By Ashley Laabs
There is no doubt that sales keep a tanning salon open. But is your salon doing the right things to make those sales possible?
According to the United States Department of Labor, jobs in customer service are growing at a pace that is faster than average. This signals a larger trend in consumer buying: Customers do business with companies that treat them well. For many people, it only takes one bad experience to quit doing business with you.
Providing stellar customer service seems like a no-brainer, but it has everything to do with keeping clients, keeping clients happy, and keeping happy clients buying. Here are a few simple tips to keep you in good standing:
Being approachable is a quality some people have naturally – they have no problem forging bonds and striking up conversation. For those who aren’t so inclined, it’s important to realize that approachability has little to do with what you say. People decide how they feel about you before you even say hello.
Making the right non-verbal impression can determine your success in making a sale with that customer. Even if you are friendly and eloquent when asked a question, more reserved customers may never ask if you seem busy or distracted. When a client comes in, give them your full mental and physical attention. Make eye contact, face them, smile and do away with other distractions. This lets clients know that now is a good time to make a purchase or ask questions.
Identify Customer Needs
Although you may provide the same tanning options to all of your clients, it’s not wise to assume that they are using them for the same reason. Being sensitive to the needs of your customers allows you to offer them solutions, which also builds trust when done successfully.
The only way to identify the needs of clients is to participate in active listening. It’s easy to wait for a few key words before finding an appropriate package or lotion to sell, but a customer service expert can add long-term value to their offerings by making note of the who, what, when, where and why a person is tanning at your salon. Finding out about a customer’s previous experiences with tanning and other salons can also be key in finding out how to keep them coming back.
Once an employee joins the team, they become part of the collective identity of your salon. Every person represents the whole company, so one of the best things that you can do is make sure all of your employees are compatible with the brand you are trying to build.
This goes beyond wearing a uniform: teach employees how you want them to address complaints, what the company values, and what your definition of professionalism is. Every interaction that a client has with staff should reinforce the desired image of the company. Ensure that this message is integrated with the training you provide for employees. Core values and a shared lingo are the subtle elements that can create a sense of community in your salon.
Don’t Repeat the Same Mistake
When customers become irate, our first instinct is to get defensive. But what we need to do is stop protecting ourselves and reach out to the customer – they are the people who fund your paycheck and keep the lights on. The last thing you want them to do is walk away and tell other people about their bad experience, so make sure you’ve done everything within reason to ensure their happiness before they leave your salon.
Aside from addressing the actual problem, it is important to ask how you can prevent this mistake from happening again. Get customer feedback, especially from those people who have an issue. They will be the ones with potentially game-changing advice. Good businesses seek the advice of their clients regularly; great businesses utilize the information to make the appropriate changes. Successfully adapting from problems means you should avoid having them repeatedly.
Incorporating these ideas into the core of your customer service efforts is a simple way to take your customer relationships to the next level without straining the resources you already have. Your clients will be happier and more loyal as a result.