Big Money Stylist Podcast Episode #73: Social Etiquette Behind the Chair

The overall experience for a client inside of any business is paramount and vital to client retention. How do you handle an assistant who yells things from across the room or artists who engage in inappropriate conversations in front of clients? What does it mean if your client wears headphones or works on their phone and doesn’t engage in conversation with you? Should you be concerned? Tune in for answers to these and other questions in this important episode of the Big Money Stylist.

Point #1: Letting Go

  • Danielle tells her artists behind the chair that they don’t have time for the little shit. “If you’re already working 80 hours a week, you’re going to need to hire people to take care of things for you like your laundry, cleaning, and shopping.”
  • “The hardest thing for me in letting go was having somebody not do something the way I would do it,” says Danielle. “It would piss me off so badly that I just wanted to do it myself. And then I realized I can’t keep operating like that because I don’t have enough time.”

Ask Yourself: What do you know you need to let go of in order to free up more of your time?

Point #2: Balancing Act

  • When it comes to hiring assistants, a lot of artists will say they don’t have time to train someone, and yet the reality is, you don’t have time NOT to train someone. They may not always do it exactly how you do it, but understand that as you train them, over time, it’s going to benefit you.
  • If your business is solely relying on you, you can only become so successful. The growth of the company actually relies on a team. Although a team effort, it’s still vital for you as a business owner not to step out too far or let go too much because shit can go sideways really fast. It’s a balancing act.

Ask Yourself: Where in your world are you trying to handle everything? How is that working for you?

 Point #3: Keep it Classy

  • It’s important for your clients to feel comfortable in communicating with you about the service you’re providing them. It’s also important to give them a good overall experience in the salon.
  • You’re going to have some clients who will not return even though you’ve done a killer job on their hair. Why? Because the conversations taking place all around them have been offensive or inappropriate. Keeping it classy is vital to the retention of your client base.

Ask Yourself: Where do you need to reign it in a little in order to provide your clients with the best overall experience possible?

Point #4: Twenty Questions

  • Reading your client is an important skill to develop. If they have their headphones on they or have given you the heads up that they have some work to do on their phone, give them their space and don’t play twenty questions with them.
  • “That doesn’t mean it’s going to mess up their experience or your connection with them, it just means they have shit to get done AND they want great hair. Check in with them and that’s it.”

Ask Yourself: What has been your experience with this, either as a client or as the professional?

Point #5: The Art of Framing

  • If you have a business where you’re doing work in front of a client, you need to have a conversation with your assistant about the proper way to address things. If your assistant yells things like “We only have this, will this still work?” from across the room, that’s a sure way for your client to lose all confidence in you and in your work.
  • Handle concerns you have with the work being done by other artists off to the side, away from the client, and be sure to be careful with the words you use and how you use them. Say things like, “This looks awesome, but let’s try this.” Or, pull them off to the side and share what you want them to know. It’s all about how you frame it.

Ask Yourself: As a salon owner, what can you do to improve the social etiquette inside your salon?

Quote of the Week:

“Be consistent in everything that you’re doing every day. Look back and measure your progression based on your numbers, based on how your hair looks and based on where you’re at in life. And when you see that momentum pick up, it pushes you forward to continue that momentum.”

—Danielle K White

“Watch the shit you say inside the salon. As important as it is to have comradery inside the salon, keep it professional. I’m not saying you can’t have fun, but just remember, there are lines that you just can’t cross.”

—Anianne Rivera

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