When HAUS Salon co-founder Jessica Reipke and co-founder Charlie Brackney Love opened their first HAUS Salon location in Minneapolis in 2011, they knew customer service would be their number-one priority.
Now, more than a decade later, Lindsey Tyson, director of operations at HAUS Salon, says all three of the Minneapolis HAUS Salon locations have one thing in common—a welcoming environment the moment a guest walks through the door.
Meeting and Exceeding Expectations
“Everyone is greeted with a welcoming smile, the customer service team is very informative, along with our website, email and text confirmations which include digital forms that auto send with more complex services,” Tyson says. “We follow up with all guests who didn't have an exceptional experience to find what we could do better and to make it right.”
Part of that experience is accepting American Express, so HAUS Salon guests can pay with their payment method of choice, giving them the gold-standard customer experience HAUS Salon strives for.
“The reputation American Express has with their customer service and the type of clientele they attract aligns with our own aspirations,” says Reipke, who is a long-time American Express member.
“We’ve had so many instances of a customer coming to our desk to ask if we take American Express, that it feels like a benefit we offer,” she adds.
“Customer service in 2023 is different than it was pre pandemic,” Love says. “One of the main shifts we see is people want an individualized touch.”
At the front desk, Love says this translates into the team having an understanding of the client’s history with the salon and the specific needs being addressed.
“It's a concierge service, which is very much in line with how American Express treats their own clients,” he says.
While Love and Reipke pay close attention to guest satisfaction, the main focus is on their internal clients—their team members.
“We operate transparently with our team so when they hear about current issues such as inflation, they know what we’re doing to support them,” says Love. “And we give them the freedom to be themselves. We encourage them to showcase their own unique personalities and style behind the chair, this allows the space to feel approachable while also ensuring luxury is the mainstay of every service.”
Love and Reipke want their team’s entire focus to be on providing exceptional service.
“So we remove the financial stress by providing our senior team with free advanced education options and our apprentices with paid training. This allows them to focus on the creative aspect of their roles, which fuels their passion behind the chair,” Reipke says.
A team with more autonomy and independence is just one of the changes for the better that Love has observed.
“I’m also very proud of the fact that our leadership team, led by Jessica, is all women, and our staff is 90 percent women,” he says. “We have women leaders helping to uplift and raise up women in a supporting environment filled with primarily female clients.
“Women are driving the economic engine that is the beauty industry.
While HAUS Salon has been growing and thriving, the business has not been immune to inflation pressures. Supplies still cost more and take longer to arrive, making planning difficult.
“We’ve been fortunate to maintain and grow our level of business,” says Reipke. “But we stay ahead of trends and continue to evolve.”
HAUS Salon is a certified Green Circle Salon, setting them apart from other salons and making them an attractive option for environmentally conscious consumers.
“We also recently added a MedSpa,” says Reipke. “We can’t rest—we have to keep driving the business forward to meet the needs of consumers.”
In order to not pass inflation costs onto guests or change the compensation structure of their team, Love and Reipke have focused on efficiency.
“We maximize the books to minimize free space, making up for loss of net income with more revenue,” Reipke says. “This gives our team the ability to make the most of their time in the salon, while allowing them the space to live the life they want outside of it.”
Partner Makes Perfect
While Reipke and Love navigate the ups and downs of a thriving, growing business, they rely on the support of their chosen partners, like American Express.
“Sixty percent of our volume at HAUS Salon is on American Express,” Love says.
And the rewards the salon receives when they make business purchases on their Delta Reserve Business Card go back into the business.
HAUS Salon has a robust education program, including an 18-month training program for apprentices and advanced education with educators flown in from all over the world.
“We put our American Express points towards travel that supports our education initiatives,” says Reipke. “This allows us to fly in amazing educators.”
American Express provides ongoing support to small businesses year-round through the Shop Small Resource Hub where small business owners have access to complimentary marketing supplies and resources; Business Savings Suite for services ranging from technology to shipping solutions; and American Express Business Class, a global content platform created to bring innovative, entertaining, and free business education to entrepreneurs.
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Originally posted on Salon Today