It was Maya Angelou, the American poet, who said:
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
You’ve chosen to build a career in hair. Hair is fashion. Fashion is feeling. People choose their wardrobe, their jewellery and their hairstyle because they want to feel a certain way: Confident, successful, fun, hip, sexy, you name it. Clients come in for their hair, but they leave with a feeling. And that feeling is made up of all the little things that they experience while in your chair.
You’ve chosen the profession of hair. And as with any profession, those that are considered true ‘professionals’ in their respective trade pay close attention to the client experience. In hair, that experience is made of up of three components:
- The hair
- The physical salon space
- The human interaction with the stylist
This is a ‘permission to play’ item. In order to have permission to come out to play, it’s assumed you can already do hair so we’re going to leave this one to you.
The Physical Salon Space
When you walk into your salon tomorrow, ask yourself: Is this is a space that would impress me?
Questions to help guide you through this process include:
- Is the floor clean?
- What does the salon smell like?
- Is there a selection of product on the shelves? Is it laid out in a symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing way?
- Are the chairs in the reception area lined up in an orderly manner?
- Is the artwork on the walls modern and inspiring?
- Are your tools laid out in full view on the counter, or are they put away in an orderly manner?
- Are the sinks clean?
Download our salon readiness checklist below for a comprehensive checklist of all the things to check before opening your salon for the day.
The physical salon environment is part of the overall client experience. Clients are quirky. Some are manic about clean floors, while others get anxious at the lack of symmetry in the bottles of product arrayed on the shelf in front of them. As silly as it might sound to you, these small details can have a huge impact on the way the client feels about their experience. These are details that are completely within your control so don’t let them become detractors from the overall client experience.
The Interaction With The Stylist
Hair is one of the more intimate services one person gives to another. Aside from medical professionals, there are very few other service providers that physically touch us. And due to this intimate experience, building rapport and trust with the client is important to ensuring they leave feeling wonderful about their experience. Remember, your client isn’t going to remember their hair, they’re going to remember how they felt about their hair.
You are the biggest component in this feel-good-formula. There are two main components here:
- Your Personal Presence
- Your ‘Givesashit’
Your personal presence is the aura that you give off. It’s made up of your physical appearance and your attitude. From a physical standpoint, you’re selling beauty. So you need to do your best to show that you make this a priority for yourself. Some questions to ask yourself before you leave home in the morning include:
- Are my nails clean and trim?
- Is my own hair styled in a way that would impress me?
- Is my outfit professional?
- Are my shoes stylish?
- Are my accessories in keeping with the outfit?
- Do I smell good?
- Is my breath fresh?
Remember that you’re probably the only regular fashion advisor most people have. People get advice on fashion from friends, from magazines, from television and the internet, but you’re likely the only fashion professional most people have in their lives. As the most (or only) significant fashion authority for your client, you need to make sure that you bring your A-Game every day. Everyone is allowed to have an ‘off’ day, but you get less leeway here simply because your business is fashion & beauty. So you need to hold yourself to a higher standard. It may not be fair, but its the industry you chose so have fun and own it.
Your Givesashit (a.k.a. Attitude)
Your givesashit is the attitude you bring to the salon day in and day out. This is the most significant piece in the feel-good-formula for making clients feel good about their haircut. It’s the small talk you make with the client (see our lesson on The Hamburger Theory), it’s the positive, upbeat language you use, it’s the interactive voice tone you use, it’s the way you treat your coworkers, it’s the general attitude that you give-a-shit about making the client’s world a better place. Questions to ask yourself in the mirror before your first client appointment include:
- Am I in a positive mood today?
- Will I show genuine interest in my clients’ lives today?
- Do I want to see my coworkers succeed today?
- Am I going to be a professional, despite what’s going on in my personal life?
Everyone has bad days. But the true pros are the ones that rise above and put their clients first.
Download our checklist on personal presence below and get prepared to impress your next appointment.
Remember, clients come to you for the overall experience that includes a hair service. They will leave with a great look that they will soon forget, and a feeling that will stick with them for weeks. Make the client feel good about themselves and you’ll earn a repeat client for life.
That's it for lesson two. Your action step is to download the checklists and review them to make sure that the client experience you're delivering is excellent.
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