How to make a good salon business better (fast)

Do you ever lie awake at night worrying about the local competition?

Fretting about how to add some oomph to your salon business?

Well here’s a thought:

If you want to make your hair or beauty salon business better, try turning conventional marketing wisdom on its head for once.


Unleash a better salon business

Hair and beauty salon owners are repeatedly advised to make their client experience the very best they can:

Exceed expectations. Wow your client. Grow your salon.

But if you already run a successful, profitable hair or beauty business trying to think of new ways to up your game and wow the client starts to become distinctly challenging.

Instead try this novel approach…

Focus your energies on improving the least good customer experiences, rather than on making the best experiences even better.


Make a good salon great

Think about it.

It’s an intriguing concept.

Typically we concentrate our business efforts on creating brilliant customer experiences. We want our clients to be blown away from start to finish, and love our amazing salon experience.

But what happens when instead of looking to improve what is already fantastic, you aim to find, and improve, the ‘not so wonderful’ salon experiences.

It’s a fruitful and straightforward business exercise, with a potentially massive payback.

Here are 4 ideas to get you started on this ‘upside down’ salon business approach…

1. Painless ways to up your salon game

Start with some easy in-salon research to discover which damaging client’ niggles you can easily and inexpensively iron out. You’ll find my free ready-to-use hair and beauty client questionnaire to download here.

Now eliminate the niggles. It could be as simple as:

  • Upping your order of monthly magazines.
  • Putting some zing into your drinks’ menu.
  • Or just persuading your receptionist to smile.

It’s not rocket science. But it works. Try it today, and watch the grumbles start to melt away.

2. Good business systems for a trouble-free experience

Clients don’t want to be made to jump through hoops. A visit to your salon is meant to be a pampering, relaxing treat – not a chore. By improving the less-than-wonderful elements you create a trouble-free, effortless experience.

So check your salon marketing and business systems carefully and make it easy peasy for your clients.

Take salon booking for example:

  • Try using your online booking system. Is it easy and quick? Or slow and frustrating so clients abandon it halfway through?
  • Is your phone number highly visible on your salon website and social media?
  • Is your website mobile friendly so potential new clients can read it on their phones?
  • Do a mystery shop on your reception team. Room for small improvements?

All small, simple wins but they make for a better customer journey.

3. Deliver on your salon promises

“Do what you say you’re going to do.”

Simple enough you’d think, but often surprisingly tricky in a busy spa or salon.

Remember we’re focusing on improving the less-than-wonderful client experiences, so small tweaks can make a real difference.

How about this common source of client irritation – being kept waiting:

If you just improve the worst offenders’ poor time management most of the time you’ll immediately reduce a disproportionate chunk of client irritation.

And if a client has to be kept waiting ensure your receptionist lets them know immediately to reassure them that they are important. Don’t let creating an amazing customer experience for one client mean another client is left forlorn and forgotten in reception.

4. Choose your hair & beauty clients wisely

Stop struggling to please everyone all of the time. This may sound radical. But it makes good salon business sense.

We’re looking to improve those less-than-wonderful client experiences, not on trying to keep every client ecstatically happy all of the time. That’s impossible if you want to remain a profitable hair or beauty business.

Some clients are never going to be satisfied and indeed, are not right for your salon.

And your salon may not be right for them.

If you’re a top-end luxury spa or salon with prices and service to match then, whatever you do, you’ll never please the budget-conscious coupon-clipping client. So don’t try.

Looking to polish what is already fantastic is hard, so find and improve the ‘not so wonderful’ salon experiences and your business will go from good to great.

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