Take a moment to approach your clients with intention and you’ll find it is a more rewarding experience for everyone.
“Mindfulness” has become a buzzword in the beauty and wellness industry, so much so that the term is easy to dismiss. That said, we are all looking for meaning in our experiences because we only have some much time in our day to dedicate to certain tasks. If the experience is not meaningful, we aren’t coming back—plain and simple. The same is true for your clients. Along with a precision cut or face-framing babylights, they want to feel that their hairstylist is dialled in to their experience.
As part of her training program, Vivienne Mackinder, founder of HairDesignerTV, delves into the importance of really focusing on showing your client that you care about them, can help and that they can trust you. Let’s face it, life is hectic and busy, and we need to be doing good in order to feel good.
Terry Ritcey, director of education for Redken Canada, agrees. “Your clients have emotional needs; from being welcomed, to being listened to, to feeling understood,” he says, adding that the appearance, attitude and approach of the hairstylist all play into creating that exceptional experience for clients. Need more mindfulness in your salon? Here’s their advice on how to apply it.
Making a Change
“Placing clients at the heart, we need to be more client-centric and focused,” says Ritcey. “We need to be teaching our hairstylists how to reach customers in a real way.” It can be as simple as asking the right questions, first as hairstylists individually, and as a team and taking a serious look at how everyone contributes to the experience from the moment the client walks in.
The bottom line is that increasing your clients is tough, but what’s better and more achievable is ensuring a great experience for the ones already coming to your salon. Ritcey believes all you need to do is find out how you can do a better job so that your clients trust you enough to walk out with the products that will help them retain their colour, style their look and ultimately return.
What Do You Offer?
As much as many in the industry may believe that innovation and change should be at the forefront for every salon, your clients probably don’t feel the same. “Building an extraordinary business is a win,” says Mackinder. “But when you add value to another’s life, that’s another big win.” And it doesn’t take much to really bring a winning experience to your clients. In fact, it can be as easy as changing the salon menu so that it captures your client’s attention. For example, describing a simple gloss service as a Shine Bomb Glaze can really appeal to a millennial client who might not even consider one.
When it comes to the language you’re using, keeping in mind the three types of customers in your salon (the millennial, the grey seeker and the blonde) will help you in reaching those audiences with the right service offerings in a way that appeals to each one.
What are You Talking About?
When it comes to the consultation, something is getting lost in translation between what hairstylists think they are saying and what their clients are hearing. “Hairstylists should be looking at this part of the experience as though they are image consultants, and making your salon a beauty destination they want to come back to,” says Ritcey.
In order to do this, expressing empathy is key. For MacKinder, the consultation is about having good communication on all levels, including reading someone’s body language as a cue for how they are feeling about what you’re suggesting. “As you design someone’s look, trust your intuition, back it with strong technique and you’ll find that it falls into place,“ she says. From the way you greet your clients, to your smile,
to your tone of voice, it all counts. According to clients, the number-one service experience they look forward to in a salon is the shampoo, and that’s because of the massage. It’s simple and fast, and keeping these concepts top of mind can pay big dividends in retaining clients.
Make the Connections
“Hairstylists need to focus on getting more connected with the needs of the clients,” says Ritcey, adding that different clients need different types of connections. For example, clients who are career-focused tend to be committed to their appearance and you need to give them the same attention as you do younger clients, with fresh ideas. “We have a huge opportunity to add services for these clients, yet many don’t take it,” he says. “Why not suggest adding some face-framing highlights or a fringe and let her have some fun with it, too.”
With many salons now having selfie areas, don’t forget to offer this to clients regardless of their age—you may be surprised at how receptive they are, and see the difference in how willing they may be to add new services next time.
Finally, Mackinder adds that it’s important never to make assumptions, but rather to focus on building connections that help your client feel best about themselves and about returning to your salon.