The 5 Simple Secrets of Amazing Customer Service

The Psychology of Wellbeing

This is also a timely little article as you weave your way through the stands at Salon Melbourne.

Sometimes we forget the most simple procedures and protocols in creating brilliant customer service in the spa and salon. So not only could the below be a great reminder to pull your socks up in your own place of business, but use it as a benchmark for the type of customer service you expect and receive from the exhibitors at Salon Melbourne. Enjoy!

Jeremy McCarthy started his career in hospitality over twenty years ago with a part-time job as a lifeguard at the swimming pool at the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort in Santa Barbara.  He was a triathlete at the time, and the job was a convenient option because it allowed him to swim at work.

This summer job as a lifeguard turned into a 20+ year career opening and operating spas in luxury resorts.  Over time, Jeremy grew to fall in love with hospitality and he came to realise that in the hotel industry, (and even more so in the spa and salon industry) you learn one of the most important skills in the world: how to take care of other people.

In more than twenty years of working at some of the most luxurious spas and resorts in the world he learnt a lot about the art and science of serving others.  But according to Jeremy there is no need to make it complicated.  There are really only 5 simple secrets that seem to be a part of any amazing customer service experience:

1.  Welcome the Client.  It is hard to recover from a bad first impression so amazing customer service has to start with a warm, friendly greeting.  We all know what it feels like when we don’t receive a warm welcome like when you call a spa and get lost in an interminable voicemail tree or when you approach the reception only to be ignored or worse, greeted with disdain.  It’s a big difference when you walk into a business (or call or email, etc.) and are immediately acknowledged and welcomed.  Clients feel immediately at ease and think, ‘I’ve come to the right place.’

2.  Serve the Client.  Most spas and salons are focused on consistency and efficiency.  Clients want to make sure they get the same service as the client before them and the client after them.  ‘No Substitutions’ is the mantra. Deliver consistency at all times. McDonald’s, for example, does an amazing job of delivering a consistent dining experience no matter where you are in the world but they will never be known for amazing customer service. Amazing customer service means going beyond seeing your client’s as numbers.  It means seeing each one as a human being and recognising their unique needs at that particular moment.  The best customer service experiences have a personal feel, when they feel seen and heard for who they are, and not just one of the masses.

3.  Don’t do Stupid Stuff.  Most spas and salons are their own worst enemy.  They have the potential to create an amazing customer experience, but they screw something up.  Usually because they are enforcing some company policy that completely neglects the circumstances of a particular client in a particular situation. If you find yourself citing ‘company policy’ as a reason for doing something, you are probably doing something stupid.  If it wasn’t stupid, you would be able to explain the reason behind it without dumbly citing ‘company policy’ (as if your client’s care what your internal company handbook says!)

4.  Resolve Problems with Compassion.  Even if you do your best to avoid doing stupid stuff, we all make mistakes. Many amazing customer service experiences start with a mistake that is handled in the right way.  When you make a mistake, show you care by asking questions to understand how you adversely affected a client, apologise profusely, and do what you need to do to keep the relationship.  The best spas and salons see challenges as an opportunity to prove how much their clients mean to them.

5.  Thank the Client.  Amazing customer service ends on a positive note, usually with the therapist effusively thanking the client for their patronage.  The client leaves feeling good about their treatment and purchases, not only because they valued the product or service that they received, but because they contributed to a business made up of people they like.  They feel respected and appreciated.

You may feel there is nothing new here.  Nothing that isn’t common sense and nothing that you haven’t heard before.  And yet, very few spas or salons are able to execute on these 5 simple pillars of amazing customer service well.

Article by Jeremy McCarthy – The Psychology of Wellbeing

P.S On a personal note may I add that there is nothing sweeter than the sound of your own name! It is imperative to use your client’s name when greeting and thanking them and if you are in conversation during a treatment drop it once or twice as well. Don’t overkill but as an avid spa goer I believe it is a must. xo Madonna


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