Are you selling an Experience, or are you selling a Service?

Business expert Liz McKeon considers The Client Service Journey.

Liz McKeon
A lot of spas and salons talk about the guest journey and rightly so. Getting this crucial process right is an essential part of business management as it focuses squarely on the customer experience in your salon. We must conduct all business planning from the client's point of view, examining every single ‘touch-point' they have with your business. 

In salon management, it is amazing how different it looks when seeing it through the client's eyes. When learning how to manage a salon business, it is important to keep your customer in mind. Repeat customers is the number one way to make money in a beauty business, so good customer experiences are the best competitive advantage of a salon.

Most people think that the journey begins when the guest walks through to door. It begins way before that, from the moment they first connect with your business via the internet (whether your website or booking service) or by phone. 

Beauty salon reception BeautyandHairdressing
What is your salon meet and greet procedure? Is there a friendly atmosphere in reception?
The guest journey requires a detailed examination of customer service. In order to determine whether you are winning (or could do with some improvement) you need to conduct a little audit from the client's point of view. I have created a guide here with an introduction to customer service and a check list to run through with some clear and concise questions which act as prompts. Do this today to help ensure that your customer is number one and has the very best experience when visiting your salon or spa. 

What is Customer Service?

Customer Service is the service provided to our customers before, during and after purchasing and using goods and services.

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is giving us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so” – Mahatma Ghandi

Questions to ask yourself:

1. What experience do you hope clients will have?

2. What is the actual process?

3. What is the process of making sure they are happy?

My Guide to Designing Your Salon Client Service Journey:

#1. Phone
  • Is the phone answered quickly, accurately and professionally?
  • Is the booking process easy and smooth?
  • Are enquiries answered satisfactorily and converted to bookings?
#2. When the client shows up
  • What is your salon meet and greet procedure?
  • Is there a friendly atmosphere in reception?
#3. Consultation
  • Is the consultation process carried out correctly, exploring lifestyle, stress levels, personal needs and client concerns?
  • Does the therapist collect enough information to enable her to do a highly effective treatment?
  • Or, are clients details recorded at all?
#4. Timing
  • Are services running on time?
#5. The Beauty Therapist/Stylist
  • Is she/he well-presented and well groomed?
  • Wearing your company uniform with pride and perfection? Smiling? Polite and mannerly?
  • Does she call the client by name?
  • Can she offer opinions and give recommendations?
  • Are your staff attentive?
#6. The service
  • Is the treatment room, couch and trolley perfectly ready and laid out? 
  • Does the therapist explain the procedure thoroughly to the client? Hangers for clothes? Container for jewellery? Quality material and products used? 
  • Does the therapist give 100% attention to the treatment and to the client? 
  • When the treatment is finished what happens?
#7. Wrap-up
  • Is the client escorted back to reception?
  • Is the client encouraged to rebook?
  • Are the recommended products stylishly wrapped and placed in one of your luxury carrier bags? 
  • And, are they escorted to the door when payment transaction is completed?
By doing this, you increase your chances of getting the following results:

1.  More leads from advertising

2.  Capitalise on footfall, by making the most of the clients coming through your salon.

3.  By providing a more memorable experience, you create better word of mouth opportunities – still the most effective form of advertising.

Beauty Therapy Room BeautyandHairdressing
As a key part of your service review, consider whether the treatment room, couch and trolley perfectly ready and laid out for when your client arrives.
Think like a client: “So, how do I attract more customers to my salon and keep them coming back?” It's amazing how different your salon looks when you are seeing it through the client's eyes. This changes your perception and is useful to do on a regular basis, as it will help to increase the appeal of your salon to clients, resulting in repeat customers and an increase in beauty retail.

Ask yourself: “How professional my salon appears to my client?” and “Would I like to come to it?...”

Liz McKeon is a successful Business Coach, Trainer, Author and Mentor, whose expertise lies in growing small businesses from scratch and taking existing companies to profitability.