Illustration by Lucie Crovatto

Illustration by Lucie Crovatto

You could be the most talented nail tech in the history of humankind, but if you overlook customer service basics, don’t expect to build a clientele. Salon clients are paying for an experience, not just good looking nails. Familiarize yourself with these five customer service basics, incorporate them into every service, and you will have a loyal and happy clientele for years to come.

  1. Be aware. In his book, Tales of an American Entrepreneur: Journey of a Small Business Owner, beauty industry veteran Michael Randazzo urges techs and salon owners to take note of the service they receive — good or bad — every time they themselves are in the role of consumer. “Look around every time you purchase anything,” he says. “What did you like or dislike about the experience? How would you have made it better, and how could you implement that in your business?”
  2. Be welcoming. A warm smile and a relaxed atmosphere are key. Having your nails done by someone who is clearly unhappy or stressed is an unpleasant experience. We all have bad days, but we need to learn how not to inflict our moods on others, as it can make a huge difference in whether clients will want to return. “I always keep a smile on my face, no matter what,” says Tawana Yanez, owner of Show Us Your Tips in Henderson, Nev. “It helps me keep my attitude in check.”
  3. Pay attention to body language and learn to read your client. Is she hesitant to make eye contact? Is she unresponsive to conversation? Perhaps she doesn’t feel like talking and instead wants a quiet, relaxing service. Does she seem annoyed when you offer add-ons? Perhaps she doesn’t want to be upsold. Be prepared to abandon an upsell if the client isn’t responsive.
  4. Adopt a system to remember your clients’ birthdays, family details, and past services. Offer them discounts or small gifts for special occasions. Clients feel special when we remember details that are unique only to them.
  5. Learn to give a great massage. Whether you’re massaging hands, feet, neck or shoulders, do your very best job with care and awareness. Many clients keep coming back just for the massage — it’s that important.

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