Customer Service

Ask The Right Questions

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 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 existing clientele thinks about 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 haw 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 may be 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, 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 eight easy steps to make a customer survey produce the most useful information:

1.         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.

2.         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.

3.         Create your survey. Keep it simple and easy to fill out in less than five minutes. Use some check boxes, compose write-in answer question, 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 visit, and referrals. Pick up sample questionnaires from hotels or restaurants too format questions or try questions included n our sample.

 

4.         Have enough customer survey printed or copied to last at least 30 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.

 

5.         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.

 

6.         Compile the survey results before the next staff meeting. Use percentages for the check box and yes/no answers. Make a list of the most common write-in responses, and single out the best and worst overall surveys.

 

7.         Present the result 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.

 

8.         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 fufill 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 your competition and has useful idea that can be easily translated into the nail business.

 

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