Next month, the 89th Annual Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars) will take place in Los Angeles. This is one of the biggest events of the year for Hollywood socialites and fans alike. According to The Hollywood Reporter, over 37.3 million people tuned in to watch last year as everyone’s favorite actors and actresses strutted down the red carpet and made teary-eyed acceptance speeches. As we all know, part of the excitement is seeing the looks debuted at the awards: the stunning designer gowns, the sky-high updos, the dramatic makeup; it all seems so glamorous. Why not try to bring a little bit of this red carpet magic into your salon or spa? Here are a few ways you can give your clients the true red carpet treatment.
1. Make them feel like a VIC (Very Important Client)
Treat every person that walks through your door like a client you’ve been seeing for years. Have your team greet them with huge smiles and guide them to their station or your waiting area as soon as they enter your salon or spa. Getting a new hair style, makeup application, set of nails, or facial is something to be excited about: make sure your client feels like YOU’RE just as excited as they are. The worst thing your team can do is make a new client feel like they’re getting a less spectacular experience than the people you see regularly. No skipping out on certain parts of your treatment (like the complimentary neck and shoulder massage) or letting them stand awkwardly by the front door. This will not always be easy. If you’re having a long day or the client that walks in is known to be difficult, think about how much you can get in return for going the extra mile. It is worth it, and if a particular client doesn’t seem to appreciate your effort, know that other clients are taking note of your positive attitude and passion for your craft.
2. Ditch Pre-Filled Reminders
Most online scheduling systems have an option for you to set-up pre-filled reminders and “thank you" messages for clients that book appointments online. In addition to or instead of these reminders, make it a point each Sunday or Monday to spend 10-15 minutes contacting the clients you’ll be seeing that week. Your online appointment system should store the email or phone number of the client. Send a quick email or shoot a text explaining how excited you are for your upcoming appointment.
You might say something like, “Hi Sara, I’m excited to see you for your appointment Thursday at 2:30pm for a full-set of acrylics! If you have any questions, ideas you want to run past me, or need to re-schedule your appointment, please let me know. See you Thursday!”
This accomplishes a few things:
3. Explain Your Process
This might seem obvious, but letting clients know that you’re listening to their thoughts and explaining what you’re going to do to help them achieve their desired result is important. Clients will feel “heard” when you ask why they’re visiting and what they ultimately want to see change: do they want their skin to feel less dry? Mermaid hair? Ombre nails? Listen to their request and be honest when explaining if it’s possible: if going from deep chestnut hair to frosted lilac is not going to happen in one session, tell them. Create a game-plan together to get where they want to be, and if necessary, pre-book the appointments needed to achieve their desired look. During your appointment, explain what you’re going to do and why; this reminds them of the plan.
4. Offer Extras
Whether it be a cold drink or a deep conditioning hair mask, give clients options to boost the glamour of their appointment. Need ideas? Offer clients a taste of your makeup skills and offer to do a touch-up after their service. You can also create retail kits that include trial or small versions of products you tend to use during every appointment (ex. hair spray, root lifter, conditioner.) Include a “quick tips” sheet in each kit that explains what the products do and how you used these products during the session you just had with your client. Check out our online course for more details on how you can use retail to make more money and improve your client's experience.
5. Take A Red Carpet Photo
Offer to take no-cost before and after shots of a client to make them feel like a real celebrity (or just to get a great shot for their Instagram account.) Before you begin offering to take these photos, take five minutes to read some articles online and learn how to add professional touches to your photos (like choosing the right flash setting on your phone.) Next, set up a “Red Carpet” photo backdrop in an unused space of your salon or spa. You do not have to spend much time or money to get a great background. For those with extra space, create a branded backdrop. This could include a branded accent wall (ex. your salon’s signature color is magenta. Paint a wall this color and have clients stand in front for their photo.) For those short on space, pick up a roll of high-quality wrapping paper that has a simple pattern or solid color and cover a supply room door or section of a wall. For either of these options, consider creating a custom sign or photo prop that has your business’s name on it for clients to hold in their photos. This gives you some free marketing when your clients post their photos to social media accounts.
There are thousands of ways to make your clients feel just as important as the stars. If you have your own “red carpet treatment” tips, share them with us in the comments below.
Photo: Shutterstock | Dmitry Kalinovsky
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