Two Areas You Must Master If You Want To Be Successful-Part 2: Standards

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For the last month, I challenged you to prioritize how you spend your time. Remember, how you define success should define how you prioritize your time. So, what did you prioritize last month? Reading more business books, working out, or networking with professionals? Whatever your priorities were for the month, I hope you knocked it out of the park! Now, it's time to add the second element to your formula for success, and that is standards. 

Standards

The second decision you must make if you want to be successful is determining what standards you will live by. I prefer to set standards versus setting goals. Why? A lot of times goals turn into wishful thinking. In fact, the University of Scranton came out with a study where they determined that ninety-two percent of people who set New Year’s resolution goals did not keep them. That’s sort of a downer, isn’t it?! That’s why we need to shift the mindset away from goal setting and move toward setting standards in our lives that we will live by. These standards are non-negotiable. Outside of work – which I absolutely love doing (for real), I make sure my non-negotiables are: reading, writing, checking in with my managers, and funny enough, doing one load of laundry per day. It’s easier to keep up than catch up!

To guide us on setting up our non-negotiable standards, I’d like you to think about your environment, identity, and values. First, your environment is the places, events and people you surround yourself with. You must decide who you will and won’t be spending your time with. This is critical because you will become the sum of the people you spend the most time with. Meaning, you are who you hang out with. Who has the kind of success you seek? Are you hanging out with them?

You will also want to take some time to think about the places and events you go to. Where do you need to be (i.e. what environment) if you want to be challenged and push towards your meaning of success?

Second, your identity is who you are. Think about who you are right now and who you want to become. Are there areas in your life you’re in denial about or refusing to take accountability? If you were the dream version of yourself, who would you be? What do you need to do in order to become the person you were meant to be?

A few years ago, Dave Ramsey taught me about displacement. In his terms, displacement is “pouring in the good to remove the bad.” In other words, instead of focusing on getting rid of the areas of your life you’d like to change, focus on the new positive behaviors or habits that you’d like to add to your life. For example, if you have a shopping addiction in which you always go shopping after work or on the weekends, you would instead fill up those hours with a new activity such as joining a golf league, volunteering, or joining a book club. If you struggle with gossiping with a co-worker, you need to ask a positive teammate who will be a fabulous influence, to coffee. Start booking yourself with new opportunities that lead you toward success!

Finally, your values are what matter to you and how you display those values in your life. Simply put, your values are displayed by your actions. You may say that you value education, but when you’re asked to sign up for an amazing opportunity, you decide to pass because you’d rather use your lunch break to sit on Facebook. You may value reading books on salon marketing or personal growth, but when the rubber meets the road, you choose to turn on your favorite Netflix series.

Friends, you cannot change what you don’t acknowledge. Today’s topic is to encourage you to live by new standards where you are wise with your time—all in order to get you to the level of success you truly desire. I was convinced when I heard Brad Sugars say, “If you don’t know where you’ll be in five years, you’re already there.” Use this as an opportunity to create the life and legacy you’ve always desired! 

Good luck on your journey towards success, and make sure to connect with me to share your struggles and triumphs! 

Two Areas You Must Master If You Want to Be Successful-Part 1: Time

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We all desire success, but success has many meanings. For some, success will mean we are high-achievers, earning multitudes of accolades. For others, it will mean massive financial success. And for many, it will mean having flexibility with their day-to-day routines. Finally, there are a lot of us that define success as having healthy, positive relationships with family, friends, and their community.

The real question is this – what does success mean to you?

Regardless of what success means to you, there are two major areas you must master if you want to be successful. The good news is, we all have the option to make these decisions. Everyone qualifies. There is not one person reading this who lacks the power in their circumstances to choose wisely in these two areas.

Time

The first decision you must make if you want to be successful is how you will spend your time. Have you seen the social media gif that says, “We all have the same hours in the day as Beyoncé?” It’s true! We all get twenty-four hours a day to maximize. Time is the one commodity we don’t get back. It’s so precious!

Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t have power over my time. I have to take my kids to daycare, show up to work, pick my kids back up after work, go grocery shopping, make dinner, do some laundry, put my kids to bed, and at some point, I need to sleep.”

While I won’t argue that you may have tremendous responsibilities, I will argue that you still have the power to prioritize your time. For example, you can choose to get up before your kids do in order to get your workouts in. You could spend your early mornings reading books on salon business or development prior to starting your day. After work, you can choose to hit the gym before going home. You can choose to substitute television for planning your digital marketing each week. We may have a lot on our plate, but we still have the ability to maximize our time. Depending on what success means to you, how will you choose to spend your time?

I personally choose to get up before my ten-month-old son does, so I can have a quiet time. I also start work before my salon opens, so I can make it to a 4 p.m. yoga class – which I do so I can make it home before my husband is home from picking up our son from daycare. Additionally, I go to bed by 9 p.m., so I can easily wake up early and refreshed. Every choice has to be purposeful because there are many tasks to complete and many events I need to be accountable for. I once heard that success is simply making a few value-based decisions and managing those decisions each and every day. I make sure I book no more than two in-person meetings per day, while giving myself at least two uninterrupted weekdays to accomplish tasks. I’m mindful about only scheduling one afterwork event per week so I’m not neglecting my family time, and I’m especially intentional about getting enough sleep. I’m sure there are many other little things I could share, but you can get a great picture of what this means to me. The question is, what does prioritizing your time mean to you?

For the next month, consciously think about how you are prioritizing your time and start making changes. But, remember that time is only one of two areas that you must master for success, so make sure to check back for Part 2 when I share the second area!  

Want More Clients? Here's How! Part 2

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Welcome back to the second part of my series on gaining and retaining more clients! As you recall, I left you with some homework from Part 1; your first steps were to define your target market or avatar and then“find” where your target market is both physically and digitally. I hope you had some fun with these first two steps and now you’re ready to jump into Step #3: Get Clients Excited and Step #4: Ensure Clients Return. If you missed Part 1, you can catch up here; otherwise, let’s get started!

Step #3: Get Clients Excited

After you’ve created your avatar and connected with them, nearly every potential client will visit your website before they buy anything from you. Think about your own habits—would you see a new dentist without visiting their website first? Probably not, and the same advice holds true no matter what industry you are in! Because every potential client will visit your website, it needs to be beautiful, easy to use, and offer something unique. In 2018, all your competitors have beautiful websites, so you need something that sets your business apart from the others and gets your clients excited to do business with you. For my salon business, our little something special is a survey called Meet Your Stylist.

Meet Your Stylist is a psychologically-savvy survey that lives on your salon’s website and matches potential clients with the top three stylists at your salon who are the best fit for them. After all, who doesn’t like taking a survey about yourself?! As the owner of Be Inspired Salon, I needed a way to set my salon apart from the competition, get clients excited, and start building relationships with future guests, and Meet Your Stylist does all of this! If you are a hair salon, you need to check out Meet Your Stylist! I promise it will transform your business.

I know many of you reading don’t own hair salons, but the same principles behind Meet Your Stylist apply to your business. Let me explain. I was recently on Neutrogena’s website searching for a new face wash, and found myself taking a survey to find the skincare routine right for me and had a $2.00 coupon emailed to me. Boom! They connected with me, personalized my experience, captured my email address, and got me excited to purchase from them!

Personalized surveys and recommendations are everywhere! For instance, let’s say that you own a vitamin company. Maybe your website could offer a survey that gives clients product recommendations and encourages them to book a consultation with you. The possibilities are endless; you just need to give your potential clients the right tools and information to get connected and excited!

Step #4: Ensure Clients Return

In the salon industry, new client retention rates are pretty low. In fact, the national average, new client retention rate is about 30%. That means only 3 out of every 10 new guests will return for a second time! I don’t know the statistics for your industry, but retention is something we should all focus on to grow a strong business! Once we get a client to do business with us, we need to make sure they continue to do business with us. So, how are you going to do  that?

For my salon business, retention is another problem that is solved by Meet Your Stylist! By matching clients with the right stylist the first time, I know that the guest is going to have a fabulous experience and want to come back. Let’s think about the vitamin store example from earlier. If this new client didn’t take their pre-visit survey, he would have simply walked into the store and purchased a product he thought was right for him. Then, a few days later, he started having adverse side effects, stopped taking the vitamins, and never returned to the store again because he thought the business was selling ineffective products. On the flip side, if this client purchased the right vitamins for himself the first time, I bet he would continue to come back for more! See how that works?

Beyond getting it right from the start, my salon focuses on prebooking clients for their next visit. Essentially, the stylist is helping the client make a reservation for their next visit. Instead of hoping that the customer will take time out of their busy schedule to call and make another appointment, we set it up for them to ensure they come back again. For the vitamin store, the sales rep could work with the customer to determine when their product will run out and set up a time for them to come back to the store and restock. This sounds pretty simple, but it will have a huge impact on retaining new clients!

You may have heard the Tony Robbins quote that success leaves clues. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just put together the pieces that I have laid out: Step #1: Define Your Target Market, Step #2: Find Your Target Market, Step #3: Get Clients Excited, and Step #4: Ensure Clients Return. I hope you take the four steps from my playbook, add your own creative twist, and achieve massive success! If you have any questions on the four steps, please connect with me! I can’t wait to chat with you!

Want More Clients? Here’s How!

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As a salon industry business coach, one of the questions that I am asked most frequently is: how do I find more clients? As a matter of fact, most businesses have this same question, which is why I’m so excited to share my winning four-step formula for attracting more clients! Let’s jump in with Steps 1 & 2, and stay tuned for the final steps!

Step #1: Who? Finding your target market.

So, you want to find more clients for your business. While that is a great start, do you even know who you’re looking for? This is the very first step; before you can jump into marketing, products, and promotions, you need to get really, really clear about your target market. Take a moment and think about this—who is your target market? Got it? Well if you answered something like, women age 35-50, we have a lot of work to do! But, don’t get scared because I will guide you through every step!

In the business world, your target market is sometimes called your avatar. In other words, who is your dream client? To get clear on your avatar, gather some of the top influencers in your salon and start listing the characteristics that describe your ideal client. Think about a few of your customers who you absolutely adore and wish you could clone. Now, start describing everything specific about them.

Here are some questions to get started: where do they shop for groceries—Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, the local co-op? Where do they shop for clothes—Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Asos, Nordstrom? Do they workout—hiking, running, yoga, spin? What do they do in their free time—read, hangout with friends, volunteer, cook? What is their style—conservative, edgy, trendy, classic? Where do they work—corporate, education, non-profit, small business?             

I think you see where I’m going with this. You need to get so specific that you’re even naming your avatar! That’s right! Once your team is in agreement on your avatar, you need to keep this image front and center. Your front desk team, stylists, managers, and marketing team should be thinking about your avatar every day.

For a lot of us, creating our businesses’ avatar is a fun step. But, I completely understand why it can be a scary step for many people. A lot of business owners get scared about “excluding” certain customers. By creating an avatar, you aren’t excluding or discouraging anyone from patronizing your business; instead, you are focusing on quality over quantity. Above all, focusing on a target market sets you free from having to be all things to all people; getting clear on your target market makes your job a little easier as a marketer and business owner! Who wouldn’t want that?

Step #2: Where is your target market?

Now that you have your avatar clearly defined—we know where she shops and how she spends her free time—we need to actually find her! Ask yourself where your avatar hangs out, both physically and digitally.

For instance, let’s say that your avatar is a business professional who is part of local networking groups. Guess what? You need to join a networking group and physically be where your target market is! If your target market is part of the local PTA, you need to get involved with the PTA.

Another piece of the puzzle is where your avatar is digitally. If your target market is between the ages of 18-24, you should be on Snapchat. If your avatar is between 25-30, you’re probably looking more at Instagram, and if your target is 35 and up, you need to be on Facebook. Other digital spaces that people hang out include Pinterest, YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, blogs, news sites, LinkedIn, Yelp, etc.

Your wheels should be turning as you’re thinking about where your target market is hanging out. Once you know where your avatar is, you also need to speak their language and be genuine. If you and your team are consistently going to networking events, you will start to talk this talk. Maybe you’re talking to other professionals about cross promoting or some innovative marketing topics. If you are volunteering at a local non-profit, you should read up on the various initiatives they’re working on. If your interests aren’t genuine, you will stick out like a sore thumb.

The language that you use to communicate with your target market is equally important on digital platforms. Let’s say your target market is hanging out on Snapchat, but you’ve never actually used Snapchat. It probably isn’t a good idea to just jump right in and start sending snaps! Every social media platform has a certain etiquette, and you don’t want to send your avatar running in the opposite direction. Enlist the advice of your younger staff members or hire an intern to help you get started. When it comes to your target market, you not only have to walk the walk, but you have to talk the talk!


Whew! That is a lot of information to get started, so let’s recap your homework so far. First, you need to get really clear about your target market or avatar. Once your target market is clearly defined, you need to find your avatar both physically and digitally. When you find your avatar, you need to speak their language and be genuine. Have some fun creating your avatar, contact me with any questions, and check back in a couple weeks for Steps 3 & 4!

Maximizing Customer Relationships Part 4: The Follow-Up

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Congratulations—you’ve made it to the final part of my series on Maximizing Customer Relationships! 

To begin, let’s recap Parts 1, 2, and 3. In Part 1, you learned the importance of standing out from the crowd to get clients in your door. In Part 2, I reminded you that the little things mean everything, including the details that a customer experiences before they buy from you. In Part 3, we focused on WOWing customers during their visit and checkout process. Finally, we’ve made it to Part 4 which is all about the follow-up. After Part 4, you will have all seven of my secrets to maximize customer relationships and run a fabulous business! 

Secret #6: The Follow-Up

Oftentimes, the follow-up is the missing link to maximizing customer relationships which is why I consider this the most important secret! A lot of businesses provide you a top-notch experience when you’re visiting them, but then you never hear from them again. Have you heard the saying: out of sight, out of mind? Well, this is why the follow-up is so important! 

So, how do you follow up with your guests? While the possibilities are truly endless, here are a few tried-and-true ways that we follow up with our clients.

Surveys

Surveys can be scary for a lot of people because they put you in a vulnerable position. After all, there is always the possibility that you could receive negative feedback. But, you cannot reach your full potential from a position of fear or ignorance. Instead, you need to look at surveys as a great learning opportunity! 

At Be Inspired Salon, we send a survey to every new guest after their first service. We ask questions like: Was the salon clean? Was your stylist professional? Did your stylist show you how to use your products? (If you want to know more about our survey, connect with me!)

Marketing Emails

Friends, marketing emails are not dead. Did you know it takes an adult 21 times to remember new information? That means you need to consistently remind your clients why they made a great choice to do business with you. For my salon, this means we are always reminding guests about Meet Your Stylist (remember, this is how we stand out from the crowd before a client buys from us), our VIP Program, and our points program. 

Take Notes

To really shine in the follow-up, you might need to take some notes on your clients. Some people have a natural gift for this and they simply remember every detail about a person. But, for most of us, we need to take a few notes about our clients to remember their interests, names of their children, upcoming vacations, where they work, etc. Think about creating “customer profiles” to help you form a deeper connection with your clients! 

Personalized Emails

At my salon, we encourage our stylists to send check-in emails to their clients. If a guest purchased a new product, or changed from blonde to brunette, the stylist can send a quick email asking how the change is going. This is so quick and easy, but it leaves a lasting impression with your clients! 

Cards

When was the last time you received a handwritten thank-you card? Better yet, when was the last time that you received a handwritten thank-you card from your hair salon? For most of you, the answer is never! We send thank-you cards every week to clients who refer new guests and brides who were booked with us the weekend before. Additionally, we send cards for graduations, new babies, marriages, new businesses, and get-well wishes. 

Show Up

Show up for your clients like they show up for you. Do you have a client who has been planning a charity event for the last six months? How awesome would it be to show up at their event to demonstrate how much you care about their success! If you have a client in the hospital, maybe you stop in for a quick visit during your lunch? What kind of impact would that make for your relationship and their loyalty?  

Remember, the little things mean everything, and you will truly maximize your relationship by following up with your clients!

Secret #7: Accountability

Hopefully, you’re fired up about all the fun and exciting ways that you can WOW your clients before, during, and after the buying process. But, now comes the tough part—how do you stay accountable for all the initiatives that you’ve implemented? Holding yourself and your team accountable will separate you from your competition. 

Excellence Trackers

My stylists all have excellence trackers to hold themselves and the team accountable. An excellence tracker is like a goals sheet. For example, my stylists reach out to all guests who canceled, but did not rebook. They also reach out to guests who have visited twice or more to ask for a Google review. Every week, they have goals regarding phone calls, emails, pre-booking, sending cards, etc. and their promotions are tied to their performance trackers. Basically, if you want to move up in this career, you need to meet the goals on your excellence tracker. 

Meetings 

You need to check-in with your team on a consistent and routine basis. At my salon, we have weekly team meetings where everyone submits their performance tracker. At the meeting, everyone can share what they have been working on in the last week—including me! This is a fabulous way to hold everyone accountable.

Secret Shoppers

Yes, we really do this, and you should, too! As a business owner or manager, you cannot be at your business 100% of the time and handle 100% of client visits. So, a secret shopper program is an effective quality control technique. For our secret shopper program, I break down our training manual to a six-page form for the guest to fill out. For instance, our training manual indicates that a phone call should follow XYZ steps—then, the secret shopper form asks on a scale of 1-5 if these steps were met. 

Like surveys, secret shoppers can be scary, but they give you a glimpse into what things are like when you’re not around. At my salon, I learned that we had some consistent mistakes at the front desk, so we had to tighten that area up. Without the secret shopper program, I wouldn’t have known that!  

Now that you’ve mastered all seven of my secrets, take a moment to write down your three biggest takeaways. In three months, revisit your list and see what progress you’ve made! Do you have other suggestions to maximize customer relationships? I would love to hear from you, so make sure to connect with me! 

Maximizing Customer Relationships Part 3: Take Lessons From Others

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Welcome back to Part 3 of my series on Maximizing Customer Relationships! I hope that you have spent some time reviewing your business’ practices with a focus on standing out from the crowd and WOWing your customer before they even purchase from you! Now, we are ready to dive into Secrets #4 and #5.

Secret #4: During the Visit

This is the easiest—and most fun—secret that I have to share: take lessons from other industries. The best way to do this is booking an expensive, 5 star experience for yourself! If you’re in the salon industry like me, this means heading to a big city and booking a service at a top-rated, high-end salon. (Now you know why this is the best secret!) While you’re there, take tons of notes: what are they wearing, how do they greet you, what did you LOVE, etc. If you’re in the hotel industry, visit another hotel; if you’re a fitness club, visit another fitness club—you get the point.  

The best part about borrowing from other industries is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel! Success leaves clues, so all you need to do is be the detective. For instance, the best restaurant servers don’t ask if you want a refill, they just bring it to you. I noticed this and implemented it at my own salon. When a guest is running low on a beverage, we simply bring another one.

Remember, the goal of this series is to maximize customer relationships, and there are countless ways that you can do this when you have guests in your business. Another way that we WOW our guests at Be Inspired Salon is by offering to clean our guests’ rings when they are being shampooed. By partnering with The Diamond Center, this added amenity costs us nothing, but is a great added value for our clients! In Part 2, I told you that the little things mean everything and this is especially true when you have a guest in your business, so don’t be afraid to go the extra mile! If you want to maximize relationships, you have to be willing to do what others aren’t.

Secret #5: The “Checkout”

If you’re running a top-notch business, you should be charging top-notch prices. So, Secret #5 is all about alleviating the “pain” that comes with a pricey purchase. I learned from Steve Jobs that people will remember the last thing that they see, touch, or hear. For most businesses, the last thing that a customer sees or touches is the receipt, and that isn’t always a great memory. I decided to replace that “painful” memory with a positive one. Now, when a guest finishes their checkout process, we hand them an inspirational quote to bring a smile to their face. How simple is that?

Another strategy to make the checkout process more enjoyable is by implementing a VIP Program or “Points Program.” When a customer completes their transaction, your front desk staff can let the customer know how many points they have and how far away they are from their next reward. Additionally, first-time customers receive a Be Inspired Salon tote bag with a product sample, brochure, and business card.

Last, but certainly not least, you can’t forget to say “thank you for your business.” Don’t let your customers forget how appreciative you are! In the beauty industry, there are three reasons that a client will stop doing business with you. #1: they move, #2: they pass away, #3: they think you won’t notice. Take a minute and let that third reason sink in. You will notice when a client doesn’t return, so make sure your client knows that!

Here’s an example of a checkout process that eliminates the “pain” of a client’s purchase: “With today’s services, you have a total of 800 points, and you’re 200 points away from a complimentary product! Here’s an inspirational quote to take home with you. Thank you for your business, Elise. Have a great day!” If this sounds great to you, write it down in your employee handbook and hold everyone accountable!

Are you fired-up about WOWing your customers during their visit and checkout process? Connect with me on social media to share what you’re doing at your business and make sure to check back for Part 4! We all grow when we lift each other!

Maximizing Customer Relationships Part 2: The Little Things Mean Everything!

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Welcome back to my four-part series about Maximizing Customer Relationships— I am so happy that you’re back to learn more! In Part 1, I shared my first of seven secrets to create long-lasting and profitable relationships. To recap, Secret #1 is standing out from the crowd and being unique. After reading Part 1, I hope that you spent some time identifying your niche and now you’re ready to think about WOWing your customers during the buying process. Are you ready? Let’s dive into Secret #2: Before the Buy and Secret #3: The First Purchase.

Secret #2: Before the Buy

There are so many components of the buying process that actually occur before a customer even hands you their payment, and you cannot overlook these aspects! Every small detail about your brand can sway a customer’s opinion of your business and whether or not they want to enter into a relationship with you. Remember, your goal is to maximize relationships and this starts the very first time a customer Googles your business. I’ve outlined four key components to focus on that all occur before a customer buys from you—keep reading to learn these secrets to success!  

Website

First, you need to have a great website that reflects your brand and speaks to your target market. For most demographics, this means your customers are researching you on their cell phones, so your website needs to be mobile-responsive! You don’t want people zooming, scrolling, scrunching, and getting frustrated. This leads to the next component; is your website easy to use? In the tech world, this is called UX—user experience. Are your clients able to navigate easily and quickly find the information they are looking for? Finally, your website needs to be beautiful. A customer will instantly judge your credibility based on what your website looks like, so enlist the help of a designer or get some inspiration from other brands with a great aesthetic.

Something Special—Meet Your Stylist  

If you’re connecting the dots, you’ve already realized that Secret #1 and Secret #2 go hand-in-hand. Your business needs to stand out from the crowd (Secret #1), so you can engage with customers before they buy from you (Secret #2). One way that my hair salon stands out from the crowd—before  a client does business with us—is with a tool called Meet Your Stylist. Meet Your Stylist is the best marketing tool ever created for the hair industry! Meet Your Stylist is a customized survey that matches clients with the hair stylist who is the best fit for them based on their personality, lifestyle, and relationship preferences. How awesome is that!

With Meet Your Stylist, clients no longer feel like they are on a blind date when they visit a salon for the first time! Basically, we are eliminating any fear that the client has by controlling their first meeting, before they even step into our salon. Although Meet Your Stylist is designed specifically for hair salons, you can think of other tools to create the same outcome. Consider developing your own survey for clients to determine if they would be a “good fit” for your service. Get creative, think outside the box, and do something special for your clients before they even buy from you!

Google is King

Friends, Google is still the number one search engine, by far! Because of this, your Google ranking is incredibly important to the success of your business! If a client Googles “jewelry store in Madison” are they going to find your business on the first page? Factors such as your website design, SEO, back-links, reviews, and more are considered when Google ranks your website. So, a great way to boost your ranking is by having a ton of great reviews!

When I started Be Inspired Salon in 2010, I needed to gain credibility, and fast! To start boosting our Google ranking, we ran a brilliant promotion—so, here’s what we did. In 2010, Groupon was huge, so I sent a marketing email that said: “Better than Groupon! $60 for $30!” If a client visited with this email, we would provide them $60 in services for only $30. In return, we asked that they leave us a Google review. Within a few weeks, we already had 80 reviews! While we no longer run this promotion, it created a great foundation, and today we have over 230 reviews! Throughout the US, I have only found one other salon with more reviews than us. This is a terrific testament to the great work that my team does and people want to know about it!

Messaging

A final piece to consider that occurs before a customer’s purchase is your messaging. Messaging includes all of the small details that clients will notice! For instance, if a client visits your business’ Facebook page does it say “Typically responds within 24 hours” or does it say “good luck” (not really, but you know what I’m saying!). I am a strong believer that you need to respond to a client within the same day that they contact you. If you’re out of the office, you need to set up an automatic reply that includes a specific date that you will respond to them by. Also, are you setting up appointments with your clients? If so, are you reminding them and confirming their meeting? Again, messaging is all about the small details that make a client excited to do business with you!

Secret #3 The First Purchase

At last, you’ve made it to the first purchase! Before we get ahead of ourselves, take a minute and ask yourself What are my standards for a client’s first purchase?” Hopefully, you have some concrete ideas that you consistently apply with every client. Now, I have a tougher question: are these standards written down? Developing a training manual is a time-intensive process, but if you write it once, you can use it forever! A training manual or employee handbook is a great strategy for ensuring consistency, especially when new employees join your team.

When you meet a client for the first time, you have to treat it as though you will have a relationship with them for the rest of your life. Keeping this in mind, you can’t forget that the little things mean everything! If you have a brick and mortar business, what should happen when the guest walks in your door? What do they see, smell, hear, and feel? Are you greeting people by looking them in they eye, shaking their hand, saying their name, and smiling? Again, these expectations should be written in your training manual so you can hold everyone accountable.

Finally, don’t be afraid to splurge in areas that will help you gain and retain clients. For instance, when a guest enters my salon someone from the front desk team offers them a beverage menu. That’s right! We have enough high quality options that they require a menu. This is one area where I’m not afraid to splurge because I know this amenity keeps customers coming back. On our menu, we serve Wollersheim wine, V Bourbon by Yahara Bay Distillery, reverse osmosis water, locally roasted coffee, and locally sourced tea. How do you plan to go above-and-beyond to make clients feel valued during their purchase?

Rapid Recap

Don’t forget that our goal is to maximize customer relationships! By breaking down the buying process and examining every detail from before and during the purchase, you are sure to find areas for improvement and ways to maximize client relationships. As you probably know, it costs more money to attract new clients than retain existing clients, so don’t be afraid to go above and beyond! Make sure to check back for the next part of this series where we break down a client’s first visit and their “checkout” process—I have some great tips to share!  

Maximizing Customer Relationships Part 1: Stand Out From The Crowd

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In your current work, do you interact with customers? For most people, the answer is a loud YES! For better or worse, customers are often at the heart of most companies, so maximizing relationships is essential for building a reputable and profitable business.

Whether you’re an employer, employee, independent contractor, or entrepreneur, you need to WOW your customers before, during, and after the buying process. Trust me, I’ve been in all of these positions in the beauty industry, and I’m excited to share with you my seven secrets for maximizing customer relationships!

First, take a moment to reflect on this question: what does it mean to YOU to maximize customer relationships? Spend a minute jotting down a few thoughts. Do you have your answers? Here’s what maximizing customer relationships means to me:

  • Increased revenue and decreased discounts and deals
  • Increased positive morale among the team

To achieve these results and others you’ve identified, you need to follow Secret #1: Stand Out From the Crowd! If you want to WOW customers, you have to be different from your competitors. Thinking about your business, how do you already stand out from the crowd?

When I ask this question during workshops, attendees often give an answer similar to: “We provide our clients amazing customer service.” Although this is a genuine answer and customer service is indeed important, I bet that your competitor says the same thing. Who wouldn’t say that they give great customer service, right? Keeping that in mind, how else can you stand out from the crowd?

As you might know, I founded Be Inspired Salon in Madison, WI in 2010. Working in the beauty industry, maximizing customer relationships is the key to success. The hard truth about hair salons is that the national average retention rate is only 30%. That means only 3 out of 10 clients will return to a hair salon for a second time! Considering those statistics, we need to continuously WOW our customers, and we do that by standing out from the crowd.

At Be Inspired Salon, we separate ourselves from the competition by focusing on three specific services: curly haircutting and styling, bridal hair and makeup, and hair color. It is tempting to try and be good at everything, but finding your niche is what will make you stand out from the crowd. Think about some famous brands—you will often identify just one product or service that separates them from their competitors. For instance, Pandora Jewelry makes more than just charm bracelets, but that’s what most people identify with their brand. There’s so many more Converse—Chuck Taylor All-Stars, Apple—iPhone, Chanel—perfume, Ugg Australia—sheepskin boots, Fossil—watches . Are you following?  All of these brands create more than one product, but it’s only one product that makes them stand out from the crowd.     

Now, think about how YOU will be unique, and don’t be scared to think outside of the box! Standing out from the crowd is the first secret to maximizing customer relationships, and I have six more that I can’t wait to share with you! Make sure to check back for the next post in this four-part series when I share secrets to maximize relationships before the buying process and during the first purchase.

Do you have other ways that you stand out from the crowd? Engage with me on social media; I can’t wait to connect with you!