There’s no need to guess what a new client thinks about you, or whether she’ll return and why. Milady educational trainer Patti Wanamaker recommends using customer surveys to gather key insights to what your customers think about you and your services. “They can help you pin down your customers’ likes and dislikes, and reveal areas for improvement,” she says.

Below, Wanamaker offers six tips to help you create an effective first-time customer survey:

1. Ask questions that fulfill your end goal. Ask only those questions that relate back to your goal for the survey. Each question should have a well-defined purpose, such as:

> How were you greeted by our front-desk team?

> Did you enjoy the environment of the salon?

> Will you return?

2. Types of questions. Use a mix of open-ended questions and short yes/no questions. This will make your survey feel less intimidating.    

3. Use a consistent rating score. I recommend a scale of 1-5 (1= strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree).

4. Timing is crucial. Make certain you send out your survey electronically within a few days after their first visit, while the experience is still fresh in their memory. 

5. Make it worth their while. Entice your customers to complete your survey. You want to encourage them to return to the salon, so offer them a discount on their next visit if they complete the survey. 

6. Now what? It’s wonderful that you have the surveys back and you have your customers’ feedback, but it’s imperative that you have a system in place to review each survey. Be sure to address any negative experiences that a customer shared with you and acknowledge and reward your team for the positive feedback. Look for patterns. For instance, if several respondents said that when they called the salon the phone rang and rang, that should rise to the top of your priority list to resolve.

For more tips and insights from Wanamaker and other members of the Milady team, visit

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