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The old saying “silence is golden” applies in many situations – typically when someone is speaking out of turn, or making a negative comment about another person or situation. I think we can all agree that sometimes, we wish our salon guests would keep this in mind before they cause a scene in our lobby, or write a bad review about us on Yelp or Facebook. Although we may try our best, it’s unrealistic to think we can please everyone all the time and make every guest 100% happy.
Although we wish unhappy guests didn’t throw a fit in our lobby or write badly about us on Google, they are doing one thing right: they are voicing how they feel.
This month, I want to talk about the customer who DOESN’T complain.
Of your salon guests who may have had a bad experience, the majority will not complain or voice a concern – but they also will not come back.
So, what is better: Losing a customer with no warning or opportunity to correct the situation, or having her express her feelings to you or your staff? We don’t want unhappy customers; but if we are being realistic, it’s going to happen. So let’s talk about ways to identify the quietly unhappy customer and ways to make her feel valued and appreciated.
The majority of unhappy customers will not complain or voice a concern – but they also will not come back.
You may not think this is a big deal, but it is. Remembering little details about your salon guests like their name, where they work, what their weekend plans are/were and creating conversation helps establish and maintain relationships and loyalty to your business. At the salon where I have my nails done, they always ask me how my family is doing, bring up past trips I have taken to ask how they went, or even talk about a house project they know I am working on. It may seem trivial, but as a customer it makes me feel valued. It’s almost as though I am making enough of an impact that they remember me, remember what I like, and enjoy making conversation with me. Taking that extra time for a little small talk with your guests goes a long way.
When They Ghost You
You had a customer who came in twice a week for months, now you don’t ever see him. Did he go to a different salon? Did he stop tanning altogether? Did he move out of town? Instead of wondering, pull the data for any customers who haven’t come in that month and give them a call. Not an email or a text but an old fashioned phone call to let them know you miss seeing them in the salon, and invite them in for a free tan that month. You never know – it could be the little nudge they needed.
Membership or Service Downgrade
The idea is to upgrade every tanner into your top-level bed. So what do you do when one wants to downgrade their service? First, you want to identify her “why.” Is she unhappy with her results? Is the bed she wants never available? If it’s neither of those, then maybe she doesn’t feel the value in what she is paying for. If that’s the case, maybe you can sweeten up your membership services. Try leaving a mint on the sunbed pillow, send a thank you card with a lotion coupon a couple of times a year thanking her for being a valued customer. Offer a free lotion packet when they feel their results are stagnant. These little touches aren’t a huge investment and in the big scheme of things, are minor when compared to losing a customer for good.
I will leave you with this tip: Just because they don’t complain doesn’t mean they are 100% happy. Treat every guest with the same caring attitude as you would the one who wrote a bad review. You never know what someone else is thinking so make sure you go so far above and beyond for each and every customer, there is no way they can feel neglected or underappreciated.
As Director of Brand Development for Devoted Creations’ family of brands, Lisa brings 17 years of industry experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to all aspects of the business, including social media, product development, training, customer relations, public speaking and marketing strategies. Lisa worked at the salon level managing a large chain of salons, which infuses her sales training and brand concepts with real world experience. Lisa has been chosen IST Magazine’s “Person of the Year” four times.
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