I am always trying to find ways of making a client’s visit to my salon more special than the time before, so how do I do this?
I sit in the chair myself and try to become the client. My in-depth knowledge of how different people experience their visits really does help me. I strongly believe people experience their visits differently and this is influenced by what they see, what they hear, how they feel and whether they are digitally minded.
When I sit in the chair, I first try to become a client who likes the visual image of my salon. I try to imagine how she sees her visit through her eyes. The overall image of the salon is very important to her. How her hair looks at the end of her visit is vital. So this means I need to keep the salon clean and tidy for the image of the salon. I always buy white cups for drinks, as white always looks clean and I guarantee it would be her favourite choice of colour if asked which cup she would like to drink from. I constantly update my window display, I am so fortunate to use Paul Mitchell Products, as the company provides me with all my amazing posters for the salon. I try to display my products neatly on the stands. Having a really good selection of all my products and the tools I use to create hair styles will also be on show in my salon. When I am working with a particular product for their hair, I always show a client all the products I will be using. I let them see the product packaging with their own eyes. This nearly always results in a product being purchased by the client.
Clients who like to feel comfortable with their visit to my salon on the other hand, will need a different approach. With these clients it is all about how you make them feel. I seem to have gained a lot of clients like this. I have great understanding about being able to build rapport with my clients and know exactly how they are feeling. The surroundings in my salon are always comfortable. I always ask if the temperature in the salon is OK for them?. I always make sure the water temperature is just right. Just little things like remembering to ask if they are comfortable at the back wash will mean a great deal to these clients. I always use the same chair to style their hair. Often these clients do like to stay with the same products. I will give them confidence and reassurance if I feel it’s time for change of style or product. I always play a relaxing music in the salon. Not too loud just in the back ground. I don’t spend a lot time on talking about products even new ones with these clients as it is incredibly hard to sell to this group. But because I have only used Paul Mitchell products for the last 20 years, these clients will always re-buy products and are very loyal to the brand.
For the group of clients who are dominated by a sense of hearing, I find it’s what you say to them that matters. I really do make the client confident that I am listening to everything they say to me. I do always feel I have to go at all times with my own intuition when making the final decision regarding the style. This is because these clients’ description of hairstyles can be nothing like what they are imagining. I am always incredibly honest to them and try to explain everything in fine detail. I explain how I am going achieve the style with the products I will be using along the way. It’s definitely about what they hear which enhances their experience in the salon. I always make sure my music is at the right volume in the back ground. I will always describe the final style I have created. Then I will always say positive words when leaving, to anchor the visit to my salon in their thoughts. I can sell products to these clients because I know all the fine detail about the Paul Mitchell products range and this group of clients do really like this level of information. They listen well to instructions on how to use the product and I always get good feedback. They really do help me move forward with product knowledge. I have very interesting conversations and learn a lot from them. I do love talking with people from different backgrounds so they make great client group for me personally.
The digital client is almost a new audience these days. When I first started hairdressing there were probably hardly any clients using technology which is so different today. I know that this group of clients will have ”Googled” the Salon, me their hairdresser and any other things they can. They will have researched the products and they will have looked at me, through my personal website (www.mel-johnson.co even read my blog) checked me and the Salon out via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Thinking back when I first started, this group would have probably looked at adverts in the paper, looked for a salon in the yellow pages or through advertising leaflets and posters. This group is harder for me, as I have personally always preferred gaining clients by recommendation and word of mouth. I know I will never change my personal preferences and somehow I wonder if my digital clients will be my most loyal client group, but only time will tell. But they are more likely to ask questions such as how long will my colour last? How much does product cost? How many weeks will a shampoo last?. They are extremely hard to convince as they will be comparing things all the time. As such I struggle selling products to these clients as I’m not a believer in talking endlessly about the science of the product, (although I understand it fully). The one thing I know that they love about my salon is the free internet connection. They are constantly on their phones or computers and very hard to communicate with. I have seen more and more clients become digital minded over the last number of years and so it is me Mel the Hair designer/business woman who is having to become more a part of this digital world
So are there clients who have a mixture of all these traits? Clearly Yes. But most of the time people demonstrate leanings towards one of these main areas eg needing stimulation from either visual, mental relaxation, audio, or digital means.
I would be interested to know if you, agree or disagree with my thoughts? I do find people are fascinating. That is why I have spent a long time studying to gain a deeper understanding of how people experience their world.
Which then means , I can then understand how my clients perceive their visits to my salon while I am working behind the chair.