Business Management

On My Mind: Why I'm Your Least-Favorite Client

I’m the perfect example of do as I say, not as I do. So as such a lackadaisical client, what does it take for me to come back for repeat visits?

I must come clean. I’m probably your worst nightmare for a client. On a scale of 1-10 on maintenance (1 being low and 10 being high), I’d rate myself a 3. I get my hair professionally colored, but usually only twice a year. I’ve probably only had four facials in my whole life. I get my eyebrows waxed a few times a year, but certainly not once a month like I should. And I don’t even like getting massages or other body treatments. I’ve tried Botox and Dysport; but again, I’m not great at being a repeat patient/client.

In fact, I’ve only spent one three-month period during college as a regular nail client. And that only lasted until an unfortunate water-skiing incident that left me with 10 broken acrylic nails. These days, you rarely even see me wearing anything but light nude-colored polish.

Ever since I’ve been an editor at NAILS, I have never really settled into a regular salon routine. That’s not to say I don’t go to the salon, because as you know I do. I travel regularly and visit salons all over the country. I probably get in to the salon at least a few times a month.

Now here’s the thing: It’s not that I don’t like going to the salon. I do. But upkeep and maintenance just don’t top my list for things I want to spend my money on. (Live concerts, music on iTunes, gadgets, and travel top that list.) Also, I’ve never been super girly or into pampering. When I do go to the salon, I’m there because I absolutely have to be — my roots are out of control, my eyebrows are overgrown, or I’m in dire need of a toenail polish change and some serious callus removal.

I’m the perfect example of do as I say, not as I do. So as such a lackadaisical client, what does it take for me to come back for repeat visits?

1. An amazing service. Whether it’s a great cut and color or a really thorough pedicure, I’m loyal when someone does a good job. I also like to get in and get out, so efficiency is another key factor.

2. A comfortable (but clean) atmosphere. I like salons that are cute and cozy, but I also want them to be super clean. I’m not the kind of client who is looking for super fancy (because that usually also means super expensive) or stuffy. I want to feel comfortable when I’m getting services — both because it’s inviting and because it’s really clean.

3. Unique touches. I’m intrigued by specialty services that aren’t offered other places. I also like when the salon offers something different — a place for me to plug in my iPod, a glass of wine or a cocktail, a fragrance bar to choose my own pedicure soak scent. And as most of you probably already know, I’m a sucker for a cool retail boutique area.

4. Quality products. I want to know what products you’re using and why you’re using them. I might be low maintenance, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like nice things. I want to feel like it’s worth what I’m spending, not just for your awesome skills, but also because you’re using good products.

I know I’m not everyone’s target client. In fact, I’m sure many of you are probably thinking, “I could never build a business with clients like that!” I figure if you can learn anything from me, it’s how to take a low maintenance girl and make her want to be a regular salon client. And in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m probably not as bad of a client as I’ve painted myself to be. I’m starting to love my gel-polish manicures, and, out of necessity, I do get monthly (sometimes bimonthly) pedicures.

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