Posted on February 12, 2020
Sola Salon Studios
We know you love your studio, and during this season of love, we want to make sure your clients are falling in love with more than your amazing services. We want to make sure they're in love with your studio too! A great way to keep your clients comfortable, happy and coming back for more is to give them that highly coveted spa-like experience. The day-to-day grind leaves most of us feeling worn out and stressed, so coming in for a treatment should feel like a getaway, rather than just another errand on their to-do list.
The service that you offer may not be as relaxing (i.e. waxing, tooth whitening, spray tanning) as certain spa-like services (i.e. massage, mani/pedi, hair), but that should not stop you from making the overall studio experience pleasant and relaxing anyway. You do not need to provide a spa service or have a big space to make your salon studio feel like a little oasis for your clients. It’s all about the little things that take the edge off, for both you and your clientele.
Here are 5 simple ways to make your studio worth falling in love with:
1. Design Your Welcome
Often as a beauty professional, your days can get rushed, with unforeseen client backups, cleaning emergencies and scheduling pressures. Although managing these can feel hectic, there is a way to drop the pace for 60 seconds to greet clients with a warm welcome - even the client who shows up too early when you’re beyond overbooked, or the guy who is perpetually 20 minutes late.
So, make it a habit. When your next client comes in, make sure you have a plan for their welcome, regardless of whether you are free or busy, hands full or empty. Take a deep breath and say something along the lines of, “Welcome! Here’s a place to hang your jacket. Can I get you anything?” Or if you are running behind, something along the lines of, “I’m sorry, I am a bit overbooked today. If you could wait in this chair for 5 minutes, I will be right with you.”
Whatever state you are in - make sure to give them a warm greeting and instructions on what to do next. This saves people a lot of awkward fumbling... which leads to our next point...
2. Set Up a Station for Waiting
A waiting chair will make for an easy and professional “waiting room” if you are running a bit behind. It will also take the stress off you, as you will not need to worry about entertaining a waiting client. They can use the waiting chair to take a deep breath and transition into the studio for their service without any of the awkward chaos involved in client transitions.
When your clients arrive, make sure that you have a waiting chair somewhere, even if it is a very small space, with some form of entertainment in a bin or on a small side table. This may include a bowl of candy, a stack of magazines, a sign with a wifi password, a menu of your seasonal promotions, or anything else you want to lay out for your clients to kill time while waiting for you to free up.
Perhaps these items are unique to your studio and your vibe. For example, maybe there is an intake form that you require new clients to fill out or a survey that you like to use for returning clients to better your offerings. Put these documents near your “waiting chair” on a clipboard with a pen, so that you never have to go fishing for it. Or maybe you have a killer comic book collection that matches your bold red walls. Get creative! Perhaps you have a “find your hair type” quiz for recommending products to purchase. Any fodder that may lead to more sales is always a good thing!
3. Designate a Place to Hang Their Stuff
You know the feeling - you’ve been schlepping your bag and jacket around all day, maybe you have an umbrella or a shopping bag in tow, a hat, gloves, scarf, etc., and you just want a place to lay your things and unwind!
Offer your clients a space to take a load off when they first arrive. The thing is, oftentimes salons can have dicey surfaces filled with tools and products, and/or less-than-sterile floors. There are not a whole lot of unused spaces for a client to lay their things. Instead of making them wonder, or squeeze their purse down by their feet on the ground, it is much better to have a designated place for client jackets, bags and hats. Think about finding the perfect standing coat rack, or a set of wall hooks, a cubby space, etc. - whatever it is, make sure that it fits into the aesthetic of your space.
Overall, a designated space for client accessories should make your space feel more organized and spacious for you to get down to work without any obstructions. This method also emulates the first thing that happens at a spa, which is show you to a locker room to lay down your things and slip into something more comfortable. The simple act of offering a client somewhere to drop their things ensures that they feel taken care of at the door, and relaxed in leaving their baggage behind, so they are free to drop in for a fabulous beauty service.
4. Offer Clients Something to Drink
It is always great to have something on-hand to offer clients, even if it is as simple as a glass of water. When life is hectic, we all find ourselves rushing to appointments and errands, and it sometimes feels like there is no respite from the hustle-bustle! Taking a moment to offer a client water, tea, coffee, soda, sparkling water, wine and/or anything else you may have to offer can go a long way in making them feel at ease.
It feels like a small gesture, but oftentimes clients will even begin to look forward to their monthly glass of wine with their stylist, or their weekly morning coffee and nail session. Something about sipping on a drink just makes something more ritualistic. Everyone loves a good slow down accompanied by a pick-me-up ritual. Think about when people go to the movies and are just as excited about the movie as the popcorn; it is all about the experience - the tastes, smells, and feelings that you have to look forward to.
So, think of a few things that you might be able to buy in bulk or offer without causing a hassle. We love the bulk drink options at Costco for a wholesale price point for delicious sparkling waters, juices and teas. Whatever you choose to offer, it is all about engaging the senses for pleasure, comfort, and relaxation. Some things just feel better with a drink in hand! Alcohol not required.
5. Make It Smell Good
Did you know that our sense of smell is more closely linked to memory than any other sense? Because of this, smells are the first thing to trigger our memory and emotional response. This means it is crucial that your studio smells like a good memory! Turn your studio into an olfactory oasis for clients to remember as a relaxing place to return.
The first step to a delicious smelling studio is in making sure your space is clean! Hygiene is key. Scrub your place down to make for the freshest scent possible. We recommend choosing cleaning products that smell good but are not too abrasive in overriding the chosen scent of your studio.
Next, you’ll want to choose a scent and a method for diffusion. Just make sure not to overdo it! Too much scent can be a turn-off and create bad memories. The best way to make sure you do not overly scent your space is to use all-natural oils, candles and potpourri rather than chemically-intense air fresheners. We recommend essential oil diffusers, soy or beeswax candles, and seasonal potpourris for a gentle and delicious studio scent.
Some well-loved signature spa scents include flavors of eucalyptus, lemongrass, chamomile, peppermint, spearmint, bergamot, frankincense, sweet orange and cinnamon spice. Aim for fresh, uplifting and calming scents to get your clients in the right mood for relaxation.
As you can see, it’s all about the little things that make them feel pampered. You are aiming to create an environment in which a client feels that they have a moment to kick back their feet and take a deep breath, while you take over their self-care for a while. This is great for you too, because a relaxed client is a happy client.