CELEBRATING WITH OUR CLIENTS
When was the last time you celebrated a client’s special occasion with them? I’m not just talking about being there and doing their hair, or even tossing them a special little discount to “celebrate.” That’s not what I’m calling celebration.
Making a big deal of your clients’ big deals is the kind of customer service that generates clients for life. And it can be so easy—minimal effort with maximum benefit. Here’s how it can be done in three simple steps.
In order to celebrate a client’s big day, whether it’s their birthday, a promotion at work, or an engagement to the love of their life, you have to know it’s happening. Your client database should include appointment information, service history, chemical/color formulas, and some personal information about each guest. Tracking birthdays is a no-brainer, but tracking jobs, graduation dates, and family and significant-other details is going to set you apart from every other business’s automated POS system sending 10-percent-off Happy Birthday emails. Of course, there’s also the tried-and-true old school method of inquiring about other clients through their friends and family that are also your clients.
Make sure to note any golden bits of information in the client’s file so you don’t forget by the time they come in. When you check your client notes to prepare for each appointment, check their notes to also prepare for any potential celebrations.
Clients’ social media handles and profiles should be listed among their data; they’re just as important as having an address on file. Take a quick peek at their life through their social media presence and scan for celebration opportunities. Stay observant, write things down, and plan for clients before their appointment.
Second:Be prepared. Have you ever tried to throw together a celebration on the day of or an hour before? It’s stressful and never turns out as well as it could be. The easiest way to share in your clients’ special occasions in the salon is to always stay prepared. Designate a cabinet or container in the break room as party central. Keep it stocked with streamers, balloons, and happy birthday/ anniversary/graduation/engagement/retirement/new baby signs. A “special day” champagne flute, coffee mug, disposable sash, or pin helps alert fellow salon employees to congratulate your client when they aren’t at your decorated station. Bonus points if they can keep the little swag as a memento. Perhaps even a reusable, celebratory salon cape can be ordered.
A simple stroll through your local party supply store should get your creative celebration synapses sizzling. Don’t forget to keep lots of cards on hand for all kinds of occasions or just a stack of cute salon-branded notecards that you can fill in with whatever message is called for. Celebrating with clients is easy and fun when you have everything on hand and ready to rock.
And I daresay most important, make sure there’s an established, communicated special occasion celebration policy to all staff, even in writing. The last thing you want are clients feeling left out, some stylists going over the top using up all the party central stock, assistants being stuck with extra mess, no one being responsible for AHP ROOTS keeping the salon celebration-ready, etc.
Celebrating with your clients should be joyous, not a headache. Set the ground rules, such as what occasions constitute celebrating, if celebratory service discounts are done away with because the client has been acknowledged in another way, what should be done for a celebration, who’s responsible for what—as many details as possible. The more you put in black and white, the less room for confusion and disgruntled employees or clients.
Celebrating your clients’ special occasions with them is an honor and one of the best parts of being a hairstylist. There’s no sense keeping client special occasions under wraps with a whispered, “I’m taking 10 percent off your bill today as a ‘happy birthday.’ You’re welcome.” (Unless you know your client is painfully shy and would not appreciate being celebrated.) Make it fun, put it out there, invite everyone in the salon to celebrate. We’re talking about some seriously contagious good vibe spreading. Just think about the other clients in your salon going home to tell their friends, “I love my salon; there’s always some kind of exciting celebration happening!”