Salon Biz

The Best Way to Immediately Increase Salon Client Retention

How To Immediately Increase Your Salon Client Retention. Here is a common sense way to be sure clients stay in your salon.

Mine, mine, mine!!

It’s something you’d expect to hear on a playground. A couple of 4 year olds fighting over a toy.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to hear the same scenario in hair salons among
grown adults.

But instead of fighting or making claims over toys, the conflict is over clients. As if clients are items to be owned rather than living, breathing people who have needs and are entrusting us to meet them.

There is nothing more important than keeping clients loyal to your salon. Setting a standard of sharing clients among team members is one of the most effective ways to increase your salon client retention rate.

Share your clients and increase your salon client retention. Here are the reasons why.

It Makes Life Easier For Your Clients

Life is so busy today and schedules are tight. If a client needs to come to your salon for a service on a particular day or time and their regular stylist isn’t available, give them the option of seeing another stylist. They might decide not to take the appointment and wait to see their regular technician, but at least you’ve given them the option and THEY get to make the decision. If you don’t offer them another stylist and they absolutely have to have the service performed on that day or time, you risk them making an appointment at another salon. If that happens, you also risk them never coming back at all.

It’s Boosts The Professionalism of Your Salon

Make your salon stand out from the crowd by NOT making your clients feel guilty when they go to another stylist on your team. New clients at our salon are always blown away when we tell them that the skills and talents of the entire salon team are available to them. We always make a point of explaining this to them at their first salon visit.

You Won’t Loose Clients Who Have Budget Concerns

If your stylists are at different levels with tiered pricing, you won’t loose clients who might not be able to afford their regular stylist anymore. If they know they have the option of switching to a stylist who is at a lower price point, chances are they’ll stay at your salon rather than going to another salon that charges less.

You Won’t Loose Clients When A Stylist Leaves Your Salon

If you have a stylist who moves, quits or is fired, you won’t loose their entire clientele. If clients are already accustomed to frequenting more than one stylist, they’re more likely to just continue coming to your salon for convenience.

Stylists Can Take Time Off With Peace of Mind

If client’s have a second “go-to” technician to book with, stylists don’t nave to worry about forever losing clients to another salon when they go on vacation or are out sick.

It Builds Teamwork Among Your Staff

When clients leave reviews for our salon, one of the most frequent comments is how much they enjoy the teamwork they see and feel when they’re at my salon. When your team is “in it together” putting the needs of the clients first, a natural synergy emerges. On a typical day in my salon you’ll see stylists working together to formulate a color for a client who wants a color change, two stylists blowdrying a client at the same time if one of them is running late, sweeping for each other if there’s downtime, etc. It looks different every day but the teamwork we have at our salon is one of the biggest reasons why we have such little employee turnover (and yes, our stylists are paid commission).

Keeping clients happy in your salon is more important than anything for the health of your business. Sharing clients is a win/win for both clients and stylists. It’s been one of the biggest contributing factors to my salon’s success.

Question: Do you share clients in your salon? If not, would you consider doing it?

Salon Biz

How To Prevent Unnecessary Sick Days In Your Salon

Excessive sick days can really become a problem in a salon. Here's a way to prevent unnecessary ones from happening. #salonbusiness

There are going to be times when a stylist is under the weather and calls in sick. We all get sick at times and it’s important to take care of yourself when it happens. Plus the last thing you want is for a member of your team to be in the salon potentially making clients and your other team members sick too. Working while sick could also prolong their illness, compromising their immune system and making them feel lousy longer and missing even more days from work.

This post isn’t about those sick calls.

It’s about this one…

It’s 8:00 am and the weather is fantastic. One of your stylists decides it would be nice to just stay home today and relax.

Ring, ring…you receive the phone call from the stylist telling you that they’re too sick to come in.

And so your day has begun.

Now you’ll have to contact all that stylist’s clients scheduled for the day to break the bad news to them. Some will be understanding, but others will be disappointed and angry and take it out on the person making the call.

You’ll have to find ways to accommodate those clients. Some will be happy to reschedule for another day. Others will reluctantly try another stylist in the salon so that they can still have their hair done today…if you’re lucky enough to have another stylist with time open in their schedule. Others will get frustrated and “call back”…you hope. And others will never get the voicemail message that you left for them and will drive all the way to the salon only to be told that they can’t have their appointment as scheduled.

The Downside to a Stylist Being Out Sick

Aside from the aggravation of having to contact all of the stylist’s clients, you also have lost those service sales and potential retail sales for the day. You have disappointed those clients, some of which might have even taken a day off from work to come to their salon appointment. And you quite possibly might loose a client who is so aggravated that they chose not to come back.

Offer An Incentive to Discourage Unnecessary Sick Days

My staff has always told me that paid time off is their favorite benefit. So we offer up to two paid “Wellness Days” to our staff.

What’s a Wellness Day?

A Wellness Day is a paid day off that can be used just like a paid vacation day. In our salon it is a benefit for our full-time team members.

How are Wellness Days earned?

If a full-time team member hasn’t called in sick for six months they earn a paid Wellness Day. So if between January and June they haven’t called in sick they earn a Wellness Day. If they don’t call in sick between July and December they earn another Wellness Day. If someone new joins the team mid-way through the year, they become eligible to earn a Wellness Day once the next six month period begins.

How do you figure the value of a Wellness Day?

If they are an hourly employee the Wellness Day is based on their hourly wage. For instance, if the employee is paid $12 per hour:

$12 per hour x 8 hours of paid time off =  A Wellness Day paid out at $96

If the employee is a commissioned employee, their pay is based on an average of their service sales. Look at the prior six month period and determine the stylist’s total service sales.  Then figure the Wellness Day as follows:

($ of six months of service sales) x (the stylist’s commission rate) ÷ (26 weeks) ÷ (40 hours) x (8 hours) = Value of Wellness Day

For instance, if a stylist had brought in $26,000 in service sales over the first six months of the year and they are paid a commission rate of 45% you’d figure it as follows:

$26,000 (sales) x .45 (commission rate) ÷ 26 (weeks) ÷ 40 (hours) x 8 (hours) = A Wellness Day paid out at $90

It’s An Enhancement To Your Benefits Package

Our full time staff really likes having the opportunity to earn up to two additional paid days off per year. When hiring new employees it’s just another way to set your salon apart from the competition and it’s an effective way to prevent employees from calling out sick.

Would you consider offering Wellness Days to your salon staff?
Salon Biz

3 Books to Help Bring Your Salon Customer Service to the Next Level

3 books with ideas that will help you make your salon stand out from the competition. #salonbusiness

If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to bring your small business to the next level with it’s customer service, I’d recommend any of the books below. Each one has challenged me to make significant changes in how we service our guests.

1.  Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer

Danny Meyer is the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns 12 restaurants in NYC. In this book he explains in great detail how he and his restaurant teams consistently orchestrate personalized experiences that have helped his restaurants build a loyal following of satisfied guests and made him a leader in his industry.

“Understanding the distinction between service and hospitality has been at the foundation of our success. Service is the technical delivery of that product. Hospitality is how the delivery of that product makes the recipient feel. Service is a monoloque–we decide how we want to do things and set our own standards for service. Hospitality, on the other hand, is a dialoque. To be on a guest’s side requires listening to that person with every sense, and following up with a thoughtful, gracious, appropriate response. I takes both great service and great hospitality to rise to the top.”    –Danny Meyer


2.  Secret Service: Hidden Systems That Deliver Unforgettable Customer Service by John DiJulius

John DiJulius is president of John Robert’s Hair Studio & Spa which has 4 locations in Ohio. He’s also the head of The DiJulius Group, a consulting firm specializing in customer service and marketing strategies. In this book he discusses all the systems he has in place that have resulted in his business retaining clients well exceeding the industry average. He explains how exceeding client expectation leads to them becoming your biggest marketing asset.

Secret Service is the implementation of hidden systems that enable our staff consistently to exceed the client’s expectations and to make the client feel welcome, comfortable and understood…The result is that repeat business is ensured, more dollars are spent, and many referrals are gained.” –John DiJulius

3. Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by Disney Institute with Theodore Kinni

Disney Institute is the global professional-training arm of The Walt Disney Company. Theodore Kinni is an award-winning business writer and senior editor for Strategy+Business magazine. In this book they explain how Disney theme parks create Practical Magic, “the response that it produces in guests when everything comes together into a seamless, seemingly effortless performance.” Although producing their level of customer service might seem daunting, the beauty of this book is that you learn how providing quality service is all about orchestrating a consistently “onstage” and “offstage” experience.

Quality Service means exceeding your guests’ expectations by paying attention to every detail of the delivery of your products and services. If this definition seems less than astounding, think about how you feel when you learn how a magic trick is accomplished. Suddenly, it all seems so simple.” –Disney Institute w/ Theodore Kinni

To me the common theme between these 3 books is that you must have the right systems in place and hire the right people to create a WOW experience every single time a customer has contact with your business. You also have to be willing to modify those systems to meet the changing needs of your customers. It’s a never ending process but one that you must be committed to if you want to grow your business.

Do you have a favorite customer-service based business book? What is it called and what did you learn form it?

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What I Finally Learned About Being Organized

It took me some time, but I finally learned the secret to staying organized for good. #organization #simpleliving

Ugh!! I never have any time to relax when I’m at home!!

That’s what I would find myself saying on a daily basis.

My home has always had a neat and orderly plan. The clothes in my closet organized by season, style and color. Baskets and bins for every toy in the children’s playroom. Every piece of food in my kitchen cabinets and in the refrigerator categorized by type and then tallest to shortest so that I can easily find what I’m look for. Holiday decorations and old paperwork boxed up in the basement. Etc, etc….

I know…it’s over the top. But living in an organized space has always helped me to feel more at ease.

The problem was, I never felt at ease.

With three kids, two dogs and my husband at home, as soon as I had everything put in it’s place I found myself constantly needing to reorganize. Putting things away in their “special spots” all the time. Not sitting down and spending quality time with my husband or kids because there was always something to put away in an effort to reachieve that organized “perfection”.

I started to see things in a different way.

About a year ago I came across a life-changing blog post by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus on their Minimalists blog. It was called “Organizing is Often Well-Planned Hoarding”.

Wow….reading that post was like holding up a mirror to myself. It was also frightening. I would NEVER have considered myself to be a hoarder.

When I think of hoarding, images of junk piled to the ceiling and dusty, impassable hallways in a home are what comes to mind. That wasn’t me!

But the more I thought about it…maybe I did have a whole lot of stuff elegantly organized that I just didn’t need. Things I held on to “just in case” I might need it. Or gifts that had been given to me that, although thoughtful, didn’t necessarily fit my needs or style. School papers and momentos from my youth that had long lost their sentimental meaning. Duplicates of utensils and containers in the kitchen. Books that I had purchased with the best intentions but had never gotten around to reading. Toys and clothes that my kids had outgrown. Etc., etc…

The stuff had to go.

I realized that having so many items in my house that didn’t necessarily bring me joy or were useful on a daily basis was sucking the energy out of me. Without even realizing it, all of those extra things required me to spend time cleaning, organizing and putting them away…and keeping them that way.

So I started to get rid of stuff. It’s taken me almost one year but I’ve done it. I’ve gone room by room, drawer by drawer, shelf by shelf, asking myself one item at a time if I needed that item or if it brought me joy. If the answer was no, it got donated to my local Goodwill Store.

Let time tell you…the first few trips to Goodwill were tough. I was nervous. Afraid to let go of the stuff even though I clearly didn’t need it. But the lightness I felt once I dropped off those big boxes one by one over the last year has been liberating beyond words. And every additional box that I packed up got easier to do.

Things finally felt different…in a good way.

I’ve exchanged those boxes for a sense of calm and peace that I never could have imagined possible.

Now when I walk through the house I have a sense of ease I didn’t have before. I have time to read, pray, do a puzzle with kids or spend time at night talking with my husband about the day. I can do all of those things without a sense of nervousness about me like I used to have. That undercurrent of anxiety about my surroundings that used to control me is gone.

Life still goes on. Having fewer things doesn’t mean life is easier overall. But when the craziness of life in general is happening like it always does, having a living space that doesn’t add to the stress makes it a bit easier.

What is your biggest struggle with staying organized and feeling relaxed at home?

Salon Biz

Could You Save Someone’s Life Today?

Whether you're a stay-at-home parent or work outside of the home, what you do can make a difference to others. Embrace the power that you were blessed with.

God gives work as a gift so that we can serve others.  -Psalm 8:6

My husband, Alfredo, and I own a salon and spa that we opened 25 years ago. We have a staff of 36 fabulous people. My husband is the “artist”, providing hair services to our guests and training our technical staff. I handle the business and operational side of things. 

Several years ago we were at a business conference when another salon owner named David Wagner got on the stage and presented a story to us that had changed his life.

As he explained at the conference, he was working in his salon one day when a client came in to have her hair styled. He was surprised to see her since it was right in the middle of her five-week period between haircuts. He figured that she must have an important social engagement, so he asked her about her evening plans.

“I don’t have anything special going on,” she told him. “I just want to look and feel good tonight.”

He gave her a great scalp massage, then shampooed and styled her hair. During their 30-minutes together, they joked and laughed. At the end, she smiled radiantly, hugging him goodbye.

A few days later he received a letter from this client and began to realize the enormous potential of making a simple but profound difference in someone’s life. His client admitted that she had wanted her hair styled so it would look good for her own funeral. She had planned to commit suicide that evening. But the wonderful time she had during their appointment had given her hope that things could get better. She decided to check herself into the hospital and get professional help. She thanked him for caring, even though he hadn’t known what she was going through. She wrote “thank you for being there without knowing that you were.”

My husband and I were stunned. We thought about how many clients that we come into such personal contact with every day. How many might be feeling distressed and that we would have no inkling about it. What if that salon owner had been upset, distracted, or hurried when that client came to see him?

That experience made us take stock of ourselves as business owners. How many of the hundreds of clients we saw each week might be in personal crisis? Even if it were only one person a day, we might have no way of knowing who needed some extra attention. From that day forward, we resolved to be sure that every person on our staff would be held accountable to treat every client who walked through the door just like he had treated that woman.

Now when we hire new team members, we’re not so concerned about their ability to cut or color hair, or give the best manicure. We can teach them how to do those things. What we look for is a compassionate and positive outlook on life. A sense of the person being able to look outside of themselves and be aware of the world around them. The people on our team are given an opportunity to have not just a “job” but a purpose. Wanting to make a difference in our little corner of the world.

The first thing we do upon hiring a new team member is give them a copy of the story I just told. We give that to them and tell them, “This is who were are. This is why we do what we do and why our business exists and we feel that you can help us fulfill this mission with the special qualities that you possess.” 

We now call our clients “guests”. We have broken down every step of the guest experience and train our staff on what that should like to ensure that every guest leaves our salon feeling important, valued and taken care of. So that even if they’re not in crisis they can feel renewed after a visit with us. And this atmosphere creates a great work environment for our team. We work together to fulfill our mission and we each take care of each other too. It’s truly a work “family”.

Don’t get me wrong. We still need to focus on being profitable and being sure that we are a healthy financially, but we need to do that to ensure that our business is thriving so that we can fulfill our mission of serving our community and providing opportunities for our staff to thrive.

How can you make a difference in the lives of others you work with every day? Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or work outside of the home, what you do matters. Embrace the gifts that you were blessed with and make a difference.