What do salon clients want?

January 9, 2008

Someone ended up on this blog when they searched for “what salon clients want”.

I doubt they found what they were looking for, but I thought it was a great opportunity for you all to pipe up and tell the salon owners of the world what it is that you want and need from a salon.

If I get enough good responses, I’ll send it off to my friends in the salon industry press so they can pass it along to a wider audience.

Feel free to pass along the good, the bad and the ugly!  We can take it. Besides, you can be anonymous!

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8 Responses to “What do salon clients want?”

  1. finkenwalde Says:

    Why the weird f*cking music? Either it is too loud or too foreign or too, ummm, house maybe? I don’t know. But people go for a wash and color, not a freakin’ music lesson. So turn f=down the volume. Now, for the record, I am a stay-at-home dad. So All I really ever do is go in to make appointments with my wife’s stylist. I think a guy who pays more than $10 for a haircut is either: a) gay – and there is nothing wrong with that b) a metrosexual – see #1, or c) trying to sleep with his stylist. So I am probably the absolutely last person you should listen too.

    Now I am shutting up.

  2. Aura Mae Says:

    The in-salon music is something that is a struggle for many salons. The customers are there for an hour or so and have a taste of the music. The staff listens to it all day.
    If you have a very young staff, they may want to listen to a different style of music than a salon staffed with middle-aged women. We had one stylist who insisted on playing Christian music. What often happens is that the music will change when someone in the salon gets tired of what is playing. (I would choose show tunes if it were all up to me!)
    I understand that a business is there to serve it’s customers.
    I also feel very strongly that visiting a salon is a lot like visiting someone’s home. You may or may not like their style and taste.
    Customers have it made because, like Starbucks, there is a salon on every street corner from which to choose!

  3. finkenwalde Says:

    It seems like such a tough balancing act. I mean, my wife goes to her salon because of the personal relationship she has established with her stylist. And it would take a profound and unforeseen breakdown to rupture that connection. BUT – as you point out, there seems to be a salon on every corner, so, how do you attract those customers? Music seems like a minor thing, but, you are trying to create ambiance, a moment. The customers that have a connection would get their hair done in a subway station while listening to Celine Dion. Those that are looking, though might be turned off by music that was outside their personal preference. THAT is one of the reasons that word of mouth is so important. So all you stylists out there who want more business? CONNECT!!!

  4. Aura Mae Says:

    Here is where BRANDING comes in! What kind of environment do you want to create? What kind of experience do you want for your customers? For that matter, what kind of customers do you want?

    Picking a salon is like dating. A stylist needs to pick a place where they can feel “at home” and where the type of clients they want to cultivate will also feel “at home.” No one wins when a stylist works in a salon where they aren’t a good fit.

    As for customers, not everyone is looking for the same thing in a salon experience. It is not about the haircut. It is so much more than that.

    Yes, a client will walk over broken glass to get to their preferred stylist, but if that stylist drops dead while applying a foil, the client will step over the corpse to get their color finished in the next available chair. No one is irreplaceable.

    (Read the “About Azarra Salon” page at the top of this blog for our salon’s manifesto about why customers might not like us.)

  5. Margaret Says:

    Salon clients want to feel comforted and pampered at the salon. Unfortunately, many salons provide just the opposite – the atmosphere is so cool and hip that clients feel intimidated instead of relaxed. A newly invented salon cape, CapeMinky, is a great way to pamper salon clients. Instead of putting them in a cheap feeling standard cape during their salon treatment, CapeMinky drapes them in tranquility. The difference is the soft inner lining that touches the client’s skin. Clients go from tense to tranquil in seconds!! Check it out at http://www.capeminky.com.

  6. kim brown Says:

    I am a salon owner and I am constantly brainstorming to guess what clients want in order to consistently build a larger clientele. I ask my clients what I could do different in order to serve them better/make their experience extraordinary, but of course, they already come to me and love me so they have only good things to say, and virtually no new suggestions. They say they can’t think of anything they would do differently.
    But as you say, there are salons on every corner and clients have lots of choices. However, whenever I am out anywhere, malls, grocery stores, friends parties…I see bad color jobs, bad hair cuts and I wonder, why are there bad heads of hair out there if there are so many good stylists available? I think the answer is that there are only stylists available, not so much that they are all good. I am looking to add new clients that appreciate an above average service. But I don’t know how to approach someone with what I consider hair in need of a better stylist, without offending them. I wish people knew that I was available and that I could give them what they want without being so afraid to try someone new. Any suggestions? Kim Brown~Owner/stylist rubieshair.com

    • Aura Mae Says:

      I find the most effective thing is to compliment their look and offer a suggestion of what you could do to “tweak” it. Then they don’t feel attacked or insulted, but see you as a creative, kind person. Good luck!

      P.S. I also see lots of awful hair walking around. The sad truth is that most haircolor still happens in the home, and while it is possible to get a nice result from a box kit, it is less likely than when visiting a professional colorist, especially when trying to make a significant change in the color.

      • kim brown Says:

        Thank you Aura Mae. I appreciate your suggestions. I’ll try complimenting more potential clients on their hair first and then offering a creative upgrade for them. I certainly don’t want anyone to feel like I think they look bad.

        I have another question: referrals. How do I get my clients who are already happy with my work to refer other clients? I know about offering a free haircut for referrals, but the problem seems to be the person they are trying to refer is hesitant to try someone new, even if they are unhappy with their current stylist.


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