How to Create an Impeccable Salon Experience

As a beauty and wellness service provider, you want to be recognized for offering a fantastic experience at your salon. However, that’s a huge undertaking that can get overwhelming quickly – especially when you start thinking about all the variables that go into crafting a great salon experience. 

In this guide, we’ll help you hone in on the most impactful areas where you can improve your salon experience to boost client satisfaction, build up your profits, and reap a whole host of other benefits.

Why You Should Care About Your Salon Experience

The salon experience refers to the overarching perception clients have of your salon and your brand, based on their interactions with your salon – this includes interactions in person and online, whether via social media or your booking website. 

The experience you offer at your salon is right up there with your skills and products in terms of importance, and has a real impact on your bottom line.

Let’s talk about some some of the benefits of prioritizing your clients’ salon experience: 

  • Increase revenue: Thoughtful client experiences translate to a willingness to pay higher prices for services. Plus, a great salon experience may also spur clients to make additional purchases while receiving services (Hello, retail sales!). In other words, the better the salon experience, the better your chances of increasing your profits. 
  • Retain your clientele: A Zendesk report found that about half of consumers would switch to a competitor if they had a bad experience with a brand! An impeccable salon experience is a powerful tool to keep your best clientele coming back on a regular basis. 
  • Differentiate your salon from your competition: At the end of the day, many salons are capable of offering similar services and products. So another way to keep clients coming in your door instead of frequenting your competitors is to offer an unforgettably delightful salon experience that helps you stand out from other beauty professionals in your area.
  • Create (free!) word of mouth marketing: What are you more likely to tell coworkers and friends about: an out-of-this-world experience with a brand or a ho-hum one that you mostly forgot about two minutes later? I know we would definitely share the first one! Your clients will be more likely to spread the word about your awesome salon, both online and in-person, if you knock it out of the park when it comes to their interactions with your business. 

How to Create an Incredible Salon Experience for Clients

With those benefits laid out, building a great salon experience sounds pretty powerful, right? 

So let’s do it.

In this section, we’ll walk through the core elements of a client’s salon experience, and share tips and tactics along the way on how you can improve each. 

Make Finding Your Salon and Booking an Appointment a Piece of Cake

In our digital world, the first element of creating an amazing and holistic client experience actually starts before folks even arrive at your salon with how they find your business and book their appointments. 

While having social accounts and a Business Profile on Google are great for getting in front of lots of potential clients, they usually aren’t the best resource for sharing details about your services or converting traffic to actual bookings. 

Enter the salon website. 

In this day and age, thankfully you don’t have to struggle through hours of “easy” DIY tutorials or pay thousands of dollars to get a website designed and developed.

Instead, you can invest in a flexible, easily-customized website complete with built-in online booking capabilities from GlossGenius

With a salon website from GlossGenius, you can:

  • Make an unforgettable impression by implementing your unique salon branding throughout.
  • Take advantage of SEO and drive more high-value traffic to your business by giving search engines an accurate source of info about your salon. 
  • Quickly answer questions from potential clients by providing info on services, pricing, FAQs, salon policies, and even staff profiles! 
  • Use scheduling and booking features that keep you productive and profitable like gap time, processing time, recurring appointments, automated reminders, robust Waitlist features, no-show protections, and more. 

For a simple monthly fee, you can enjoy GlossGenius’ all-in-one salon website, booking, and business management software. Sign up and get started today with our guide on How to Publish a Stunning Booking Site in 90 Seconds.

Establish a Great First Impression at Reception 

With your booking website handling the job of attracting clients, it’s time to work on some client retention tactics. 

Nowhere are first impressions more important than in the beauty industry. Your first step toward retaining a great clientele starts the moment they arrive: at reception. 

Here are some tips to ensure the reception experience establishes an amazing impression that sets the tone for a great client relationship. 

Greet Quickly

First up, strive to engage with first-time clients as soon as they enter your salon to form an instant, warm connection. 

We recommend that a client should be welcomed within eight seconds of their arrival. It’s up to you to figure out the best set up, system, or staffing at your salon to make that happen.

Make Check-In Simple 

Have you ever walked into a salon and had no clue what direction to go or who to talk to first? Yeah, that doesn’t really make the best impression. 

Let’s look at a few ways to streamline that experience:

  • Create an obvious reception area. Consider a desk, a counter, a podium, or whatever structure works best in your space. If you don’t think it’s immediately obvious, you can even put up a sign that says “check in here” for maximum clarity.
  • Make it clear who’s working. If you tend to have several stylists in the reception area at the same time, it can be hard for newcomers to tell who’s on break and who’s checking in clients. You don’t necessarily need to implement name tags across the salon, but it can be helpful to have whoever is working reception wear one with so that it’s clear they’re on the clock and ready to greet clients. 

Get Comfy 

Don’t we all dislike milling around the front door of a restaurant waiting for a table to open up? Avoid creating that same awkward, chaotic vibe at your salon and get people seated and comfy quickly by putting a waiting area close to reception. 

Ideally, it should have seating that’s comfortable for a few guests (no delicate or super low-to-the-ground chairs) where they don’t have to worry about blocking traffic. 

Pro tip: Add a retail section in the waiting area, so clients can peruse your product offerings while they wait!

Upgrade Your Salon Service Using Soft Skills

We know you have killer hard skills, and the drive to keep improving on them. So we’re not going to talk about those in this section about upgrading your salon service. 

Instead, let’s hit on some of the soft skills that you can use to wow clients in a way that’s nearly imperceptible but extremely impactful when it comes to building a strong client base and outshining competitors. 

Build Trust

For hairdressers, nail artists, estheticians, and anyone else working in a salon setting, the work you do is intensely personal and intensely important. 

Day in and day out, you’re dealing with how people look and, as an extension of that, how they are perceived and how they feel. 

It’s the kind of relationship that can only last if your clients have trust in you. 

The core of trust is transparent communication. That means listening to client goals, sharing insight into your process with them, and working to set expectations even when they aren’t going to align 100% with the client’s initial request.

Document Every Client’s Details

Deepen your client relationships and boost their in-salon experience even more by knowing exactly who they are and what they like the moment they walk in. 

Unless you’ve got a photographic memory, it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to recall every client’s full visit history, favorite products, kids’ names, and so on. 

Taking notes is a very real necessity for building an impeccable beauty salon experience. The struggle? Recording, organizing, and accessing the right notes at the right time. 

That’s why client notes are actually part of GlossGenius’ client management app. 

After each appointment, the app will send you a text to remind you to add any new notes. These get automatically to the client’s profile, then you’ll receive a notification with the updated notes ahead of that client’s next appointment so you can refresh your memory! 

Not sure what kinds of notes to take? Read 6 Notes Hairdressers Should Keep About Clients to Set Them Apart from Other Stylists.

Take Time to Educate Clients

As beauty service providers know, lots of clients come in wanting to mimic some particular trend they saw on social media (balayage, anyone?).

However, sometimes the service they want might not be ideal for a number of reasons, including: 

  • It doesn’t align with what you offer 
  • It would be too high maintenance for their preferences 
  • It’s not compatible with their specific hair or skin type

If this happens to you, use it as an opportunity to share your education with them in another act of building trust. 

While this may seem a bit counterintuitive at first, gently pushing back against a client request and offering a better alternative is actually a way to position yourself as a true expert and as someone who’s looking out for their best interests. 

Not only that, but educating about services that are more aligned with the client’s needs is another way to ensure they’ll be thrilled with the outcome. 

Nail Your Post-Service Client Follow-Ups

Beauty professionals have a unique opportunity to bond with their clients by following up after appointments to make sure everything is going well and they’re happy with the results. This small action shows folks they’re cared for, which is key to satisfaction, retention, and the overall salon experience.

On that note, let’s cover a few tips for nailing post-visit follow-ups that won’t zap your time and energy. 

Streamline the Review Process

Post-appointment, your client has places to be and you have more clients to see.

At GlossGenius, we know nobody wants to stretch out checkout by awkwardly asking for a review. That’s why we’ve streamlined the whole process of getting client reviews by building it into the checkout process. 

Your client’s receipt from our payment processing platform includes a polite request to leave a great review for your awesome work. 

How well does it work? Don’t take our word for it: Liz McKay generated hundreds of five-star reviews in just 16 months with GlossGenius. And then there’s Linda Jordin, whose 200 five-star reviews helped double her revenue!

Automate Rebooking + Reminders

At GlossGenius, we also built something else into checkout that will help drive both revenue and retention: rebooking. 

And since we all know how devastating cancellations and no-shows can be for salon owners’ schedules and wallets, we’ve also layered in automated confirmation and reminder messages to make sure clients remember those recurring appointments.

If you’re still seeing more missed appointments than you’d like and find yourself struggling to enforce your cancellation policy, you also have the option in GlossGenius to take a deposit upon booking, put a credit card on file to be charged in the event of a no-show, or even ban repeat offenders from online booking in the future.

Send Personalized Messages to Stay Top of Mind 

Few things are as damaging to the salon experience as marketing that makes no sense to the recipient. 

Sent several emails in a row for facial waxing discounts to that person who’s visited your hair salon only for vivid hair color services? Unsubscribed. 

Sent a text reminder to schedule an appointment next week to a person who just got a pricey manicure from your nail salon yesterday? Unsubscribed. 

In a loud world, irrelevant marketing can quickly turn off clients. 

But personalized marketing, on the other hand, can inspire positive actions by tapping into the recipient’s known interests and past experiences at your salon. 

With GlossGenius, there are several ways in which you can segment your client base to ensure you’re always sending relevant marketing emails and messages to the groups who will appreciate them. 

GlossGenius’ robust marketing filters include: 

  • Clients you’ve seen in the last # months 
  • Clients you haven’t seen in the last # months
  • Clients who’ve had at least # appointments
  • Clients who’ve spent at least $# with you
  • Clients who’ve purchased X services
  • Clients who’ve purchased X products

Remember, marketing messaging and administrative messaging (confirmations, etc.) are different things. For help navigating the world of client messaging, don’t miss our guide to How Many Client Texts & Emails Should You Send?

GlossGenius Can Shorten Your Path to a Great Salon Experience

As you’ve certainly experienced in your time in the beauty space, the salon experience is shaped by so many factors. 

And while you can’t control everything, you can certainly influence the experience clients have when booking an appointment, visiting your salon, building their relationship with you while they’re in the chair, and receiving follow-up reminders and marketing. 

We hope that the tips and tactics we’ve shared here today, in combination with GlossGenius’ platform for managing your beauty business, give you all the tools you need to prioritize and optimize the salon experience to your benefit.

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