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Monday, March 18, 2013

Marketing the Experience

      What do your potential clients know about you and your salon? Who's telling them about you? Are they getting the right message? Many people will hear about you way before they discover you on their own. How do you protect yourself from the wrong message getting broadcast about you before you ever get the chance to make a first impression.? Your salon and service experience must speak volumes above all other chatter. It is said people may not remember what you said or did but they will always remember how they felt. Are you creating an experience worth remembering? Experience marketing is not new. The most valued feature of the salon experience is not always the service itself. The entire visit from start to finish must be memorable. Clients look forward to the salon visit all day, sometimes all week, so make sure you give them a welcoming relaxing visit. Keep negative banter to a minimum. Remember, if your visit has a negative vibe clients soon forget how fabulous your service was if they leave in a worse mood then when they came in. Don't join in the whining session, find the silver lining in each opportunity. Many years back I worked on a salon that had a notoriously difficult clientele. I made it a game to repel the negative and find the positive. The owner could not quite figure out the loyalty these clients felt toward me. I did tell him it was all in my attitude, something missing in many of the other staff members. People naturally gravitate to someone that makes them feel good. It's a no brainer really, but easier said than done. We have an obligation to create the best experience we can including as many senses as possible. Great scents, soothing music and a calming atmosphere certainly add to the clients comfort. What else can we do?

     According to V Woods salon experience survey the most valued features of a salon experience are
1. Minimum wait-time before and during appointments. Being respectful of your clients time is good business and provides a great experience.
2. Chair/Table side manners of your technician. Your interpersonal communication skills are very important. Clients expect you to communicate as an expert in a professional caring manner.
3 Politeness of the entire staff. It's not just about you, clients may interact with a number of team members during their salon experience and everyone matters.
4 Ease of making an appointment. Clients expect this process to be easy and seamless. Even accommodating last minute appointments count.
5 Consultation Clients want to have a dialog where listening is just as important as the ability to share your knowledge. They appreciate an honest assessment but would like to have input in the process and final results.

     Other valued features include Special hours and availability of special treatments. Features not as valued included greeted at the door, refreshments and internet access. When asked about room for improvement these suggestions were offered. Offer special hours to accommodate busy schedules, have consistency in the atmosphere with your brand and your target guests including music, provide high quality products including more natural choices, provide educational opportunities for clients, texts and email communication and reward long time clients with special benefits. Good customer service and a stellar client experience will have your clients raving about you and your salon. Giving them something great to talk about, is smart marketing

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