What differentiates your salon or spa from your competitors?
Your service menu? Your customer service? Your stellar online presence? Usually, it’s a combination of all those points, which combine to create what we call a client journey; ie; the journey your client takes from discovering to trying out your business. Being intentional about your client journey is essential to successful salon management.
Your Clients Have Different Tastes & Preferences
There’s nothing new in saying that all clients are different in their tastes and preferences. You already know that! The real question now is: do your salon management strategies also reflect this? Consider, for example, how new clients are finding your business. Some come from word-of-mouth referrals, others through online research, while some may be walk-ins. Existing clients may be inspired to visit after they see an email or SMS marketing campaign.
No matter how clients find your business, one thing remains: they have expectations and are hoping you fulfill them. Are you putting enough time and energy into all of these routes to ensure that all types of clients are being given the best experience possible?
Tip: It can be overwhelming to focus on “everything at once.” To start, think about your ideal clients, and how they book. Once you have this information, why not focus solely on this area of your business before nurturing another?
What is a Client Journey?
A client journey is essentially a planned combination of activities, preferences, and paths that a customer can take within your business. Having a clearly defined client journey enriches clients’ relationships with your brand and also helps you and your team anticipate their needs in advance.
Optimizing your client journey can make the difference between your salon or spa and the one across the street.
By optimizing, we mean:
- Unifying the first impressions of potential clients
- Ensuring that every person walking through your door is treated the same
- Understanding and constantly working on improving the client journey
If you don’t already have an established client journey within your salon management strategies, think about adding one. Client journeys are a guided path of customer experience that bring together branding and impressions, touching everything a client sees, touches, or hears from the minute they are in contact with your business.
Include Your Client Journey in Salon Management Policies & Procedures
The best way to ensure a consistent client experience every time someone visits your salon is for you and your team to work together to create guidelines on what is expected. These guidelines can include:
- How you greet clients
- How you show clients around
- How you speak to clients during their service/treatment
- How you check clients out
- How you handle complaints
- How you deal with rude or inappropriate clients
A client journey isn’t just about the quality of a haircut, the application of a color, or the quality of a facial. It’s about nurturing your guests’ presence in the salon and making them feel special from beginning to end, consistently for all clients.
Consistency is Key
Take, for example, two clients who walk in for the same service, at the same time. Both have visited the salon before and have been happy with their experience. During this visit, one client gets offered a coffee during her stay, while the other doesn’t. After they leave, you might end up reading very different client reviews, leading to maybe even dealing with bad ones.
Tip: The more consistent an experience, the more comfortable your client will be, encouraging them to return to you. This is simple psychology; people like to know what to expect, so why not lean into that!
By including client journey descriptions in your Policies & Procedures Guide, you can help ensure a more consistent service for everyone who visits the salon, while also keeping staff updated on what’s expected of them. Similarly, your client journey can help newly hired staff understand their responsibilities, your salon culture, and the business’ management strategies.
Surveying Customers and Staff
One last thing before we conclude. Some of you might find it hard to define specific guidelines and procedures, or even find it hard to know what your clients do and don’t enjoy when visiting the salon.
Here’s a little tip: be aware of your surroundings and respond proactively. One technique you could use is to survey both your clients and staff members to get feedback on client experience within your salon. Get insight on what they would like more or less of, what’s a fantastic thing about your salon, and one thing you can improve on. Similarly, role-playing or secret-shopping can help give your team a new perspective on how clients are experiencing the space and can help inform positive changes.
Be open, listen, and plan!
Whatever you decide on (as for policies), just remember they don’t have to be set in stone forever! Stay alert and keep improving or adjusting procedures if something isn’t working as well as planned.
Interested in joining a community of growth-focused salon professionals? Why not book your Phorest demo now?