Many of us start out customer relationships by giving great customer service but slowly let it fizzle. We begin to think more of what you need and less about what your customer needs. It's sort of like dating. At some point we get too comfortable: you stop greeting them at the door with a hug and kiss, you assume that they have what they need and you begin to slowly (not deliberately) take them for granted. One day, after they’ve left, you wonder, “What went wrong?”
We do something very similar to our clients. I once read a study that said 68% of your clients leave because of "indifference." What does that mean? Put simply: you stopped caring. You no longer asked me what I needed, you began to shuffle me in and out like a number, all because I was familiar. The very things you did to gain loyalty are the things you no longer do. So just like any relationship that is no longer "exciting" and "valuable," your customers leave.
Here are 7 things you might be doing to make your customers leave.
1. You no longer personally greet your guest at the door – have you found yourself just waving from your chair? Perhaps, hollering across the room? Do you point to and dictate what you need your customer to do? (Hi Jane, why don’t you go get changed into a gown. I’ll be with you shortly.)
2. You are no longer consistent with your consultations – are you asking things like, “Same as last time?” “Would you like me to use the same color?” “I’m behind, are you ready to get started?” Can you honestly say that every client, regardless of their tenure with you, gets 2-3 minutes of your time to assess their needs?
3. Your clients are no longer getting 100% of your attention – are you stepping away to answer the phone? Texting while working with clients? Are you getting involved in other teammates' conversations rather than focusing your attention on your client? Are you less attentive? Perhaps relegating the shampoo, blow dry or even rebooking to other team members? That’s not to say that you can’t; many do. But be aware of the quality of time and attention you are providing your guest. Afterall, they are booked with you…not every other team member.
4. Have your clients had the "same" look for several seasons? Beware! If you’ve not changed your clients look in several seasons they are either really in LOVE with what you’ve given them, or, you have stopped asking.
5. Are your clients no longer rebooking? Have you found repeat clients have always booked their follow-up appointment but no longer do? Perhaps they are not seeing the value in rebooking or have you stopped consistently asking them to rebook?
6. Has your average service and/or retail ticket declined? If you find that your customers are not consistently purchasing products from you or they’ve reduced the number of services they receive, several things may be happening. A) They don’t feel your price is deserving of the service. B) You’ve stopped recommending. C) They are not seeing the value in purchasing from you. Retail sales are a sign of customer loyalty. Multiple services say, “I trust you, I value your professionalism.” A decline in either could mean that they are on their way out.
7. Your conversation revolves around you. This is my pet peeve and why I saved it for last. Your customers are paying you for your talent, service, and expertise. They are not paying you to hear about the party you went to, the awful divorce you are going through, or how your boss doesn’t pay you enough. Focus your conversations on your guest's hair, skin, nail, and beauty needs. Let them lead the conversation. If they ask about your personal life, be polite and give a brief response and turn the conversation back to them. You are the professional and should always conduct yourself with the highest regard for the person entrusting their beauty needs to you.
If any of these apply to you, let this be your wake up call. Customer service begins when you exceed an expectation. Loyalty occurs when they know they can count on you to provide exceptional service. Each of us will make mistakes. We’ll find ourselves distracted, rushed, or overwhelmed. That is to be expected and most customers will extend grace and patience in those times. It is when those behaviors become a consistent part of their service with you that they lose respect and start looking for another pro.
Photo: Shutterstock | Tatiana Chekryzhova
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Michelle Campbell is the Content Marketing Specialist for MiladyPro.
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