Jessica Cooper
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Building Great Client Relationships

One of the top priorities for any salon to be successful is to make sure clients feel appreciated. Every salon wants to have clients coming in regularly, and have them give great referrals to new clients. There are a number of ways to make your clients feel loved and appreciated.  Here is our list of the top 3 ways you can improve your client relations:

1. Thank You Notes

A couple of years ago I went to a salon I had never been to before and had a fantastic hair experience.  My stylist gave me a fresh, new look, and made me feel beautiful - that is definitely the most important and best way to get clients to come back to a salon. The second best way is to make them feel like their business is appreciated.  My stylist did a great job with that too.  A couple of days after my first appointment I received a thank you card in the mail from her - thanking me for coming in, wishing me all the best with my new hair, and enclosed her business card.  Nothing says to a client that their business is appreciated like a thank you card in the mail.

Send a hand written thank you card in the mail to all clients after their first visit.  Don't forget to include your business card!  Just a small step like that could make a big difference in having your clients come back for more visits to your salon or spa. Now I am a regular client at the salon, and every so often I get a card in the mail for my birthday and holidays from my stylist thanking me for my continued business, and she often includes a product sample gift along with the card. Something that may only take a few minutes out of your day can make a huge difference in retaining your clients and getting excellent referrals.

2. Keep a Client Journal

When your return client walks in the door you want them to feel that they are expected, and that you remember them.  The best way to keep up a positive relationship with you clients is to keep track of their appointments, the products they have purchased and that you have used with them, the color mixture you used on their hair previously, the cut you did and other important personal details like their name, email, mailing address, phone number, the names of their children if they have them, their birthday and other little personal details. Many salons have software in place to help them keep track of client details, but if you don't have that, don't sweat it. You can easily keep track of all those things in a client journal, or a filing cabinet with client cards listed by name.

When they come in for their first appointment, have them fill out a little card with info about themselves like name, email address, mailing address, birthday etc. Then you can also create a card for them where you write down what color you used on their hair, and any other details about their appointment that may be helpful in the future. Nothing gives a client more confidence than a smiling stylist who greets them, remembers them by name and asks them about some personal details discussed at their previous appointment. Also, another good tip is to always start off a hair consultation with a discussion about what you did with their hair or whatever you service you provided last time. You want to ask, were happy with it, and would like the same thing or something similar.

3. Pamper Your Clients

The subtle things you can do to help your clients feel more comfortable in you salon can make a huge difference to their impression of you and you salon. It doesn't cost a lot or require a ton of extra energy to purchase an espresso/coffee machine and offer your clients coffee, tea or water. Every client wants to feel pampered on a visit to a salon or spa. People have busy schedules and often don't spend much time relaxing, or taking time out for themselves. A visit to a salon or spa is the perfect opportunity to help your client feel relaxed. You really want them to enjoy their experience. To really make a good impression, don't skimp on the products you offer. Have nice teas, and real coffee/ espresso on hand, and serve them in nice porcelain cups with a saucer. If you give them water, give it to them in a nice glass with ice and lemon.

Another way you can pamper your clients is to make sure to include a shampoo and blow dry with their hair appointment. I personally think it is tacky to add that on as a separate charge and only offer it as an add-on instead of just including that as a part of the appointment. If you need to charge extra then just have the price of your overall service (haircut)reflect the extra time needed for a shampoo and dry. There have been many times where I have left a salon with wet hair because "they didn't know I wanted a blow dry" and were planning to charge me a lot extra if I wanted that. It makes the customer feel stupid, under appreciated, and worst of all - leave with terrible looking wet hair!! A big NO-NO in my book. Unless your clients specifically say they don't want a shampoo or dry - you should automatically include that service with their appointment - and just as I mentioned - have your overall prices reflect the total experience they will have. Clients are usually more willing to pay a little extra on the overall price - as opposed to wishing to pay "extra" for services they already expect.

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