I was recently in a salon that had a problem.
Now, it was a beautiful salon, with Amtico flooring, expensive designer Italian chairs a delightful waiting area and retail shop and yet it did have a problem. It’s a problem that affects a surprising number of salons and often salon owner are oblivious to the price they are paying for not getting this right!
So what is it?
Well as you can probably guess from the title of this article it’s your salon toilet and the problem is the unintended messages it can often give to clients.
Without wishing to get too descriptive here, going to the toilet is a very private matter for most of us, isn’t it, and research has shown we want quite a lot from our visit.
- We want the toilet to be warm, welcoming and to smell nice.
- We want it to be clean and hygienic.
- We want a decent toilet seat that doesn’t flex or move when we sit on it.
- We want a toilet that flushes properly … the FIRST TIME we try.
- We want plenty of toilet roll, so we don’t run out and feel trapped in an embarrassing situation.
- We want warm water to wash our hands in with nice soap and a clean towel .
- We want a decent toilet brush and some air freshener, in case of a mishap with last night’s curry.
- We DON’T want to be ‘noticed’ as we go in and out.
- And most of all we DO want to feel secure as we sit there with our pants round our ankles wondering/worrying about whether the lock is working properly!
In the case of the salon toilet that inspired this article, it was actually warm and nicely decorated. It was very clean and hygienic. Plenty of toilet roll had been provided, warm water, soap and a towel were there as well. There was even a brush and some air freshener, but everything else was wrong … very wrong.
Wrong for several reasons…
- The toilet door was in the main salon … everyone ‘noticed’ when you went in or out!
- There was no inner hall either, the door opened straight into the toilet and the lock was a flimsy sliding bolt … so you sat there with your pants around your ankles ‘wondering’ if you were going to be disturbed!
- The walls had no insulation. You could hear everything that was being said in the salon… so you just knew they could hear any ‘noises’ you were making too!
- The toilet seat was a cheap, flimsy, flexible plastic item that felt like it would give way far too easily.
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. This beautiful ‘no expense’ salon undid all the good impressions they’d created because it gave clients no sense of privacy or security … and this matters, it really matters!
In case you think this is an isolated incident I’d say that 90% of the salons I’ve visited over the years have toilets that let them down in one way or another.
Here’s a brief list of horror stories…
- I have seen outside toilets with no heating, so you can imagine what they’re like in winter!
- I have seen toilets with mouldy walls.
- I have seen toilets that clients have to go through the staff room to visit.
- I’ve even seen a toilet that doubled as a staff room, complete with a staff member sat on the ‘throne’ eating her lunch while she chatted to me … at least the lid was down at the time!
- I have seen toilets with broken locks and even NO lock at all.
- Toilets with doors that jam shut.
- Toilets you can write your name in the dust on because they haven’t been cleaned for a week.
- Toilets with no hot water.
- Toilets with no soap.
- Toilets with no means of drying your hands.
- Toilets that smelled.
- Toilets with no toilet roll.
- Toilets with flimsy loose or broken seats.
- Toilets that were glorified storage or cleaning cupboards, because the hoover, the mop, a load of stock, the washing machine and god knows what else has been stored in there.
Again I could go on, but the simple fact is, your clients do judge you by your toilet and how they ‘feel’ when they are using it, I hate to say it, but they ABSOLUTELY DO, so beware, your toilet says far more about your salon than you realise, the BIG question you have to ask is … IS IT SAYING THE RIGHT THINGS!