What goes through a client’s mind when they decide to break up with their hairdresser?

Posted on June 20, 2008. Filed under: customer service | Tags: |

I read a post written by a woman who could be a client of any of us.  She is no longer in love with her hairdresser.  She explains why and asks for guidance on finding a new one.

Read it here.

The question to us is obvious.  How do we stop this attrition?  I have a client that I can feel isn’t loving me as much right now.  I have decided to really focus on her experience.  I am noticing the deltails of how she interacts with me and the salon, what her body language tells me, and if there is something she is trying to communicate to me that I am just not getting.

Of course, I should be giving this level of focus to all my clients, right?

Perhaps I am the only one guilty of slipping occasionally.  Of running on auto-pilot.  Of assuming that just because a client has been coming for two decades that they will still be here tomorrow.

This woman’s post served as a nice wake up call to me.  A reminder that I do still have to be great.  Every time.  My mortgage and car payment depend on it!

How have you handled it when you found yourself on auto-pilot or when you felt a client slipping away?

Zemanta Pixie

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

2 Responses to “What goes through a client’s mind when they decide to break up with their hairdresser?”

RSS Feed for Small Salons Comments RSS Feed

If someone has to convince you to cut your hair, you’re not ready and its a mistake.
Most salons have very poor customer service and find ways to make sure you know that YOU are a commodity and not important in their overall business. Your head is a place for them to be creative at YOUR expense.

If you want to stop losing customers, be willing to let the customer have the same boring hair cut if that is what they want. Let the customer feel like you are important, make a transition when you move, don’t just leave and go to another salon.

Also, when a new customer comes to your salon with NO referral, acknowledge how brave that is. She doesnt know you, yet, she is paying you to work with her hair. When you come to a new salon, they always act like you are a second class citizen.

I love being pampered, if hair salons acted more like nail salons, you would have more business than you can handle.

I dont think anyone teaches customer service to salons.

Dr. Wright
The Wright Place TV Show

@Dr. Wright: I have been pondering your points for a bit now and I think that your experience may have a regional slant. I deal with salons all over the US and I can tell you that the average small salon in say, Iowa is different than the average small salon in Southern California. In LA, specifically, salon status is about “who you do” not how you make your customers feel.

In general, small salons are warm, caring communities where the clients feel a kinship and a sense of belonging. Customer service is a different animal at these places than it is at a shoe store.

A new client in most salons is often treated better than the old clients (who may rightly complain of being taken for granted.)

In an industry town like LA or NY, there may be more posturing and ego than one might experience in other locales. (That kind of attitude wouldn’t fly where I work. The clients could care less if their hairdresser heads down to LA to do hair for the Oscars, all that does is inconvenience the locals!)

Also, in my area, nail salons are “churn ’em and burn ’em.” You go in , you get out. No warmth, no relationship, no ambiance. Salons that operate that way tend not to have “raving fans.”

You are right on the fact that most beauty schools do not teach customer service. (Yes, I know there are exceptions, relax everyone.) Schools have about a year to teach students how to pass the state licensing exam. They have little time (and often little interest) in teaching the finer points of life in the salon and how to be successful. This might help explain the fact that most beauty school graduates are not working in a salon five years after graduating.

In most small salons, customer service is based on the premise that the customers are our friends. We treat them with care and respect because we like them and want the relationship to continue.

The same boring old haircut may be what a particular client wants, but I don’t think that offering options is wrong. Bullying someone into something they don’t want/don’t need/isn’t appropriate is wrong whether you are a hairdresser or a car salesman. The job if the person selling is to offer options, explain the benefits and help the customer make an informed choice. Are hairdressers guilty of failing in this area? Sure.

The big problem is that hairdressers are people. And since people are little snowflakes, they will behave differently. Some hairdressers never offer new ideas and some are bullies. But a bully can only exist if people allow them to behave like that. If they didn’t have clients willing to put up with them, they would be out of business. Some people actually like to be bullied. Crazy, I know.

If you feel you aren’t being treated the way you would like, whether by your hairdresser or your spouse, it is your job to point it out so that they can have the opportunity to adjust. Certainly you have the choice of giving up and moving on. But I think that when you don’t explain, the person may never know what they did that was the problem.

Where's The Comment Form?

  • Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass
  • To test GenBook

  • Want to keep up with me?

    Add Aura Mae as a Facebook friend.
  • Categories

  • Pages

  • counter create hit

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: