As a salon owner, you understand the immense importance of customer service. You wouldn’t have pursued this career path if you didn’t like to make people happy!
At the same time, no matter how hard you and your stylists work to create an upbeat salon environment where the client’s satisfaction always comes first, the occasional complaint is inevitable. You can’t please everyone all the time.
How you handle those complaints is what counts. Your ability to turn a negative situation into a positive could be the difference between keeping and losing business.
At Zuka, we developed our revolutionary rubber hair cutting collar to remedy one particular recurring complaint heard in salons across the globe. Check out this infographic to get a clearer idea of what we mean.
It’s relatively easy to prevent all of the above complaints by keeping your standards high and paying close attention to detail around the salon on a daily basis. But what do you do when a client just isn’t happy and lets you know about it?
Here are five tips for effectively handling customer complaints:
Don’t let yourself or your employees get caught off-guard and have to make a knee-jerk reaction in the moment; there’s a chance that won’t end well. Have a detailed complaint procedure in place and train your employees accordingly. It’s a good idea to have one point person for dealing with client complaints, whether it’s a certain senior stylist or the manager on duty, so you can be sure to follow procedure and send a consistent message.
When a client voices a complaint in person or leaves a bad review, stay calm and pay close attention to what they’re saying. It’s important to let them know you care what they think. Getting defensive, speaking curtly or sarcastically, or leaving a dismissive or nasty response online will only hurt your reputation going forward. Remember: The only thing you can control in this situation is your own behavior.
Unless a client is verbally abusive to you, your staff or other clients — in which case you can ask them politely to leave — it’s important to express understanding and offer an apology. Simply saying you’re sorry can go a long way in diffusing someone’s displeasure. No matter what your personal feelings might be about the complaint or the person, remember: this is business.
OFFER A SOLUTION
When developing your salon policy on client complaints, decide what you will offer unhappy clients as recompense. A discount on their next service? A gift card? Complimentary product? Obviously, if you can remedy their specific complaint, such as re-coloring their hair or modifying their cut, you might offer to do that, free of charge. While you should take each complaint on a case-by-case basis, it doesn’t hurt to have ideas in mind ahead of time.
Make sure to document every client complaint in company records for future reference. Go over any recent complaints in the file when you have staff meetings. It’s important to keep your staff informed and aware, so that they can avoid similar situations in the future. Also, if there’s one particular client who’s been unhappy in the past, let your staff know so they can show that person a little extra TLC next time.
One way to keep clients happy, time and time again, is to keep them clean. The Zuka hair cutting neck collar is a simple, affordable, low-maintenance and highly effective tool for protecting your client’s body and clothes from hair clippings, hair color and water. For more information, check out our online shop or contact us today!