Customer service mistake to avoid in your salon

A great salon experience is just that – an experience. To keep a customer booking with you again and again, everything from how they book you to the way they feel when they walk back out that door has to be perfect. But sometimes you might be making little mistakes without even realising it.

Let’s take a look at the top 6 salon mistakes that (secretly) wind up your clients.

1. Not giving honest advice

Your customers might be coming in to see you because they’ve got a crystal clear idea in mind, but they’re also often looking for some impartial, expert advice on what works and what doesn’t – the sort they can’t necessarily count on (or trust!) from their friends and family.

Make sure you’re answering any questions they have honestly and giving them your professional opinion. For example, if they seem keen on a treatment that’s unlikely to work for them, let them know politely (and explain to them why), and offer an alternative that you think will work better.

They’ll appreciate it. Remember, they’re trusting you with something very personal. Nothing will leave a bad taste in your clients’ mouths like feeling like just another number.

2. Being late (and not being up front about it if you are)

Sometimes you overrun – it happens. But when you leave clients waiting for an appointment they booked for a specific time slot, that can be an issue. You might only be a few minutes late, but you don’t know what they’ve got on for the rest of the day.

If you are running behind, make sure you let your client know as soon as they walk through the door (or even before, if possible).

Offer them a cup of coffee or tea. Be apologetic but up front about it – clients hate being strung along that their appointment is just around the corner, if it isn’t. It’ll work out much better in the long run if you’re honest.

3. Not signposting information clearly

What services do you offer, and what do they involve? With a whole world of hair and beauty out there (and a busy, modern life) most clients don’t have time to sit on the phone and ask you to run through exactly treatments you perform and how they all work.

Find a way, either online or in-store (window display anyone?) to make sure all that information is clear and available so they can book you with confidence – at the very least for your most popular treatments.

It’s also a good idea to put down in writing any special procedure stuff, too (like what to wear or what to bring) – especially if it can be a bit embarrassing…

4. Not keeping things clean

You’re busy. There’s roughly 1,000 things happening, customers and team members are flying in and out. But even in the midst of the madness, make sure you’re setting some time aside between treatments to clean and prepare your space properly for your next client.

It might seem pretty obvious, but you’d be amazed how quickly cleanliness levels can slip on a busy day – and even if the mess isn’t at critical levels, it’s still the first thing your clients will notice, especially if they’re first-timers.

Maintaining that clean, hygienic atmosphere is one of the key selling points for your clients. It keeps them feeling relaxed, safe in the knowledge they’re in professional hands. Take five minutes regularly to keep on top of the clutter, or assign a quick rota for your team. They’ll notice the difference straight away.

5. Not keeping records

Client notes go beyond just a name and email address. Over the course of a year, you might treat hundreds of different people, but if you expect to make each of them know you care on the personal level required to build a customer for life, you’ve got to learn a bit about each of them.

Obviously, that’s too much for any one person to just memorise. Note down key pieces of information after an appointment – what treatments they’ve had, what they liked (and disliked). Any background info you think will let you provide better, smoother customer service next time.

It’s not cheating – it’s a professional courtesy that will help you perform a better job. And, from their perspective, having to repeat their life story every few weeks isn’t exactly the greatest experience, either.

6. Over-promoting

How much promo is too much promo?

Blasting out an email to your entire client database every couple of days asking them to book again might bring you in a couple of appointments, but in the long run it’s just going to really annoy people. You need to get a bit more tactical.

Aim to tailor your other promotions to specific segments or groups of your clients that you think it’ll be most relevant for, and send out smaller bursts – only every couple of weeks.

Or, try working out when your clients should be coming in for their next treatment (it’s a nice idea to set up a few time categories and mark it in their client notes – see above) and then send them more personalised messages.

That’s obviously a lot more work, but it’s massively effective for turning first-time clients into dedicated regulars. Communicating a lot isn’t the same thing as communicating well – and nothing will irritate a client more than clogging up their inbox.

At Treatwell, we’re on a mission to make growing a hair & beauty business brighter for everyone.

Unique access to millions of beauty bookers online? Check. A beautiful, digital diary you can access from anywhere (with GDPR-secure client notes)? Yep. Tailor-made marketing tools and automatic invites to rebook? You got it.

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