One of the biggest mistakes that any salon owner makes is to not understand their customer. The most successful salons understand what’s important to their customer. The things that you may think are important are not. We all heard the saying “the three most important things in business are location, location, location. Although the location is important I don’t think it’s the most important in most cases. I will talk further about that at a later time.
Knowing your audience’s likes and dislikes is extremely important. The simplest of questions never seemed to get answered when a business owner opens their salon. One of the questions you need to ask your self and your customers are
What makes you choose one tanning salon over another?
There are several answers that can come with that question. You need to know the answer in order to be successful. Some of the answers that you may receive are comfort, security, cleanliness, price, location, appearance, and how the staff treats me. These are just a few of the answers that you may get from your clients.
How do you get this information?
There are several ways to obtain this information from your clients. If you’re a new store and have not opened yet, you can visit other salons in the area and put a flyer on each one of the cars in the parking lot and asked them to fill out a survey online. There are many survey companies online that are free. You can use companies like survey monkey.com to develop and track your surveys. In return upon opening your provide them with the first month free for providing you with survey results. Just so you don’t break the bank on the first month you can limit it to the first 10 who do the survey.
If you are an existing salon owner, you can do something similar however you can distribute this flyer in your store. If you have a large chain you can select 10 customers and put them all in a customer board. What is a customer board you ask? This would be a group of your customers that could meet once or twice a year at your cost at a local hotel ballroom where you could feed them lunch and listen to their feedback. They could recommend changes likes and dislikes and could build your business into greatness.
When you get the answers the next step is acceptance. One of the hardest parts for a business owner to grasp is criticism. Always accept the criticism no matter how much it hurts. Your denial of reality from your customer’s perspective can be devastating. We all have an internal button to make excuses for other people’s opinions. These are the people that are giving you money or could potentially give you money. Listen to what they say and accept it.
Putting criticism for action is vitally important. After you’re finished being hurt, and insulted, take action, instead of making excuses. Capitalize on the things that your customer does like and work on the things that they don’t like. Most of the criticism will be simple to solve. For example, one of the things that you’ll hear most is “the person working the front counter is not very friendly”. That’s a pretty easy one to solve, isn’t it? It is unless it’s your wife’s sister who was working the front counter. No matter who it is they need to be either properly trained or replaced. It’s never about the people it’s about the management of people. Most people want to do a good job they just don’t know what that is.
We could go on forever about the trials and tribulations of any business. But if you’re the owner, it’s all your responsibility. If it’s not working, “it’s all your fault”. Accept responsibility and make the changes necessary to make use business successful.