Customer Service


This holiday season, transform your menu into a winter wonderland of services that tantalize clients’ senses, smooth away their stresses, and moisturize their dry hands and feet.

“Clients love to try new things,” Oolie agrees. “When people read about our pedicures they get very excited.” Just Calm Down’s clients prove particularly nostalgic near the holidays. “People in New York generally don’t get to see everyone they want to see at the holidays, and these types of services help to fill the void by conjuring up past memories,” she explains.

By the same token, don’t get too stuck on the traditional winter images for inspiration. For example, Canavino believes Maxine’s hottest nail service this winter will be Baby Power Pedicure. “Baby powder is a comfort smell,” she explains. “Every woman has a mom, is a mom, or will be a mom, and the smell of baby lotion is a comfort haven.”

Anyone who’s withstood New York’s bitter cold can understand the appeal of Just Calm Down’s Lady Godiva pedicure. Filled with chocolate, vanilla, milk, Hershey’s Kisses and cinnamon, the service helps clients resist the temptation to put their lips – rather than their feet – to the bowl with a serving of the real thing in a large mug.

Any warm beverage gives clients a real taste of full-service while complementing your services. Have fun by matching drink choices to service twists – eggnog for cinnamon-y service, hot chocolate with chocolate, apple cider with oatmeal and apple, orange tea with orange – or provide a full bar. When support staff is at a premium, keep things simple with instant-flavored coffee mixes and individually packaged tea bags and single-serving apple cider packets.

Overwhelmed by the possibilities – and all the work creating such services might entail? Relax. “Start simple and work with your distributor,” Canavino advises. “Essential oils are a good way to get started, and there are a few distributors that work with aromatherapy companies.”

Celebrate the Season

Why is it that so few salons make the most of the ultimate party season? From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, even the most antisocial people find themselves whirling from office parties to neighborhood get-togethers, and from cocktail parties to family gatherings.

Channing’s Day Spa is one of the few we found that celebrates nail art as an integral service element. The Chicago spa’s Rhinestone Pedicure description urges clients to, “Go all-out glam with a line of tiny sparklers twinkling across your big toes. This pedicure is sure to dress up even the most sedate of shoes. Shine on.”

Change is good for salons, as well. Look for new ways to introduce even your most conservative clients to nail art. This winter, Just Calm Down will add “scrapbook” nail art to its service menu. Clients are invited to peruse the spa’s scrapbook filled with nail-size images and words culled from magazines and other sources. “They could pick a picture of St. Nick or a menorah,” Oolie says. “We’ll put the image into the gel and buff the surface.”

Nor do you have to spend a lot of time to perk up nails for a party. Jesse recommends keeping your sanity by simplifying your designs for this time of year. “If someone wants a snowman or snowflakes, I’ll do it,” she says. “But the holidays are my busiest time, so I focus on dressing up the nails with glitter top coat, rhinestones, and perhaps a gold polish. With those three things, the possibilities are endless. Sometimes a gold French tip or a rhinestone is the deal finishing touch.”

For techs still building a book, however, this is the time to go all-out to attract the party-going crowds. “The holidays are the time of year when women will try extensions as a new thing,” Jesse says. “I’ve found that perhaps a third of them continue as clients, so it’s a big time to promote yourself.”

Make sure your “Walk-ins Welcome” sign is highly visible to passers-by and spread the word to coworkers and their clients that you have openings. Finally, remembers that where the feet lead, the rest of the body will follow. Examine your service menu for party-oriented and knees. Just Calm Down, for example, has great success around the holidays with manicure and pedicure addons such as its Prima Donna eyebrow plucking service.

Plan Christmas in July

Start planning your next winter holiday service menu in the summer, when you still have plenty of time to test ideas and seek out and sample products. Calling up some Christmas spirit in July isn’t always easy, which is why Canavino recommends saving this year’s winter issues of your favorite magazines. “They’ll help to put you in the mood and get your creative juices flowing,” she says.

She constantly asks herself what people want in their homes and from their futures. She seeks out their goals by reading everything from Modern Maturity to Better Homes & Gardens to keep her finger on the pulse of society’s needs and wants.

And don’t just listen passively to clients’ needs this winter. Note the problems they’re discussing now so you can design solutions for next year. “We listen to what clients bring in their experiences,” Canavino says. “If clients love the smell or texture of something, that’s a clue.”



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