The best money you can spend…
Sometimes the best money you will spend as a training exercise is to be a paying client in a salon, then you really know what it feels like to be a client!
I am not hard to please, I always want someone to be at their best and impress me, I ask for their advice and want the benefit of their expertise. Some of the salons I visit as a client do a great job, others leave a lot to be desired.
Recently I needed a haircut and I went out of the hotel I was staying in to find someone to cut my hair. I remembered I had walked passed an interesting looking salon the night before so I thought I would go back there and see if they had any spare appointments.
So I walked into this salon and after a short while a young girl walks up to the desk and asks if she could help me, to which I replied, “Would I be able to get a haircut anytime soon?”
Bit by bit they lost me…
She then stared at the appointment book for an eternity before she walks over to a stylist who is with another client, and although I couldn’t hear what she said I assume it was something along the lines of “This guy wants to know how long before he can get a haircut?”
The stylist then turns around and looks me up and down, says something to the assistant who then comes back and says, “We can fit you in in about 20 minutes.” I responded by saying, “I might pop back later” and left…
So what was wrong with that?
When I walked in the door of the salon they had already succeeded, the money they had spent on the locations expensive rent and signage etc had worked for them, effectively they had already made the sale! All they needed to do was instil a level of confidence in me that they knew what they were doing, and they didn’t achieve that.
It’s not rocket science…
To start with, don’t put someone as your first point of contact with a client who doesn’t have the understanding or the people skills to do a very simple job. The appointment book was like every other appointment book, it has ‘times down the left side of the page and stylists names across the top’ and even I could see [looking at it upside down] that they were not busy.
When she went to ask someone else who then looked me up and down, it was as if to say “yeah he won’t take long!” There was no level of enthusiasm or service or even a smile that made me feel like anything other than a nuisance that they would get in and out as fast as they could!
Compare that too…
What should have happened is that ideally there would be someone already at the desk, they should have made eye contact and smiled immediately and said, “Good morning how may I help you today?” To which I would have replied, “Would I be able to get a haircut anytime soon?”
He or she then should have looked in the appointment book, been instantly able to see what times were available and said something along the lines of,
“We would love to look after you today! One of our best stylists will be able to look after you in no more than 20 minutes, perhaps you would like to sit down and make yourself comfortable, if you like I could get you a coffee and this morning’s paper until she’s ready for you.”
You had me at hello!
I would have sat down, enjoyed a coffee, read the morning paper and perhaps have benefited from an extended massage with my shampoo and maybe would have bought product and been a regular monthly client for years from that point on.
How many clients do they lose?
How many clients do they lose because of the lack of a personable, well trained professional at the from desk? Even if it was just one client a day that did what I did and left to go somewhere else, the lost revenue would probably pay for the wage of a competent receptionist and increase the salon revenue dramatically.
If you want to find to what happened when I eventually did get my haircut tune in next week.