By AHP Staff
We all have special days in our lives, and we appreciate when someone remembers and acknowledges them. Our clients feel the same way. It could be their birthday, the birth of a child, a wedding anniversary, or even a promotion they receive at work. When was the last time you celebrated a client’s special occasion with them? I’m not talking about when they had an appointment that day, you were there and did their hair. Maybe you even gave them a special little discount to “celebrate.” That’s not what I mean by celebrating your clients’ special days.
Everyone likes to feel they have value, and people are inherently drawn to those who leave them feeling like they’re valued. That’s a fundamental concept when you consider value as it pertains to your clients. If you make a big deal of your clients’ big deals, that is the kind of customer service that generates clients for life. It takes minimal effort and produces maximum benefit. It only takes three simple steps.
To celebrate a client’s big day, you have to know it’s happening. Make sure your client database includes personal information as well as when their last appointment was, what services they’ve had done, and chemical/color formulas. Most hairdressers and barbers track their clients’ birthdays, but tracking wedding anniversaries, graduation dates, a job promotion, and other personal milestones is going to set you apart from other businesses that send out an automated 10-percent-off happy birthday email.
Most of our clients will mention upcoming important events in their lives during the service. You should also get in the habit of asking what’s happening in their lives. Make sure to note any bits of information you glean in the client’s file so you don’t forget before their next appointment. When you prepare for each appointment, check their notes so you can prepare for a potential celebration. If you keep records of your clients’ social media handles (which you should), take a quick peek at their life through their social media presence and scan for celebration opportunities.
Prepare to celebrate. You can make this easy on yourself by designating a cabinet or a container in your salon to be your “party central.” Keep it stocked with streamers, balloons, and birthday, anniversary, graduation, engagement, retirement, and new baby signs. A “special day” disposable sash or pin helps alert fellow salon employees to congratulate your client when she isn’t at your decorated station. Take a walk through any party store to get creative ideas on how to decorate for your celebrations. And don’t forget to keep lots of cards on hand for all kinds of occasions or just a stack of salon-branded notecards 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.
When your client arrives, make sure they are greeted with the same enthusiasm as a six-year-old birthday boy opening the door to his gift-bearing buddies. Take their coat. Call them by name. Get them a refreshment. Make sure your client isn’t treated like it’s just another day. This is the time to reflect on life’s gifts, focus on the half-full glasses, and rejoice in the occasion. It IS a celebration, after all!
As the service comes to an end and your client must return to the real world, make sure they know how much you’ve enjoyed the time together to celebrate their special day. Be sure to take a picture so you can both share the special occasion with the world. We’re all aware that when it comes to special occasions, it’s Instagram or Facebook, or it just didn’t happen! Make the day even more special by sending them home with a small bottle of their favorite product.
The last thing you want is other clients feeling left out. If some hairstylists at the salon are going over the top to celebrate their clients, but other stylists aren’t giving their clients the same attention on their special days, it can cause hard feelings. Make sure there’s an established, communicated policy for all staff for special occasion celebrations. The policy should include who cleans up after the celebration and who keeps the celebration supplies well-stocked. Set the ground rules, such as what occasions constitute celebrating, whether service discounts are offered or you’ll acknowledge the client in another way, exactly what should be done for a celebration, who’s responsible for what—be as detailed as possible. The more you put in black and white, the less room for confusion and disgruntled employees or clients. Celebrating with your clients should be a happy occasion, not a headache.
One of the best parts of being a hairdresser is honoring your clients by celebrating special occasions with them. Make it fun and invite everyone in the salon to celebrate. You will be spreading a contagious good vibe! Clients in your salon will be telling their friends, “I love my salon; there’s always some kind of exciting celebration happening!”