What is customer service anyway? Simply
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put, it’s the opportunity to give to your clients what they recognize as added value for their money and time. Why time…? Because your clients spend both their time and money with
Customer service is all those things, big and little that your salon/spa provides over and above the value offered in your services and products. Customer service is what gives your clients an experience of doing business with you that is both positive and pleasurable. You may have heard the story of Nordstrom’s taking back an automobile tire from a customer even though Nordstrom’s doesn’t sell tires. Now that’s customer service! However, don’t be intimidated and feel only large companies can give customer service, or think you have to have a “customer service” department to deliver customer service. Let me give you a few other examples of customer service. You know, all too well, the little things are what count for a lot of our clients. How about:
- The local bakery that offered lessons on how to decorate holiday cakes.
- The spa that had a nutritionist come in and give a seminar on “Eat Right…Look Great.”
- The chiropractic office that gave its clients handouts on everything from “How to Lift Heavy Objects” to “How to Choose the Right Office Chair.”
These are just a few of thousands of examples of what customer service is. Remember, you have to take a first step to go the extra mile. So let’s gain the best understanding of customer service by looking at its six main areas.
- Attention: Start with a philosophy of treating people with respect, friendliness and courtesy. Have everyone on your team on the alert for opportunities to serve your clients—to give them additional reasons to return to the salon/day spa.
- Assistance: Provide help to your clients whether it is when they have complaints, concerns, or need to exchange something.
- Information and Advice: Websites, consultations, handouts and brochures are all part of information and advice. Anything that helps your clients better understand how to use your products and/or get more value out of your services. For example a “Hair Helper Guide” showing clients how to do their hair at home.
- Training: Demonstrations or personal instruction on how to use products or get maximum mileage out of your services.
- Maintenance: Anything that you do to keep your clients’ purchases in working order. How about a “clean-up” between regular haircut appointments? Remember if you charge for it, it’s not customer service.
- Credit/Financial Services: Services that you offer at no additional charge to your clients that help them pay for your service. Examples are accepting credit cards or having a layaway plan to help them pay for an expensive treatment series.
Most business owners think of “customer service” as simply being nice or having a catch phrase like “the customer is always right” or giving a client’s money back “no questions asked.” However, you’re an enlightened owner who knows that what I am talking about is that each one of these components of customer service is actually a system or a “way we do it here.”