Salon owners and stylists need to develop a number of skills to help them perfect their craft and grow their businesses. But perhaps the most important, and often overlooked competency, is communication.
While there’s no denying a salon’s success heavily depends on its hair-cutting and coloring techniques, they aren’t the only factors critical to success. According to Sarah Fasolo, SALT Society’s marketing manager, nearly 50 percent of a salon’s success stems from customer service and effective client-salon communication.
What Is Client-Salon Communication?
Whether you’re an independent stylist, part of a larger beauty team, or a salon owner, client communication is an essential part of your job. While bookings, cancellations, salon policies, and other similar topics are important to communicate, effective client-salon communication requires you to understand your client’s wants and needs, as well as ensure they understand your professional opinion and capabilities.
Client-salon communication can occur through various channels, including:
Emails: Clients may reach out to individual stylists or salon owners via email to ask questions about salon policies, schedule availability, or inquire about promotional deals.
Phone calls: Many clients call a salon directly if they want to schedule, reschedule, or cancel an appointment to avoid getting lost in the digital shuffle.
Website inquiries: Salons that have interactive websites often get new client inquiries through a “Contact Us” section.
Social media: Since social media presence is essential for acquiring the younger generation of clients, many stylists receive direct messages and comments that need constant attention.
In-person: As the most common form of client communication, talking with clientele in person helps retain a salon’s customer base by creating lasting relationships.
While client-salon communication is essential to the success of your business, at times it can be the most difficult aspect to both facilitate and maintain. Misunderstandings, inconsistent messaging, and sporadic response times can lead to dissatisfied customers and negative business reviews.
5 Tips to Improve Your Client-Salon Communication
Are you worried that you’re not doing enough to promote effective client-salon communication? If so, here are five tips you should consider applying to your business.
1. Have Clear and Concise Policies
Inconsistent messaging can be detrimental to your business. In many ways, salon automation systems and salon software are two tools salons can use to create efficiency and consistency.
For example, automating the online booking process with a clearly defined cancellation policy, as well as immediate credit card capturing, is the insurance policy many stylists and salon owners need in case of no-shows or last-minute cancellations. Not only that, but since these processes are automated, you can be sure that every single client receives the same message.
It’s also important to be mindful of the various communication channels clients use on a daily basis that may be harder or impractical to templatize. Whether or not communications are automated, it’s important to make sure your policies are consistent and clear on every communication medium.
2. Include a Digital Consultation Option
One of the most common ways a session can turn sour is miscommunication during the appointment booking phase. While it’s important to send a confirmation email or text, it’s also important to start a conversation with the client about the current state of their hair, future hair goals, and budget. This can be achieved with a digital pre-consultation form.
The information pulled from these kinds of forms is incredibly useful for the salon experience for a number of reasons:
- Stylists will feel more prepared for appointments and in-person consultation conversations
- Clients won’t push back on the cost at the end of their appointment
- Clients are less likely to be disappointed with their services
3. Conduct In-Person Consultations
Digital pre-consultations are an excellent jumping-off point, but they don’t replace the crucial information pulled from an in-person consultation. It’s recommended that stylists conduct these consultations at every single appointment, regardless of whether the client is new or returning.
These conversations are an excellent opportunity for stylists to talk about:
- How the client liked their hair since the last appointment
- What the clients want to focus on
- What products the client liked or disliked based on recommendations
- What price point the client is comfortable with
4. Provide an After-Care Brochure
Client-salon communication doesn’t stop when the appointment is over. To ensure your client remains happy with their results, it’s recommended stylists provide an after-care brochure. This is an excellent way to communicate the importance of professional-level products after their appointment.
It can also act as another insurance policy for stylists and salon owners if clients return unhappy with the longevity of their results. This is particularly important for coloring service clients. One of the most common complaints clients have is quickly fading color.
5. Ensure Your Team Is Always in Alignment
Consistent communication doesn’t just mean consistency across channels; it also means your team needs to be in alignment. Regardless of whether or not you work in or own a salon that has a front desk manager, it’s particularly important to make sure all stylists have a clear understanding of business-wide communication. This is because all stylists will need to take on administrative responsibilities, such as answering phones, emails, and inquiries.
Consider systemizing these communications by creating scripts for common questions and inquiries from clients, including:
- Booking a new appointment.
- New client inquiries
- Appointment cancellations
Why Is Client-Salon Communication So Important?
If you’re still unsure what role communication plays in the success of your salon business, consider how many hours clients spend in a chair talking directly with stylists about their hair journey, personal lives, work updates, etc. Communication, both in and outside of the chair, sets the foundation for the relationship between the client and the salon. It can build trust that ensures the client feels heard, respected, and cared for.
If you want to learn more about how salon automation systems can improve your client-salon communication, consider signing up for our automation course. There, you’ll learn more about templatizing client communications, creating pre-consultation forms, and ensuring your business is capturing client information legally.