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Make it Memorable (II): Value-added service

June 22, 2011

When people talk (and they do), you want the word to get out that your salon or spa is at the top of its game. Far from being apathetic, consumers are fighting back against poor treatment in a number of ways, many of which could directly influence a company’s bottom line. Conversely, consumers are willing to reward companies for the provision of good customer experiences. The third annual Customer Experience Impact Report conducted by Harris Interactive, reveals that:

black bottle• 80% of companies believe they deliver superior customer experience, but only 8% of their consumers agree.

• Although 70% of consumers state that poor service caused them to take their business elsewhere, business owners often believe that price is the prime factor for the defection.

• 53% of respondents will recommend a company due to outstanding service.

• 74% will tell others about poor treatment and a negative customer experience.

• 81% of consumers will remove their business following a poor experience.

52% of consumers would feel encouraged to spend more with a company if it were to improve its overall customer experience.

Even in an economic downturn, 50% of consumers will always/often pay more for a better customer experience.

By implementing customer-centric methods, you show your clients that you value their business and patronage, and care about them as individuals. A first class guest experience will not only help retain your clientele, it will also limit harmful negative chatter, attract new clients and improve how staff feel about their work.

Value-Added Service

Customer experience is also often dubbed value-added service. This means that you supplement the client experience with free offers that make the transaction worth more, but does not cost more to the guest.


Of course, in reality this cost is built into your business, so the guest does pay for it, but it is not an add-on to the invoice – a bit like the fresh shaved parmesan at your favorite upscale Italian trattoria, versus the boxed one at the family franchise operation. Here are a few examples on how “A List” salons are able to differentiate themselves from the masses and add value to each guest’s visit.

• “How-to” classes (up-dos, extensions, flat iron)

• Personalized consultations

• A la carte coffee service/refreshment options

• Scalp massage at the sink or at styling station

• Free secured internet access/laptop table

• Extreme cleanliness

• Extended opening hours

In a recession that may take years to rebound from fully, the best run salons will have many opportunities to separate themselves from the fray, thereby protecting their business and profitability. Remember, your goal is to be the talk of the town — for the good stuff you do, not the bad.

  1. Harald permalink

    I fully agree about the free extras and incidental we do all those you mentioned and even more, yet, it appears there is still something missing that makes the customers excited.
    In other words, I’m still searching for those goodies that make a customer exclaim “wooowwwww !” and log on to facebook, twitter or whatever to share his/her great experience.
    I still think that most customers don’t value those extras as much as one might hope, but rather look at the best price.

  2. Price becomes an issue with a segment of the market. The impact of price shoppers depends totally on the position of your salon in the marketplace.

    We do all of the things that Alain outlines but we also look after the very small things like ensuring that towels are neatly folded and “presented” on the station after a shampoo and making sure that nothing is left on the station after the service. In my experience most salons are nor anywhere as clean as they believe they are and guests notice the small things.

    We also have developed a specific guest-focused language that we use on the floor. Our goal with every guest is to have them leave totally elated with their whole experience from the first phone call to the time they leave the salon. Guests can feel it if staff are sincere in their efforts.

    Thanks for sharing this with us Alain. Look forward to seeing you on your next visit to the wet coast.

    • Thanks Bill for the support and for backing up my articles. Suki’s is one of the top Canadian salon when it comes to image, branding, customer service and added value. Keep up the great work. See you soon in BC.

  3. I am opening a new salon in a ski resort in Steamboat Springs, Co. I am working with an amazing consultant, but so appreciate that another very qualified consultant is willing to share some of the insights that they themselves have noticed made a difference. Thanks for sharing. Your thought are the very reason our industry is continuing to raise the professional level of service given the guest. Thanks again,
    Grateful in Steamboat Springs, CO.
    Kassandra Collins Owner- Acqua Salon and Spa

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