A recent survey of more than 1,200 Australians commissioned by new online positive-only review site Kudosto revealed that hair and beauty service providers came in third nationally for customer service, with cafes at number one, hotels second, and fine dining restaurants fourth.
As good a result as that is for the aesthetics industry there’s obviously room for improvement: the survey also found that 15 percent of consumers wouldn’t visit a business if it had a single bad review to its name – even in a sea of positive feedback.
Coupled with the fact that more than 88 percent of Aussie businesses employ less than four people, with a high percentage turning over less than $200,000 a year, the potential to lose three out of every 20 customers is quite damning for small businesses in the hair and beauty industries.
The survey revealed that the biggest pet peeves Aussies face generally when it comes to customer service are:
- Rude, arrogant or lazy staff
- Staff who talk among themselves without offering help
- Pushy sales people
- When the staff-to-customer ratio is out of whack
But customers have specific peeves when it comes to hair and beauty. Paul Ryan, founder of Kudosto, looks at the most common and explains to SPA+CLINIC how businesses should deal with them so everyone’s a winner:
Don’t ignore negative feedback. It won’t make it go away.
Respond in a timely manner to any post (within 72 hours, at most) but don’t start by making excuses. Instead, apologise, promise to look into the situation, and try to find a solution that works for you both.
After responding to the initial post online, it’s also often a good idea to take the conversation offline. You’ll more than likely have the contact details of the client concerned, so as the manager or owner, reach out and try to offer any assistance you can to remedy the issue. Be personable – not personal – and try not to be argumentative.
By doing this, you’ll not only hopefully repair the relationship with this one client, but by listening to their concerns, may learn something about your business that you can use to grow and build the service you offer to others.
Punctuality is key
This is a common complaint. When a client has made an appointment, do everything you can to meet that time. If you are running behind, do your best to let clients know.
If a client is left waiting around – eating into their own schedule – when their turn does come, the appointment can start off on a negative note.
Price can also be an issue – if customers aren’t clear on the cost of treatments they can be left disappointed when the time comes to pay, if it exceeds their expectation. Try to have your fees and services clearly on show, and explain any additional costs before they arise.
Another common issue is when treatments don’t turn out according to a client’s expectations. Always make sure you speak with them prior about what they’re hoping to achieve, and talk through how you think best to achieve it. If it will take multiple treatments to get their desired results, let them know. Likewise, speak to them post-treatment to ensure they’re happy.
Recognising staff can improve your business’s reputation
Your staff are the most powerful influences in your business. They can reinforce and enhance your business reputation or, unfortunately, they can sometimes create problems.
Everyone enjoys recognition and reward, so if your staff are doing a good job it is important to recognise and reward their efforts.
Feeling like an important and valued member of the team will be a driver for them to continue to support you, and be invested in creating positive experiences for your customers. The more positive experiences you can create for your customers, the better your business reputation will be.