A salon is just like any business. And all businesses depend on the customer to bring in revenue. Businesses that provide a direct service to clients must put in a lot of work making the customer feel valued. That value is demonstrated in the quality of products used, the aesthetics of the business, and the experience that the customer has when they come in contact with you. That customer experience usually begins with how you greet customers as they arrive.
The best ways to greet your salon clients are as follows:
- Use eye contact
- Stop what you are doing
- Use their name when greeting them
- Remember their preferences
- Offer a genuine compliment
Another way to make sure you’re valuing customer experience is to be aware of ways you don’t want to greet your customers. Some things you want to avoid are:
- Offering the same generic greeting
- Not smiling
- Looking distracted
- Not being authentic
Want to learn more about how to initiate an amazing customer experience? Keep reading to learn more about the dos and don’ts of greeting your salon clients.
Do Use Eye Contact
How many times have you entered a business and heard a “hello” from someone who didn’t look didn’t acknowledge you with eye contact? This has happened to me more times than I can count. I always wonder what the employee is doing that is so important. When the employee doesn’t look at me during a greeting, I interpret it to mean that I’m not important enough to pay attention to. I’m not alone in the attention I pay to eye contact. According to a Michigan State University article, eye contact communicates the following things:
- The open and close of a conversation
- Increased eye contact is associated with credibility
- High-status people are looked at more
With eye contact holding so many powerful meanings, it’s no wonder why utilizing it in your greeting is so important.
Do Stop What You’re Doing
To execute a quality greeting, you’ll need to demonstrate to the client that attending to them is your number one priority. One way to show them this is by stopping what you are doing to give them undivided attention. By providing your client with your undivided attention you demonstrate their value and their importance over your other tasks. I’ve been to a clothing store and been greeted by an employee who hadn’t stopped folding clothes. This projected to me that folding clothes was more important than engaging with me. Now, when I want something new, I make sure to stay away from this store. There are so many others that treat me like a priority. That feeling keeps me coming back.
Do Use Their Name When Greeting Them
Dale Carnegie said it best, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Who would disagree with that? Saying your customer’s names when you greet them is a simple task that pays dividends. For me, the use of my name at my favorite businesses makes me feel special. It makes me feel like I have a connection with the business and the staff. It’s even better when I’ve brought someone new into the business because it shows off that connection to others.
This technique is great for your repeat customers but it can also be used for new ones. If you have an appointment booked, for example, you can greet the client by name when they arrive. You’ll reap benefits initially and continue to reap them as they return. One thing to remember is to make sure you learn what they’d like to be called. They won’t be offended if you ask, so make an effort to do so.
Do Remember Their Preferences
Remembering your client’s preferences when they return to your business shows your commitment to customer service. This is a task that often gets overlooked, but I’m not sure why. Every time a client steps into your business they are showing you how they like things done. These preferences range from particulars about hairstyle, hair color, the temperature of the water for hair washing, and sometimes even music they like. If you are paying attention to their preferences, you can tailor the experience to them.
During your greeting, you can make sure you provide the client with things to make them feel comfortable. Maybe they always ask for water when they come into the salon. Do they prefer sparkling or still water? Do they often read the same magazine while they wait? Direct them to the new issue before they sit down. Little things like this can make your greeting go a long way.
Do Offer a Genuine Compliment
Making small talk with your clients can feel like science for many people. Starting a conversation with someone you don’t know very well can be difficult. One of the best ways I’ve found to get the ball rolling is by offering a compliment. This is still a delicate task but it usually turns out well.
The most important thing is to make sure the compliment is genuine. If you notice that your client is wearing a new bag that you like, just mention it. If they have on some amazing shoes, let them know it. Complimenting a client will generally open up a conversation and allow free-flowing back and forth. You may discuss where they got their shoes, how much they like them, and then if they are going anywhere special later to show them off. The possibilities are endless.
Don’t Offer the Same Generic Greeting
When I was younger, I worked at a video store. We couldn’t see the customers as they entered and we were always in the middle of something when they arrived. The only thing that signaled their presence was a bell on the entrance door. Whenever I or my colleagues would hear the bell we’d shout, “Hello, welcome to the video store.” This greeting was for everyone. Don’t be like video store employees.
Give each customer a special greeting. Saying “hello” to everyone who enters isn’t very unique. Using their names and offering compliments will help you customize each greeting.
Check out our tips for attracting new clients HERE!
Don’t Forget to Smile
When customers enter your salon make them happy, they came. You can do this by smiling when you greet them. A smile on your face lets the customer know that you’re happy to be there and that you’re happy they’ve come as well. We’ve all received services from someone who appears to hate being in the establishment you’re visiting. That bad vibe can rub off on you and sour your experience. To keep your clients coming back, make sure you invite them in with a smile.
Don’t Look Distracted
We’ve already established that you’re going to stop what you are doing to greet the customer. However, even if you stop what you’re doing, your body language can convey that your mind is somewhere else. To avoid this, you want to do your best to genuinely focus on your interaction with every client. Again, clients visit you to forget about their problems and to have a personalized experience. If you are thinking about the towels you need to wash or running to the bank, I can guarantee that you will look distracted.
One way to prepare yourself for your client greeting is to take a deep breath before engaging them. It will serve as a signal that you’ve changed tasks and that you have something new to focus on. Looking distracted is something that can negatively affect your customer experience. Do your best to offer true focus.
Don’t Forget to Be Authentic
Being authentic is key to creating true connections with your customers. All of the tips included here won’t be as effective if you aren’t being authentic in your interactions. You have customers because what you do brings value to others. It’s as simple as that. With that in mind, remember that you don’t have to be anyone else to make customers happy. They already want you! These tips are meant to amplify everything you bring to the table. So, take the tips and make them your own. As your comfort allows, share yourself with your customers. They’ll love to learn about you just as much as you want to learn about them. Authentic relationships with your customers will form once you approach them genuinely.
What do I do if my greeting doesn’t go over well with a client?
As a business owner, you will inevitably encounter a difficult client. If you are attempting to offer a greeting to a client and they respond rudely, take a deep breath. Then continue your interaction maintaining a positive demeanor. Remember you can only control yourself.
How long should my greeting take?
A solid greeting doesn’t need to take long. But, it depends on the situation. I’d target 30 seconds for your greeting.
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Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
About the author. Entrepreneur and Salon Business Fan.
Hi! I am Shawn and I am a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online salon business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a salon business owner, I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to retain clients, find good employees and keep the business growing all while trying to stay competitive.
That’s why I created Salon Business Boss: I want to help salon business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.