Whenever I’m visiting a town I like to book a blow dry at the top hairdressing salon.

Incognito of course, to see how the best in the business do it.

And to learn from their client care mistakes…

Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.
– Brandon Mull, Fablehaven

These are three of the most common hair salon customer care mistakes I see on my travels. Easy to make, and oh so preventable.


Come clean over salon customer care

I judge salons on their loos. If the washroom isn’t spotless I start fretting about the hygiene of the coffee cup I’ve just drunk from.

Sorry, I can’t help it. And I’m not alone.

Successful salons have checks on the hour. Basic customer care, yet often overlooked. Try a rota in the team room with a checklist to cover regular spot checks throughout the working day.

And then there is the vexed question of drying my hands. I do not want to be greeted by a communal hand towel which has clearly being used by umpteen people throughout the day (and possibly the day before). And you’d be surprised how many times I see this on my undercover salon visits.

Invest in an electric hand-dryer, individual mini towels or, if budget is tight, a neat pile of thick white paper towels. Add some hand cream too for a pampering touch.


“Your opinion’s important to us” but customer care isn’t

Giving clients a simple way to give you feedback on their visit is fundamental to improving salon customer care. But I feel distinctly uncomfortable when a ‘Salon Feedback’ form is thrust into my hand just as I’m paying the bill.

If you’re going to canvas my opinion please don’t leave it until the last minute when I’m in a rush because you were late starting my hair appointment. It just doesn’t show consideration for my valuable time.

Ask for my client care feedback in your time. Ask me while I’m sitting in your chair, with time on my hands and can give it my full attention.

This way you might then learn about the grubby towel in your toilets and your off-hand receptionist. And this way you won’t make me feel I have to give you a meaningless 5 out of 5 on your questionnaire because I’m in a dash and you’re looking over my shoulder.

If you’d like a free ready-to-use hair salon client care questionnaire you can download one here. For tips and ideas on customer feedback to improve your customer care try this blog post.


The invisible man

Even the best hair salons can be guilty of customer care gaffes.

I arrived at a well-known London hair salon recently to find the receptionist in deep conversation with a woman who wanted to book her appointments for the next 6 months. Fair enough. That’s part of a good receptionist’s job and I’m all for encouraging re-bookings.

However, minutes later, I was still standing there unacknowledged and feeling a bit like a spare part. Just a smile in my direction with “I’ll be with you in a minute” would have done the trick. She’s noticed me!

Successful salons make sure their receptionists do this. The client having the conversation won’t mind, and I’m suddenly a happy bunny – not a cross, neglected one.


Better customer care will make your hair salon more successful

Good salon customer care isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s fundamental to growing a successful business.

‘If you are not good with customers you will never make as much profit as you should,’ according to EasyJet CEO Carolyn McCall. Speaking at an international conference recently she said that any company interested in building a business for the long-term, rather than short-term profitability, should be focused on customer service and meeting customer expectations.

Sound salon marketing advice. But easier to say than do when you’re running a busy hairdressing business. Why not put aside one hour this week to look at these 3 customer care touch points and put any improvements in place.

It will almost certainly help you become a more successful salon.