Ok guys, this one's for hairstylist, make up artists or anyone else who works in a client based and/or customer service industry. I've been thinking a lot lately about what has helped me the most in building my clientele over the years. I've boiled it down to two simple words; attention and consistency. Let's dive a little deeper.
Working in a busy salon can make it difficult to stay present with the guest sitting in your chair but that shouldn't compromise the quality of service they came for. I always try to keep in mind the amount of miles they drive (some much more than others) and the amount of salons they pass on their way, just to come sit in MY chair for an hour. I never want to take that for granted. Listening is key to showing they have your full attention. This applies during the consultation, during their service, when discussing products and maintenance...you get the point. Please, for the love of god, do not check your phone or send a text while you're with a client! Not cool. I don't care about what year we live in or how much technology is evolving. I am just as attached to my phone as a 15 year old teenager but being polite should never be out dated. So whether your goal is to learn a new technique or deliver the best possible service to your guest, giving them your undivided attention is key.
Now, rinse and repeat. Gary Vaynerchuk says it best: "You're only as good as your last at-bat". Staying consistent in your game and slowly climbing in progress with every service you provide will build sustainable success. When it comes to building a good rapport with my clients, being consistent in my service is what helps me gain their trust. Trust=Retention. I always like to compare a salon experience to a restaurant. Let's say a new restaurant opens up in your town and everyone wants a reservation. It's hard to get one but you finally do. The food is outstanding, the service is impeccable and you decide this is your new favorite spot. You go back the next week and it's not quite as good as the first time but you give it another shot. The third time you try it, you're even more disappointed. Now at this point, I would be done. I would rather spend my hard earned money somewhere else. I never want to put a salon guest through that same experience so I always try my best to be consistent and never complacent. We aren't just providing a service but an experience with an emotion attached to it. So when my clients think about their last visit with me, I always want them to feel satisfied.
Let's apply Attention and Consistency to some specific scenarios:
Teaching/Educating in your line of expertise
Attn: When teaching or mentoring someone else, it's not your time to shine. (let that happen on it's own) You're there to serve them and provide them with the knowledge you built throughout the years. I always like to ask "What can I do for YOU?" Not the other way around. Tune into each individual because everyone learns in a different way.
Consistency: Follow up a lot. Treat your student like you would treat your guest in the salon. Staying consistent in the experience you deliver to them through education will build their trust in you as their teacher and mentor.
When learning a new technique/ Continued Education
Attn: When you want to learn something new, finding one person to teach it can be overwhelming. The internet is a life saver for this because there are a ton of resources out there. Watch and observe as many teachers as you can and take note of which ones you gravitate more toward and they will be the best ones to teach you. You'll be hanging on their every word. I'm a pen and paper note taker but some people record video and others just do best by watching.
Consistency: You can't just watch 100 YouTube videos on finger waves and think you've got it. You have to practice on a regular basis. Every time you do, you'll find a new obstacle and there will be a small gem of a lesson in each one. Video taping yourself is another great way to see how you're progressing or finding out why certain things aren't quite right. We can't always see it in real life.
Delivering the best quality service to your guest
Attn: Let's start with the obvious ones; eye contact, firm hand shake, introduce yourself (and all the other things we learned in kindergarten). During the consultation, you want to really listen to what the guest has to say and repeat back what they tell you. Learning how to read people and their body language sometimes tells you more about them than what they are actually saying. Sometimes, being attentive doesn't always mean engaging with them during their whole service. That can be exhausting to some people, especially when they came to relax and escape reality for a small amount of time. So really pay attention to the vibes they are giving you.
Consistency: Stay in your guest's point of view. She had an amazing experience during her last visit to the salon so she expects the same level of satisfaction during her next appointment. Remember, emotions are attached to experiences, good or bad.
These two words are the foundation of my career but it might be different for you because we all operate in our own way. The sooner we can define what drives us, the sooner we will reap the benefits. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!