While talking to my partner about how I wanted to create a better client experience, I said that I followed the adage of ‘treat people how you wanted to be treated.’ Without a hesitation, my partner said that we should learn to treat people how they want to be treated.
What I realized that I did not take into account how much folks’ needs and wants are so different from one person to the next. It is as simple as looking at how two different clients want to be treated. One of my regular clients always wants to chat about what is going on in her life. I oblige and converse with her. While another one of my regulars loves that Robert Glasper Pandora channel and reads a book every time. We hardly say four sentences to each other.
Basically, I give them what they need and want from that experience. While each person is different, I try my best to be present and attentive to their appointment.
Therefore, I understand what works for me does not work for everyone else. Thus, I’ve established 10 basic salon etiquette rules so that each customer receives the best experience.
Here are the salon etiquette rules that I maintain for myself:
- Respect each other’s time. If I have a client scheduled for 8am, I try to be there earlier to make sure that I prepared. But that goes for clients as well. I charge a late fee for any client later than 15 minutes. One person’s tardiness can affect your whole day and schedule.
- Additionally, you should check your schedule to make sure that you have all of the supplies you need for that day. That includes but is not limited to oil, gel, clippers, plastic caps, pipe cleaners or rods. You should not have to stop your client’s hair and go get supplies.
- Limit your phone conversations over your client’s head. This is his/her appointment. She/he should not hear about your troubles. She/he has her/his own. Why would they pay to hear about yours? Keep your phone conversations to a minimum.
- Additionally, you should put a lid on gossip. Tell me when gossip helped a situation. Never. Drama can run rampant in a salon. Therefore, you should change the subject when others try to talk about gossip even clients.
- To talk or not to talk. This is based on the client that is in your chair. Some clients like the chat it up while others like to listen to music, chill and relax. Let your client set the tone.
- Having good personal hygiene should be common sense. As we know common sense is not so common these days. For smokers, do not wear your smock while smoking. Febreeze yourself and use mouthwash after you smoke. Take a shower after you worked out. You are in someone’s personal space. That client deserves the best smelling YOU.
- In an open salon environment, do not shout and talk loudly for the entire salon to hear you. Talk at a normal level as other stylists are having conversations with their clients.
- Loud music is a no-no. While one may love Cardi B blasting over the speakers, you have to be mindful of each persons’ tastes. Therefore, my Robert Glasper Pandora channel plays everything from Erykah Badu to The Roots and everything in between. It’s mellow and calming.
- You should maintain a clean station. Each stylist is responsible for keeping the salon clean. The condition of your equipment and your station is your responsibility. The clients will notice a dirty station and a lazy stylist especially if others are not.
- Offer lagniappe. In New Orleans, lagniappe is a French word that means ‘something given as a bonus or extra gift’. That is offering a bottled water to each client. Sometimes that is offering a new service for free so the client can try it out. Sometimes a little lagniappe can go a long way.
Again, this is a business. We should be friendly, cordial and go the extra mile (like giving a little lagniappe. But we have to set up boundaries and maintain salon etiquette. You want your clients to know what to expect as it gives them a sense of consistency and familiarity.
Giving good client service is not just giving them the hairstyle they want but also giving the client time and consideration while they are in your chair.
Hey LocStars and stylists, what do you think? What would you like from your stylist?