Keeping Customers Cool in the Hot Seat (Pt. II)
Here's the second installment in our series of our "Keeping Customers Cool" series. Read up to learn how to keep clients content and complaints to a minimum.
Keep Your Phone in Your Pocket.
As smartphones become less and less like cellphones and more like pocket-sized computers, it’s only natural that they’re becoming used more and more in the daily workplace. You've probably seen stylists using their smartphones to snap pictures of their work, schedule future client appointments and even to process payments!
It’s great that smartphone are giving stylists so much freedom, but using them too much on the floor can negatively impact the client’s perception. When clients see their stylists buried in their phones, checking Email or scrolling through their Facebook feeds, it gives the appearance of disengagement.
Since many first time clients feel far out of their comfort zone just coming to the salon, it’s absolutely crucial for stylists to stay fully engaged with the clients, helping assuage their hesitations and doubts, and cultivating a positive experience overall.
We know there are occasional emergencies that simply cannot wait, and in these scenarios, defer to your best judgment. For the most part stick to the simple rule of keeping off your phone while you’ve got a client in the chair, checking your texts and emails between customers, or on a break. Some stylists might even prefer to keep their phones off the floor at all times. Determine what’s best for your situation, but keep your attention focused on your customers, not on your phone!
Keep Conversation Neutral
For many clients, a trip to the salon is more than just a cosmetic endeavor. Many have come to trust their stylists the same way they would a trusted confidant or even a therapist. Stylists make good listeners and can facilitate great conversation, which goes a long way in keeping them at ease.
Conversations can drift, but it’s your job to keep them pleasant and professional. Maybe it’s tempting to engage when a client brings up one of those “hot button” topics (You know, like religion, politics, sex and whether or not "ain't" is acceptable in casual conversation), but no matter your own position, try and keep these topics to a minimum. Even when kept in-bounds or when you feel you've got a good enough relationship with the client, other patrons of the salon who may overhear the conversation can feel uncomfortable. Keep conversation on politically and culturally neutral topics that won’t provoke any kind of conflict or angry discussion.
Extra note, and I know it goes without saying, but let's get it in there anyway: At all costs, no matter how innocuous it may seem, avoid gossiping about the salon or bringing the client into a conversation about your own personal struggles with a certain co-worker or manager. Not only is it unprofessional, but it can make the client feel uncomfortable as well.