How to WOW salon clients and win more business

This post could have been titled ‘How to make your clients feel super-special’. Because that is what it boils down to.

It’s simple stuff – not rocket science.

The difficult bit is remembering to do it when you’re running a busy salon business. Finding the time to keep ‘WOW’ front of mind. But if you want to attract new clients to your hair or beauty salon that’s what you need to do.

So what are we talking about here? I see five key areas – let’s call them the ‘WOW Winners‘.


#1. Impressing salon clients means ‘It’s all about you – not me’

The golden WOW Winners rule:

Your client is the most important person in your salon universe.

It doesn’t matter how bad a day you’re having or how rushed you are – be ‘YOU’ focused. Not ‘ME’ focused.

Easy to write. More difficult to do.

The foremost marketing question in your mind, at all times, needs to be “What can we do to make our salon clients think, feel and say the following…”

“What a lovely surprise.”
“You remembered I love…”
“That was above and beyond – thank you sooo much.”
“No other salon has made me feel so very special.”
“You’ve stopped me worrying about…”
“I know I can always trust you to…”


#2. Create a WOW salon moment – be thoughtful

A little attention to detail and consideration goes a very long way in salon.

A WOW can be yours for little time or financial outlay. It’s the thought that counts.

Here are a few simple ideas:

  • Ask when their parking ticket runs out as they arrive, then offer to feed the meter before it’s too late. It’s difficult to dash to feed the meter with your hair in foils or covered in massage oil. Believe me I’ve tried.
  • Keep a stash of inexpensive umbrellas at reception to offer clients when it’s pouring and theirs is in the car. My heart sinks when I’ve just paid to get my hair cut and coloured to discover it’s bucketing down as I leave the salon.
  • I love this one. Make a WOW Winner out of a problem… at a salon we work with in Leicestershire parking can be a problem. The resourceful salon owner arranges for a local valet company to collect your car as you arrive at his salon, and deliver it back as you leave. All shiny and clean. WOW.
  • And you’ll find a couple of other salon customer care tips here.


#3. Keep it personal if you want to win more salon business

If you’re going to impress then you need to get the business basics right. And being personal, but not overly-friendly, is essential.

  • We all like to hear our name used (don’t overdo it though, it sounds tacky and insincere). So take this a stage further. Don’t just send your standard salon birthday card out to your best clients. Jot a personal message on it to make them feel special.
  • It only takes a minute to create a personal WOW Winner. As the salon owner make a conscious point of talking to your team’s clients. It is, after all, your salon business. Your bottom line. Use their name, have a chat, compliment them on their nails, hair or whatever service they’re paying you for that day. It only needs to be brief but it shows you care about them. And you just might discover some valuable feedback to.


#4. Make clients feel appreciated if you want to impress

Good old-fashioned manners. Courtesy. Respect. Call it what you will. They all amount to pretty much the same thing – thinking about other people’s needs and concerns, not just your own.

  • I’m sure you don’t take your clients for granted. But do you proactively show them how much you value their loyalty, custom and support? When was the last time you demonstrated your appreciation to a long-standing client with flowers, a glass of fizz or surprised them with a complimentary bottle of their favourite moisturiser?
  • A genuine compliment delivered with a smile makes everyone feel a million dollars. And it doesn’t dent your salon marketing budget.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
– Mother Teresa

  • And a practical thought here. Time has a nasty habit of passing all too fast. It may only seem yesterday, but those flowers you delighted a client with on their birthday was six years ago not two. Like all salon marketing you need to monitor activity – keep a note on your till software or in a notebook. Review it now and again to make sure you don’t leave it too long between lovely WOW Winning surprises!


#5. Listen, learn and act if you want to build your salon business

Listening means it’s easy to deliver the little WOW extras that count. The ones your clients value and which bring a smile to their face.

Educate your salon team to ask questions and to listen carefully to their clients reply. Now use this priceless information. It’s the easiest way to a WOW Winner.

  • Copy a trick from the world’s most exclusive hotels. They understand that little things add up when it comes to impressing clients. Remember their favourite drink, their preference for a neck rest at the backwash, their partner’s name, their new job, the chair or therapy room they like best… simple, inexpensive and effective.
  • Make it easy for your team to remember. Notes on your till software, record cards, notes on a tablet or a simple notebook tucked behind reception. Just get into the habit of asking the questions and jotting down the replies for future WOWS.
  • And finally a WOW flop to avoid… listen discreetly to your team with their clients. Do they have a conversation with their client or is it a monologue? I was in a salon recently and a very excited stylist next to me was getting married. Her client was subjected to 45 minutes of detailed wedding arrangements and barely uttered two sentences during the whole of the appointment – desperately trying to read a magazine so the non-stop monologue would cease. The stylist was young, very sweet and clearly thrilled but she certainly wasn’t WOWING.


Salon marketing and business systems to deliver ‘WOW’

So now you know the areas you need to be focusing on to create WOW Winners and build salon business. How do you ensure it happens?

The whole team needs to be involved and fully on-board. Try using these questions as the basis of a WOW salon marketing brain storming session.

  • What are your current salon WOW Winners?
  • Do you and your team have the WOW attitude?
  • What WOWS could your salon deliver in the future?
  • Do you need more team training or support tools?
  • How will you weave WOW into your salon marketing activities?
  • How can you guarantee WOW stays ‘front of mind’?
  • How will you measure whether your WOWS are working?


And a last salon marketing word…

Creating the WOW factor is a customer service activity which must be delivered consistently. You can’t blow hot and cold. It’s not just something for days when the salon is quiet or you happen to remember.

And therein lies the challenge. WOW has to be a salon habit.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not a single act, but a habit.
– Aristotle

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