Do you ever look across the table and feel the urge to ask your clients, “Do you like me? Do you really, really like me?” Of course you do. And it’s only natural. We all need some positive feedback from time to time. So we conducted a little survey to find out what attracts clients to your salon and why they love you
“I like a nice manicurist who is pleasant but does not want to know how old my mother is, how many kids I have, if I am married or not,” says Adriana Cox of Torrance, Calif. “Sometimes I like to talk but I don’t want to feel that I will offend her if I don’t feel like it.”
On the other hand, some clients crave a lot of personal interaction, looking to make their manicure resemble a social visit. “I like to feel that I am important and that the nail tech is listening to me,” says Jean Starr of Reno, Nev.
Those who have come to depend on one nail tech (for artificial enhancements or weekly manicures, for example) often come to understand the nuances in technique and the value of personalized care.
These clients tend to find one tech they like and build a rapport with them. “I tend to build a relationship with people like my nail technician and my hairdresser so I feel like I receive personal attention, and then I feel good about returning,” says Patricia Larson of Huntington Beach, Calif.
Robyn Mowery of Sidney, Neb., an eight-year client of one tech, has this to say: “My nail tech can do a whole set of nails in one hour. Her nails are always balanced and smooth. She fits me into her schedule whenever I have a broken nail. She is always seeking and implementing the newest and latest technologies.” Susan Conner of Indianapolis says this about her tech, whom she has been loyal to for years: “I have tried other manicurists in the past and have never found anyone who gives more service for the value than my nail tech. My nails and cuticles have never looked as good as they do now.”
Another client describes a good nail tech as “artistic, hygienic, and very professional at every appointment — someone who goes above and beyond to meet the needs of her client.” Sometimes it’s the sense of community that a nail tech and her colleagues create that keeps clients happy. “I’ve gone to the same nail salon for 12 years. The salon is not snazzy; it lacks modern additions like quick-drying machines and fancy pedicure basins. The decor is bland. But I continue to go because to all of us ‘regulars’ it’s a family,” says Linda Gordon of Los Angeles. “The staff knows us very well.”
In customer service, oftentimes it’s the little things that matter to clients. “I abhor it when polish gets on my skin. One time a manicurist dipped a brush in polish remover and went around my cuticle to remove excess polish. I’ve always wanted somebody to do that again, but no one ever does,” says Jacobson.
Showing initiative and creativity scores a lot of points with clients. “It’s nice when you have a nail tech who is creative and specializes in nail art,” says Soss. “When you’re paying $5 per toe for a design, who wants to pick from a selection of two flowers?” Jacobson adds, “I like when a nail tech can tell me what colors would look best with my skin.
With the good, comes the bad. Here, some clients share some things that leave them feeling less than satisfied when they leave the salon.
“I dislike it when dead skin is clipped off haphazardly and jagged skin appears around my nail a day or two later.”
“A manicurist who is too personal and too talkative makes me feel like I can’t relax during my manicure.”
“I don’t like feeling that the nail tech couldn’t care less if I return.”
“I feel unsatisfied if it takes two hours to get a manicure (which has actually happened) or if my skin consistently gets cut on accident.”
“I don’t like rude staff, long waits, or dirty tools. I was at one salon where they literally ripped the toe separators off of one person and stuck them on another. I walked out without receiving a service.”
“I dislike bad workmanship — chipping polish, bad nail shape. If I wanted my nails to look that way I’d do them at home.”
“Having to wait longer than expected. If they tell me the wait is 10 minutes, having to wait 30 is unacceptable. If I have an appointment and have to wait longer than 10 minutes, I will most likely not stay and not return to that salon.”
“I am not pleased when a pedicure ends up being basically a nail trim and a couple of layers of polish, and the entire time they keep trying to get you to buy add-ons, so it’s a constant struggle.”
“I find it unprofessional when a nail tech leaves me during the middle of my service to work on someone else, so a service that normally takes one hour then takes two because Betty needs to get her brows waxed.”
“I don’t like feeling that my service is rushed. It makes me feel like I am not important enough to spend time on.”