Insider Tip to Improving Your Salon Business: Visit Another Salon!
Calling all Stylists: Get out and visit another salon! Let’s start by saying that we are not encouraging you to leave your working environment. Instead, we are encouraging you to visit another salon to experience what others are doing from start to finish. You’re constantly in your own salon environment, so it’s incredibly important to gain a fresh perspective, continue to innovate, and stay a leader in your market!
When choosing a salon to visit, we suggest choosing a salon that is one “level” above the salon that you own or work at. If you’re a high-end salon in a smaller market, consider visiting a high-end salon in a larger market with a fabulous reputation!
Once you’ve done some research and chosen a salon, we recommend booking a simple blowout or deep conditioning treatment—you want a fearless opportunity to experience this salon’s customer service and professionalism. When scheduling, you should observe if it’s easy to book an appointment. Keep in mind that fantastic salons shouldn’t have availability instantly—you can expect them to be booked a couple weeks out. But do pay close attention to their customer service. Is the receptionist pleasurable to talk with and eager to assist you? Or, does it feel like you’re a burden in the middle of their day? Start keeping notes because you should be learning and reflecting on this experience!
After you’ve booked an appointment, your next step is to go in for your visit and note every step from start to finish. Here’s a list of questions to consider during the check-in process:
Were you greeted/acknowledged when you walked in?
Did they smile at you?
How did the receptionist make you feel?
Were you guided through every step in the check-in process? Or, did you feel lost and didn’t know where to sit or what to do?
Did you receive a new guest tour of the salon?
Did you fill out a new client intake form? If so, what was on it?
Were you offered a beverage? What were the options?
If you had a jacket, did they hang it for you?
If you needed to use the restroom, were you guided there or just pointed in the right direction?
Next up, you will meet the Stylist and receive the service that you booked—it’s always nice to be pampered! Here’s another list of questions to consider during your consultation and service:
When you met your Stylist, did she make eye contact and shake your hand? Or, did she instantly whisk you away to her station?
What was the consultation like? Was she anxious to bring you to the shampoo bowl and get started, or did she get to know you?
Was the service executed with professionalism, cleanliness, fantastic communication, and guidance?
Were you informed of the upkeep requirements?
When you received your shampoo, did it feel amazing? Or, did you feel like your Stylist was just going through the motions?
Were you prompted to receive other services like a haircut, eyebrow waxing, deep conditioning etc.?
Hopefully, you’ve had an amazing experience so far, but if not, you now have a list of things to NOT do at your salon. Once you’re ready for checkout, ask yourself these questions:
Was the check-out the first time that your Stylist brought up rebooking? Or, was it naturally interlaced during your service?
Were you offered retail? Were you educated about products during your service, or were they an afterthought?
Did the Stylist shake your hand and thank you for coming in?
Was the checkout process clear and easy? Was there clarity about gratuity?
After the visit, did you receive a follow-up email or new client survey? If so, what questions were asked?
Did you receive a phone call about your services? Who called—the receptionist or the Stylist?
Did you feel comfortable giving your honest feedback?
After reading through these questions, some of you may be feeling a little guilty because you haven’t been bringing your A-Game. Maybe you’ve found yourself in a comfortable position at your salon, so you’re giving up a little effort. What client would notice that your shampoo feels good instead of great? Stop right there! The client notices, and you will suffer for it. Right now, there is a Stylist who is making more money than you, has a higher title than you, who constantly invests in education, and is working her tail off to provide the best experience she can to every single client! Being successful means never missing a step!
Now that you’ve reviewed your notes and reflected on your experience, you can evaluate two things. First, you will notice what you’re doing well. This is a great opportunity to market things that sets your salon apart that you didn’t realize before—this is terrific!
Second, what do you need to improve on? Maybe you visited a phenomenal salon and were completely blown away with their professionalism. This is a great learning opportunity, so don’t shy away from it. We should all be dedicated to continuous improvement!
Do you want to share your experiences and ideas with other industry professionals? Join our sister company’s private Facebook group, and we will work together to build and empower one another!