At this year’s Salon Owners Summit, I spoke about how technology has advanced business in ways we could only have ever imagined. Who would have thought, ten years ago, that one of the busiest times of the day for your salon to take bookings would be after 9:00 pm, without you having to even speak with a client. Unimaginable leaps and bounds have been made. But, when I reviewed the speakers content from the last six years ahead of this year’s Summit, it became obvious that one aspect of doing business had remained constant throughout the years: the Client is Paramount.
Once you put clients at the forefront of everything you do, success is sure to follow.
Six years of speakers at the Summit who talked about this more than anything else
John DiJulius: Mastering “Service Aptitude”
In 2016, John DiJulius declared that “Service Aptitude” was vital in getting your customers through the door and staying. Throughout his years in business, it has been his number one priority.
Service Aptitude is defined as a person’s ability to recognize opportunities in which they can exceed a customer’s expectations — regardless of the circumstances.
“Our newest in, lowest-paid people usually deal with the customers.’ We need to have the same ethos across the board from top-down; customers need to be treated like royalty, and given that extra TLC when they arrive. It is what has come to be expected and is now part of the service — the industry is not just about cutting hair and being the best stylist anymore, it is much, much more. The worst compass to use when directing staff as to how to treat customers is to “treat others like you want to be treated.”John DiJulius, Author, Owner, President and Chief Revolution Officer of The DiJulius Group
When John spoke at the Salon Owners Summit, he provided a very appropriate and personal example of his college son Johnny. If Johnny was told to welcome everyone as he wanted to be welcomed, he would be throwing fist pumps to everyone who walks in the door. Although it would be him treating people as he wished, it wouldn’t exactly be what everyone would want or expect. Service Aptitude should be the first thing we train staff on, not technicalities, etc. — they are no use without the former to support.
Gavin Hoare: Why does 78 matter to your salon?
In 2018, Gavin Hoare highlighted that we live in an all-time high levels of excellence and technical ability. Customers have access to numerous talented people within the industry, and the current economic climate makes for competition to be higher than it’s ever been before. He then presented a staggering statistic.
“78% of your clients are walking out of your salon due to an attitude of indifference; they think you simply do not care.”Gavin Hoare, Salon Manager & Global Guest Speaker
Imagine 78% of your future revenue leaving your salon due to something as simple as a smile and hello, and maybe sometimes just an listening ear. This goes back to the above, encouraging and training staff to effectively engage with the customers is everything to the business.
There will always be someone able to match the technical abilities of most stylists. Building and maintaining relationships, however, is at the heart of all thriving salons.
Christina Kreitel: How to own your brand
Christina Keitel explained in 2019 that knowing your customer and understanding how they can relate to your brand is vital. Your salon is a reflection of you as a person. As people will want to hang out with you while getting their hair done, you need to create a personality for your brand, a personal and emotional connection.
Customers will connect with you on a personal level and want to go back to you. Don’t try to appeal to everyone; appeal to people like you. Anyone can cut hair in a building; you need to make that building reflect your style and personality.
She continued by talking about your area and culture, and stressed to keep in mind that what you project is what you will get. Thus, project your true personality — it’s easier anyway. Christina used a great example of her projecting her own style as opposed to someone else’s; she is chic and stylish as opposed to someone who is ‘beachy‘ and Californian. She targets people with the same style and personality because she knows they will click with her and her brand, therefore helping her successfully reach her goals and aspirations.
Marcus Allen: Think differently about your business
Lastly, and although I have mentioned that the main thing to think about is the client and how the client is paramount, I want to wrap up on some top tips as to how you can make the client your number one priority.
Believe it or, the best way to do this is to give yourself some time.
You cannot focus on the client and create a personality for your business if you don’t take some time out to think. Top leaders throughout the world have been known to go off and think for days; you need to do the same. In 2020, we were lucky enough to have Marcus Allen grace our stage and give advice as to how to best bring yourself and your business to the next level.
Think about the following:
- What is the Service Aptitude you want your staff to use?
- What is your personality?
- How do you want your staff members to treat customers?
- What type of client do you want to appeal to?
- Create a persona for your clientele.
- Figure out your challenges. What would you do if 78% of your customers weren’t returning?
Figure out who you are as a business and set the wheels in motion to focus on your customers.
Remember: clients are paramount, but before you can focus on them, you need to understand your own goals, objectives and personality. Once you have that nailed down, I can guarantee you that success will follow. But don’t take my word for it; trust some of the beauty industry’s best-regarded thought leaders.
Salon Owners Summit 2021: Save the date!
Following a phenomenal sell-out event in 2020, Super Early Bird Tickets to the Salon Owners Summit 2021 are on sale now, and is open to Phorest clients and non-clients.
What & when: Sunday, January 10, 2021 (Inside Phorest) & Monday, January 11, 2021 (Salon Owners Summit)
Where: Convention Centre (CCD), Spencer Dock, Dublin 1, Ireland
Ticket Price Includes:
- Main stage speakers
- Access to salon business workshops
- Pre-Summit Networking party
- Meals & coffee breaks throughout the day
- Post summit afterparty
- Goody bag for every attendee
Thanks for reading! #LetsGrow