Customer surveys are a road map for change. The progressive salon owner and her staff should give out these quick and easy questionnaires at least once a year to find out what's going wrong—and right.
Customer surveys can help you get the inside information on what your business before you add or change services, products, or policies. A survey helps you target clients' specific needs, giving you a greater chance for success on any changes you implement. Above all, you won't be wasting money on products or services nobody wants. Having hard facts and figures from a client survey can give you more confidence in your decisions and may also have a greater impact on your staff than if you just “tell” everyone what needs to be done.
When we did our most recent customer survey at Tips Nail & Image Center, the results were 98% positive, giving my staff a real vote of confidence. There weren't any suggestions for major changes in service or policy—except maybe the request for an espresso machine. But there were many small suggestions, such as having additional pillows for back and leg support, installing softer light bulbs, and holding jewelry trunk shows, that are very easy for us to implement. In fact, we acted on these suggestions right away.
Here are some easy steps to make a customer survey produce the most useful information:
- Establish the goals and objectives of your survey. DO you want responses on a specific new product or service? Has your clientele been shrinking and you want to know why? Your objectives will significantly define the types of questions you will eventually formulate for the survey.
- At your staff meeting, ask each person to contribute five possible questions for the survey. The team is likely to make sure more surveys are completed by clients if the team assists in creating it.
- Create your survey. Keep it simple and easy to fill out in less than five minutes. Use some check checkboxes, compose write-in answer questions, and leave room for extra comments at the bottom. Word your questions in the positive rather than the negative. For example, don't ask, “What are we doing wrong in our salon?” Instead, use the phrase, “What would you suggest we do to make your visit more satisfactory?” Include questions about time, price, convenience, types of services and products, number of visits, and referrals. Pick up sample questionnaires from hotels or restaurants to format questions or try questions included in our sample.
- Have enough customer surveys printed or copied to last at least a few days. Put them on clipboards with pens at the front desk, waiting area and nail drying area.
- Cover and label some boxes for clients to deposit their completed surveys. No one wants to write something, possible negative, about someone and hand it back to that same person. Encourage clients to be candid with their answers by assuring their privacy. Encourage client participation by giving them a small thank-you gift for filling out the survey. Offer a mini polish or lotion or something like our salon's “Dazzle Dollar,” which they can spend in the salon.
- Compile the survey results for the next staff meeting. Use yes/no answers. Make a list of the most common write-in responses, and single out the best and worst overall surveys. Present the results to the staff and, as a group, analyze the information and look for possible changes that need to be made. Consider such areas as service time, telephone equipment, or product lines offered.
- Do another survey again in six months using the same questions to see if anything has shifted or if new concerns have emerged.
To stay successful today and to keep clients highly satisfied, we must constantly ask about clients' desires, and fulfill them quickly. Surveys are a way to nudge you out of your tendency to maintain the status quo and into a new-and-improved salon.
I recommend salon owners read a new book called The New Positioning by Jack Trout. It's a quick, easy read about staying a step ahead of the competition and has useful ideas that can be easily translated into the nail business.
Tips Customer Survey
Please take a few moments to fill out this questionnaire. It is your impression of your service which will dictate that future of our Customer Service Policy.
1. Please rate the quality of the nail care you receive at Tips. excellent, good, satisfactory, fair or poor
2. The length of time my appointment takes is: satisfactory, too long, too short
3. My appointment starts on time: Always, most of the time, sometimes, never
4. I'm treated courteously on the telephone: Always, most of the time, sometimes, never
5. What additional nail care services would you like offered at Tips?
6. What appeals to you about the atmosphere at Tips?
7. What would you suggest to make a visit to Tips more satisfactory?
8. How do you feel about our “One Price” fee structure as opposed to a la carte charges and gratuities?
9. What retail items do you purchase at Tips?
10. What additional retail items could we offer?
11. Would refer someone to Tips? Yes/No
12. Your Nail Tech is? (optional)
Do you have any additional comments or suggestions? Thank you for your time. Please deposit survey in suggestion box.