the customer know that you like what you’re doing, you’re happy you are there, and that you’re happy that they are there. Too many times I’ve come out of a store feeling bad that I had bothered a clerk or that I had taken some time away from their important stocking or shelving work. But then I remember that without the customer – without me – there wouldn’t be any need for any of that other work. So smile. It costs nothing, and it’s the best way to give your customer a genuine, happy experience.
Why are salon and spa businesses growing at such a rapid rate? I think it’s because we connect with people on a very personal level – face to face. During their services with us, we engage them in conversation. We make eye contact. This helps them relax so that at the end of our time together I invariably hear “I feel so much better than I did when I first got here”. Why is this? Because we have focused on them, listened to them, engaged with them, and done our very best to give them what they want.
So focus. Listen. And smile. Your customers will thank you.