By Ashley Laabs
At any given moment, you could get a phone call, a text, a voicemail, an email, a Facebook message, a tweet, or you could be tagged on any number of social media groups. And in our fast-paced, digital world, we feel like we have to respond immediately. Communicating can burn us out before we even open our mouths.
While it might be okay in our personal lives to take a hiatus from our hectic social lives, it becomes increasingly important to respond to consumer inquiries in a timely manner on behalf of the business. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you need to be on call 24/7. But it does require setting some ground rules so that you and your staff can maintain a consistent level of service no matter how your clients are trying to communicate with you.
Regardless of the medium, get back to the customer and let them know you got their message. If figuring out an answer to their inquiry or the solution to their problem will take a while, reassure them that you are working it. The speed of technology has made patrons less patient, so the most important thing you can do is let them know you’re there. Being unresponsive, even if it’s only because you’re trying to figure things out, is a quick way to anger a client and turn them off of doing business with you again.
In case you need to follow up with a client to ask more questions, be thorough. Take notes and ask about anything you think might be relevant. This way, the client does not have to repeat their scenario to six different people when the first five couldn’t help. Having all of the information shows the client that you care about getting them the answers they need.
Keep in touch until the matter is closed. Don’t let your client feel forgotten or unappreciated. Make contact often enough for them to know you’re still on top of things without making them feel overwhelmed. This is a subtle way of saying, “your concerns are important to me,” or, “I will not rest until the issue is solved.”
Don’t forget about social media. While a lot of customers choose to get in touch over the phone or via email, Facebook and Twitter are becoming increasingly popular places to ask questions and share concerns about a business. If something negative goes unaddressed, it can cause a damaging ripple effect through that user’s chain of contacts. On the other hand, responding with grace to a customer’s complaints online can make people feel like you are a reputable, responsive business.
Whether it’s snail mail or email, make sure your salon checks and responds on every facet of communication at least once a day. Responding in a timely matter can make a lasting impression on a client in need.