For Salon and Spa professionals: Clever ways to improve your business

Everyone who runs a salon or spa, or any small business for that matter, wants to take their company to the next level. Whether that means more customers, more revenue, getting and retaining high quality staff members or simply getting more professional recognition in your local area, the goal is (and should be) constant improvement. However, many times we get so wrapped up in the day to day minutiae that we unconsciously ignore the simple but clever ways in which we can get closer to our larger, long-term goals. Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint, and therefore it is a good idea to make purposeful habits out of the suggestions we will discuss in the forthcoming paragraphs because the results will be seen over time.


Although it may sound simple and straightforward, soliciting customer feedback is a great way to get the information you need to improve your business and there are right ways and wrong ways to go about it. First, let’s start off with the wrong ways. Shoving surveys in the faces of clients, be it physically at your business or with pop-ups on your website, is a surefire way to get less voluntary feedback and possibly more negative feedback than you otherwise would. People who are annoyed by your manner of soliciting feedback are, by definition, already feeling negative emotions that they will reflect when providing you with a review. This is especially true if the surveys are being forced on clients at inopportune times when they are, let’s say, trying to quickly book their next appointment. The correct ways to get accurate customer feedback involve good timing and presenting the request in a way which isn’t cumbersome or annoying. Having staff casually ask your clients what they do or don’t like about your business is one way which can be effective; if your staff have the ability to act natural while doing it and the client does not feel like they are being interrogated. However, this method can also yield inaccurate or skewed feedback as overly cordial people may not be inclined to honestly express, face to face, what they don’t like about your business. This, of course, hinders your ability to improve your business. Therefore, we recommend incentivized text messages or emails that are sent to clients shortly after appointments have been completed. To clarify, the incentivizing part of this process could mean offering a discount at the client’s next appointment or having them get entered into some kind of a prize drawing for honestly answering a short series of questions.


One thing which may, many times, go underappreciated is the effect which the morale of your staff can have on your business. Of course, you want your stylists, aestheticians, massage therapists and nail technicians to be serious and professional. However, you do not want your employees to be so stressed out or overworked that it begins to affect their productivity or the interactions they are having with your clients. Some studies show that happy employees are 31% more productive than unhappy employees which, obviously, can have huge implications for your salon or spa. One way which is suggested by experts is providing recognition and rewards when their performance is exceptional. This could mean anything from a handwritten congratulatory note to a bonus or even allowing top performers to have the first pick at the most desired schedules and shifts. Using these clever strategies will help keep the morale and productivity of your staff high.


One strategy which is very popular for modern businesses, both online and in person, is upselling clients with related goods or services. If someone has been a client of your spa or salon for a reasonable amount of time and has come back over and over again, you have earned their trust – and this was the hard part. Now, you can leverage that trust to offer them other goods or services which might be beneficial to them. For instance, let’s say a woman has come into your salon for years to get haircuts and colorings. Through the conversations you have had with her while providing these hair services, you learn that she has a hard, stressful job. Well, she might be the perfect candidate to offer massage services to. Or, if someone comes into your spa for facials every couple of weeks, they obviously care about the appearance of their skin. This person may be inclined to try a new sunscreen on your retail shelf. If you are creative, there should be countless ways which you can upsell your clients in a way which is natural and beneficial to both you and them. 


Hopefully this article helped bring to light some of the lesser known and thought about ways in which you can improve your business. Many spas and salons will solely focus on things like customer acquisition, customer retention and advertising. And, while these things are all important, that doesn’t eliminate the necessity for taking advantage of other opportunities like upselling clients, soliciting quality customer feedback and keeping the overall morale high at your place of business.