You know the feeling. Calls are coming in, you’re running around trying to organise everybody and everything while remaining as calm, friendly and professional as humanly possible. It’s a big ask. In fact, sometimes, it feels impossible.
But you have to persevere. One slip or one bad phone call and you can tarnish the salon’s reputation. Here’s the 7 wonders (rules) to perfecting that wow experience for clients with a perfect salon phone manner.
1. Bad Hair Day – DEEP Breath:
Always answer the phone with a friendly tone and manner no matter what mood you are really in! Believe it or not, the tone of your voice changes when you smile. If you don’t feel like smiling, fake it. It makes you sound friendly.
2. The Sweetest Sounding Word in the English Language to any Client? Their Name!
Once you know the name of the person calling, it’s important to reassure them that you know their name by using it. This gives the caller confidence that you are really listening e.g “yes Mary I will see if John is free, thanks for calling Mary etc.” or “Would like to get that blow dry again Denise with our stylist Chantelle?”. People remember things they value – remembering clients’ names as much as possible makes them feel valued.
3. Consistency with Face-to-face:
When you meet people face-to-face at reception, don’t let all of the effort you put in to being friendly on the phone slip. If you make a great first impression with a walk-in client, they have now got a really positive perception of you as a friendly, efficient person. While it’s important to learn names, become familiar and get friendly with clients, you should give them that first-time friendly experience every time in person or on the phone. Don’t shy away from making the extra effort.
4. Dealing with Irate Clients
If you are dealing with an irate client, it is so important to see where they are coming from. Try and imagine it was you on the other side of the phone call – doing this puts the client’s needs into perspective and portrays sincerity. Once the client knows you are on their side they will begin to relax and calm down or at the very least, feel like you are proactively trying to solve their problem!
Nothing feels worse than being ignored or not taken seriously. Try to proactively solve every problem asap or if you can’t, make a clear plan-of-action and stick to it. Credibility doesn’t come from always being right, it comes from always being honest and delivering on a promise.
5. Understand styles and treatments
Knowing exactly what your salon provides is so important. For example I work for a software company – knowing how the software works is always a bonus and clients feel like they are in capable hands from the first call. If you work in a hair/beauty salon, having an understanding of the treatments, styles etc. and how they are done means you can give advice on services if no one is available.
You don’t need to know everything if you’re not a stylist or therapist, but being able to answer basic questions makes a world of difference and gives people the impression that your salon is full of can-do knowledgeable people.
The best way to work on this is to keep a notebook or a Word document and write down all of the questions you are asked daily. Build-up a knowledge base so as time goes by, you are able to answer more and more questions with the aim of never saying ‘Oh, I’m not sure, I’ll find out’ more than once.
6. Get client details – ALWAYS
Sounds simple but take note of EVERYTHING – even the people who walk in if they say their name, scribble it down. If you miss it, ask again. You need to make sure you have info to refer back to if someone may need it or if you’re sending out marketing emails etc. The more info you have on people, the more scope you have to seem like a perfectionist who genuinely cares about them and the more efficient you’ll seem to the team and the salon owner. The devil is in the detail as they say!
7. It’s not personal
Always remember – it’s not personal so try not to take an angry client’s words or attitude to heart because 99% of the time it’s not you that they are angry with (although it may be directed at you!). A lot of the time people feel they need to be angry/loud to get a point across and to show how serious the matter is. So try not feel upset/affected when this happens. Just be understanding and more often than not, they will appreciate your help.