Salon owners often assume that they are providing a great or at least a good service to their customers. This can be dangerous, especially if they don’t exactly have their finger on the pulse. If you’ve ever received negative feedback, you know how devastating it can be. None of us likes to be told our world isn’t as perfect as we think.
But feedback is critical when it comes to running a business. It can help you make better decisions, improve services, put things right and, more importantly, help grow your salon and take it to the next level.
Talk to Clients
There’s only one way to get meaningful feedback that works for your business, and that’s to talk directly to your customers and see how they feel. People aren’t always keen to give their opinion, and it can be challenging to get an honest response, especially if you use something like a survey.
That’s why it’s essential to plan your feedback rather than make it too generic. It will give the people you’re asking the chance to be more focused, and you’re more likely to gain insights that work for the future of your business.
What Do You Want Feedback On?
If you’ve often thought that feedback was nice but not very useful, chances are you haven’t been doing it properly. Like most activities in business, your feedback factfinding mission needs to be based on goals – aka, what do you want to achieve?
Let’s say you want to check that customers are having a good experience when booking an appointment with your salon. You ask specific questions relating to this and find that many customers would prefer to book online rather than phone up. This helps you, in turn, change your processes and provide something customers are looking for.
Your feedback sessions could focus on other areas such as the facilities you offer in the salon and what customers would like to see in addition to what you already have on your menu. You might even ask customers how they feel about your website or the email marketing messages and promotions you send out.
Who to Ask
Almost as important as the question you ask is the people you select to interview. If there are likely to be problems that need to improve with your salon, you probably need to talk to about 5 or 6 customers on average.
It can be tempting to choose people you are friends with or who have been regularly coming into your salon, but they may not be the ones that are going to give you the honest answers you’re looking for. Try to get a mix of different outlooks and ages rather than sticking with one demographic and choose strangers rather than long-term friends.
How to Ask
Thinking of questions and asking them are two different things. When you are surveying customers, you want to be as flexible as possible without muddying the waters or moving too far from your goals for the session.
Keep the survey short and find somewhere private to do it so the customer won’t be distracted. Don’t be afraid to establish a rapport and avoid jumping straight into a question-and-answer session. Also, don’t be afraid to explore and go off-script if the customer says something interesting which might benefit your business.
Get your feedback sessions right and run them at regular intervals, and you may well find you start using them to make fundamental changes to your business.