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Unless you know what your clients/guests want there is no way you will ever achieve mind blowing customer service. The days of how nice your spa looks or what product brands you carried being the customer retaining factor are over. The fact is that customer service, the experience of the time spent with you and how that buyer feels when they leave is what will determine whether they return or go somewhere else.

I would like to start this article by saying the sooner we all get over the moaning and groaning that the industry and business is tough, the quicker we start focusing on finding the opportunities that are there and looking for more creative and innovative ways to make money. Start by accepting and embracing the fact that business has changed and the nature of how and why the guest buys is different, stop complaining about your staff, and then let’s sit and analyse how can we keep our staff longer and get them selling more and how we can attract and keep the guest.

I have over the last 8 months spoken to approximately 550 buyers/guests, here is the jist of the feedback:
50% said they look for special offers and better value for money
50% said the service delivery was not what they were looking for ranging from insufficient knowledge of the person taking the booking, to the welcome received on arrival, to the hygiene in the salon/spa, to the therapist lack of attention to detail and genuine interest in their personal needs, to the check out and so on.

SPECIALS AND VALUE. Most people buy on perceived value. Think about it, if you are going to buy a box of paper and you are offered a box of paper that is more expensive than the one you usually buy but the paper is bio degradable and 1c per page is going to a charity, you will be more likely to buy that box than the cheaper one. Why? You have more reason to buy it!

Make sure you are giving your client enough value and reasons to buy what you are selling. That means giving them enough information but it also means that you need to understand their needs in order to give them that value. Don’t make the mistake of giving a special price or promotion offer on treatments they don’t book because you want to promote other new interesting treatments. If your clientele is predominantly nails then offer a promotion on nails and if your clientele is predominantly facial then offer a promotion on facials.

SERVICE DELIVERY. This is where we go in depth into MIND BLOWING CUSTOMER SERVICE. This is what is going to keep your guests loyal and returning to you and referring friends to you. To make this simple let’s look at the points of what you should be doing to ensure your service is MIND BLOWING.

1. Easy, simple booking of treatments. If you can get online bookings even better but with online bookings your ability to upsell is limited however on confirmation of the booking you can easily upsell the treatment. If you are not online then the greeting when answering the phone has to be welcoming and comforting, the person making the booking must know inside out what the treatments consist of and must be able to offer an upsell to every single treatment booked. A reminder/confirmation of the booking is a MUST. Whether it is by SMS with a simple answer YES to confirm or a telephonic reminder makes no difference but you have to do this.

2. Safe parking. If you are able to add simple little extras like car wash while you in treatment even better. Make your guests life simpler and easier.

3. A warm and friendly welcome when they enter the salon/spa. Stand, smile and a hug if you know the guest goes a long way to keeping them loyal. It’s about HOW YOU MAKE THEM FEEL. Your front desk team has to look like a million dollars, well everyone must but the first impression is what they will never forget so neat, tidy, full make up meaning lipstick too, professional and neat clothing and smell delicious with the warmest biggest smile ever! If that is not what your salon/spa currently has greeting guests, change it immediately. To give you a little insight into how important the welcome of the guest is most of the motor car dealerships now have a guest relations person totally responsible for greeting the buyer and offering all sorts of added bits and pieces to the experience of potentially buying a car. Take your front desk and guest communications very seriously as this impacts the service delivery.

4. CLEAN and fresh surroundings. Not going to get into this as its boring and should be common sense but the guest sees a lot more than you do when they go in for treatments. You can never clean enough.

5. Meet their treatment expectations. The only way you can do this is by finding out what their expectation is, what they want to achieve and what their concerns are so you can help. This means effective consultation, not 30 minutes of it but quick 5 minute find needs analysis. Then MEET that and give the guest EXACTLY what they asked for PLUS LOVE AND SHOW GENUINE INTEREST in them. If a person feels love and that someone genuinely cares they will come back for more of that, guaranteed!

6. Deal with complaints THERE AND THEN. Do NOT let the guest leave your premises without dealing with a complaint. With complaints the first thing is LET THE PERSON speak even if the complaining takes half an hour so be it, they want to be heard. Secondly, once they have spoken ask in these words; “how can I make this right and better for you?” and then listen again. Please STOP trying to defend yourself, STOP offering free bees upfront. Sometimes all the guest wants is to be heard and to know that you will fix it and make it better. If they expect a free treatment and it is within reason then deliver on that. Most times your most loyal guests are the ones that started off complaining and unhappy and you managed to fix it. After a complaint guest has left, ensure to follow up with an email once again acknowledging their feedback and ensuring them that you have taken the necessary steps to fix it.

7. Follow up between treatments. If you want your guest to come back, best you remind them you are waiting for them and care about them, otherwise someone else will do that for you and then your guest is gone off to buy somewhere else. A simple phone call to ask how they feeling or how their products doing will suffice just to show you care. Then if you have an offer either WhatsApp them to offer it to them first. Get your mind around the power and efficiency of WhatsApp communication as it is instant and taking over.
I leave you with a famous quote we all know but don’t really do much about it.

‘Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting the different results’ Albert Einstein.

I urge you to start doing things differently TODAY!