The One Skill You Need to Improve Customer Satisfaction
Updated: Apr 12, 2019
Do you know who Dorothy Hamill is? Neither did I in 1988 let alone her haircut. The salon I worked at decided to go skiing. I was fresh out of school by 4 months. Alone, with one other stylist. A regular family walked in and the mom said she wanted a Dorothy Hamill haircut. We didn’t learn that in school. What the heck was that? I thought it was a wedge, so I proceeded to cut her into a wedge. Over the ears and all. I am fantastic at wedge haircuts, btw! When the parents returned and saw a perfect wedge, not a Dorothy Hamill, they were mortified. It truly all turned out okay, but I was sick to my stomach for months for not being perfect and misunderstanding. No Pinterest or cell phones back then!
Lesson: When unsure of a cut or color ask for a picture.
Lesson: Never take kids without parental supervision on the 1st visit. (Maybe not ever!)
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a ton, I mean a ton of communication behind the chair. One reason I built a full-time clientele in one year is because I learned to listen. I ask the same question several ways. If I don’t feel like we are communicating well enough together I keep asking to see if they keep giving the same answer. Sometimes the client doesn’t know how to tell us what they want. I call it a process of elimination. Eliminate what they like and what they don’t. Always remember that whether you like their hair or not it’s about what makes the client happy. You are not in charge of their choice.
So be a listener.
I think it is so funny when you ask a man where they like the hair on their ears. On top can mean not touching or slightly hanging over. That was another learning experience for me. He liked it hanging or touching the top of the ear and I cut it off over the ear. Thanks, Richard, for continuing to come in for over 15 years. He told me he ended up being happy with it shorter over the ears and ended up wearing it that way forever. He just didn’t know he would like it.
Another funny story was when a weekly client came in and was so excited to tell her hairdresser that she wanted a BIG, BIG change today. The hairdresser was so excited because he has wanted to change her hair for years. So, he was polite and let the client proceed to tell him what change she wanted. “She wanted to part her hair on the left this week versus the right.” Oh, to his dismay that is not what he was expecting. We need to realize what some clients call change is not at all what hairdressers think of as change.
Over the years I have worked with them all. One day a lady told a stylist she wanted shoulder length hair. They cut and styled her hair. Well do you think she came out with shoulder length hair? Not unless her neck was non-existent. She ended up with chin level hair. How do you get that so wrong I thought to myself? Not being a listener or paying attention. So, if a client comes in and asked for shoulder length hair and you give her a chin level bob. You better practice the skill and art of listening.
Be a listener and do what the client wants, and you will keep them forever.