Customer Service: A Cut Above the Rest

Strategies to boost retention with top-notch service

J-Atchison2-2John Atchison
Stylist/Owner, John Atchison Salon and Spa, New York

Have a consultation. This should take place between the stylist and client prior to service to determine the client’s needs.

Offer extras. Provide quality products for clients and teach home maintenance care. Offer free refreshments or Wi-Fi, fax, and/or  e-mail access.

On training staff to provide a top-notch environment:


Start with a vision of performing extraordinary customer service. Create the environment to grow that vision.

Make certain all employees buy into and execute the vision. Train your staff in the importance of good customer service in every area of business, i.e. those handling cleaning services, stylist, receptionist, etc.

Have a policy manual. Make sure that all job descriptions are clearly defined.

On handling customer conflict or dissatisfaction:


Listen to the client’s concerns. When they are finished, repeat back to them what they just said so everyone can be in accord.

Pay attention to nonverbal cues. Sighing, looking down, and lack of a smile are signs that something is not right. Ask follow-up questions. It is important to receive honest, explicit feedback, and once you know their true feelings, begin to resolve the challenge.

Be proactive. Ask the client how the service was when they check out. Once the challenge has been addressed, apologize, guarantee it will not happen again, and follow up with another note of apology.

On time management:


Never overbook. If you can’t fit a client into your schedule then book them at a time when you can. The client may love their hair, but will remember if you made them wait.


If a client is left waiting, offer complimentary services. They may experience a new service and book it again in the future.


Don’t take “fit-ins” if it will impact scheduled clients. All fit-ins should be scheduled at the end of the day after all clients with appointments have been serviced.

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