5 Things Clients Expect from Their Salon Visit

When people come to a hair salon, they have a lot of expectations and anxieties. Hair styling is serious business because it can have a lasting effect on how people feel about themselves during the day and how other people perceive them. Hair does not grow back right away, so the quality of work that a stylist does for their client is incredibly important.

Moreover, when people visit beauty salons, they are expecting more than just good quality service. They are also expecting a positive experience, a relaxing atmosphere, and a reassuring and experienced staff, from the reception desk to the salon chair, and, finally, to the checkout.

Salon owners have a lot to consider beyond the basic salon equipment. They have to tailor the atmosphere to best fit their clientele. This is more important in hair salons than in other businesses like retail stores, where a clientele will often be properly satisfied if they can simply find the product that they are looking for.

If you are starting a new salon or if you are already running a salon business, this article will ensure that you have all the information that you need for making your salon more successful and better at satisfying the needs of your clients.

We will go from the big picture question of the top five things that people are expecting from their salon visits and then move to smaller details, such as the salon equipment necessary to run a salon. Moreover, we will show how the newer technology of digital signage can greatly improve the salon experience.

Top 5 Things Clients Expect from a Salon

1. A Great Customer Experience

The overall customer experience is crucial for all businesses, but especially for those in the hair, beauty and wellness industry. If clients have a pleasant and enjoyable experience during their visit to your salon, they will become loyal customers who want to come back to experience those feelings again.

A pleasant, well-decorated and well-lit salon is essential. Moreover, personalized service and excellent attention to client needs are a must when it comes to achieving customer loyalty.

It's important not to neglect the small details in the behavior of employees: smiling, speaking warmly and being willing and receptive to questions and doubts that customers formulate will help customers feel more comfortable and relax.

Of course, from time to time it is necessary to check in and ask the customer about their overall experience in the salon in order to correct and improve their experience.

One great way to improve the customer experience is to install digital signage salon menu boards. Unline static boards made of materials, such as plastic, a digital menu board is easily made to look highly professional and aesthetically pleasing. Customers will know the prices as well as all of the different services that they can receive from your business. A well-designed digital menu board is a great way to set the tone of the salon from the first step that they take into your establishment.

Another important factor to consider when it comes to creating an optimal customer experience is the type of music that you play in the salon. Since visiting the salon, where people have to trust the hairdresser to do a good job with such an important part of themselves–their hair–it is usually best to play quiet and soothing music to help customers calm down and to relieve anxiety.

Be sure to think about every aspect of your space – decorations, furniture, equipment, flowers, magazines and drinks. Don’t forget about non visual things too, like what your clients smell and what they hear.

Finally, another important component of the salon experience is to reduce the perceived wait time. Nobody likes to wait. Especially if they are already anxious, waiting in a salon waiting room or reception area can feel painful. That's why it is good to provide entertainment for your clients as they wait.

One great way to increase a sense of calm is comfortable seating and nice decorations. Another great option is to have a television that is playing comfortable content. Your playlist could include short-form entertainment, such as music videos, with information about your salon interspersed using your digital signage playlist.

2. An Educated and Well Trained Team

A good relationship between the hairdresser or hairstylist and the client is key. Therefore, it is necessary to train your staff not only in the technical knowledge needed to perform their job perfectly, but also to provide them with the right tools to communicate optimally with the client.

It is not about selling another service or product to the user, but suggesting in a natural and friendly way the necessary processes to ensure the best results. These processes include recommending the right time to have a treatment, a touch-up or a next appointment. If the client during the service does not confirm the next booking, the front desk staff should be trained and prepared to professionally ask the client about it.

Always educate your clients on the benefits of regular salon treatments in order to make the act of booking their appointment a natural and mandatory progression.

Moreover, your salon, spa or clinic team not only add to the look and feel of the salon, but they’re selling your business, your brand identity, your culture and your reputation.

Whether you have uniforms or a dress code, it’s important to think about how this reflects on your clients experience. Think about how it fits with the look of your salon, spa or clinic and if it’s practical for your staff to wear as they carry out their jobs.

Create clear appearance rules and guidelines for your team so it’s easy for them to achieve your desired look and ensure they take ownership for how they present themselves.

3. A Seamless Booking Experience

The perfect client experience starts when the client books an appointment with you. Whether they book in person, over the phone, or through your online booking, it’s important that your booking process is as simple and seamless as possible.

Many bookings occur outside of office hours, which means that many people prefer to make their bookings online rather than making a call to your business. That means it’s critical that you’re providing them with the option to do so, otherwise those looking to book online will have a negative client experience if they then need to call you during standard business hours.

This is why it is very important to have a well-functioning and aesthetic website with booking functionality. It can also be beneficial to have links to your appointment scheduling software on your social media channels.

Moreover, sending an appointment confirmation that enables the client to instantly add the details to their calendar contributes towards a seamless client experience.

To enhance the client experience further, if it’s a new client you could send a welcome email prior to their appointment with directions, your beverage list, and information about what to expect for their appointment with you.

Sending automated appointment reminders is also fundamental to salons, spas and clinics because they dramatically reduce no-shows. People get busy and often forget appointments that were made weeks ago, so clients love receiving reminders, and you’ll love having less no-shows.

4. Personalized Promotional Packages and Loyalty Programs

In order to help create loyal customers to keep coming back to your salon, it is important to give your clients a personalized experience and show that you truly care about your clients.

One great way that you can show your clients that you care is to offer personalized promotional packages. If someone comes to your salon looking for hair coloring, then the promotional packages that they receive from you should have to do with hair coloring and the car a dyed hair.

If someone comes to get their hair curled, again, the package should be relevant to their needs and desires. If you offer promotional packages especially catered to specific client needs, then your client will feel well cared for and appreciated.

Another good idea is to use a loyalty program. Customers are the core of the success of your business, and for that reason, the customers that keep coming back should be rewarded for their patronage. It will depend on your spa to decide what type of loyalty program you implement, but having a loyalty program is certainly something that clients will look for.

On the other side of things, you could have a new customer discount. This is a great way to win the good-will of a client from their first appointment. They will not expect the same discount in subsequent visits, but they will be sure to remember the good treatment they recieved on their first visit.

Think of a new customer discount a sa good first impression. First impressions last for a long time, and if a client comes into your establishment already thinking positively about your business, then it is more likely that they will view the whole experience as positive.

5. A Dependable Schedule

Managing time in a salon, spa or clinic can be challenging when it’s busy or clients are running late. While it’s best to always try to minimise this happening, it’s not always avoidable. So it’s important to have processes in place to rectify the situation so it doesn’t affect your clients experience.

For example, if you’re running late, inform your client in advance and offer them a free treatment or head massage when they come in next time. It shows you value your clients and genuinely want their experience to be a positive one.

It’s also important to look at time from the perspective of the appointment. Ensure you book in a sufficient amount of time to perform clients services and do an exceptional job. It’s important not to be in a hurry either as it could leave the client feeling rushed and unappreciated.

The Hair Salon Equipment Essentials

Now that we have gone over the broader aspects of what clients are looking for in their salon experience, it is time to move on to the essential tools and salon equipment needed so that you can bring these wider goals into a reality.

f you are a new salon, this section will be especially important, but even if you are an established salon, you will want to make sure that you have all of these items completed on your checklist.

Hair and Beauty Salon Furniture

  • Reception desk: For clients to book in and report to once arriving for their appointment.
  • Salon chairs or styling chairs: If you’re opening a barber shop or a hairdressers, one of the most important things you will buy is the chair in which your customers will have their hair styled. Make sure it’s comfortable and able to move up and down smoothly, allowing you to reach their hair at different angles
  • Backwash units: The backwash unit in which you’ll be washing your clients’ hair is a must have in any hairdressing salon. They’re available in a range of colours and styles at a price to suit everyone.
  • Styling units: Whether a wall unit or island unit, these are essential to any salon to allow the clients to see the final results of their treatments. They also have a useful shelf for storage.
  • Beauty couches: If you carry out treatments that require clients to lay down, such as waxing, then a beauty couch is an important purchase.
  • Beauty trolleys: To save lugging equipment from one end of the salon to the other, purchase a trolley. You can fill these up with all accessories (such as hair rollers and clips) you’ll need to treat clients.
  • Reception chairs: If you’re tied up with a client, and your next one arrives, you’ll need to have somewhere for them to sit and wait. Also, get a chair for behind the reception desk if staff need to man the desk or check the books.
  • Salon retail stands: Perfect for showcasing your products for your customers.
  • Footrests: An essential for hairdressers and barbers to make sure your clients have maximum comfort and also to keep them balanced while you are cutting and styling their hair.

Salon Essentials

  • Bleachsafe salon hand towels
  • Professional salon hairdressing cape
  • Hair styling clips
  • Hair dye coloring brushes
  • Professional hair dye gloves
  • Hair color processing caps
  • Heat resistant styling station mat
  • Hair color mixing bowls
  • Shampoo bowls

Salon Equipment List

  • Hair wash basin
  • Barber station mat
  • Stylist apron
  • Beauty salon trolley rolling cart
  • Hydraulic reclining barber chair
  • Hand towels
  • Hair scissors and shears holding rack
  • Heat resistant mats and gloves

Professional Hair Tools

  • Blow dryer
  • Curling iron and curlers
  • Clippers
  • Hair straightener
  • Diffuser
  • Hard hat dryer
  • Roller hairsetter
  • Round hair brush
  • Detangling comb

Professional Hair Colors

  • Color powder lightener
  • Color activating lotion
  • Liquid hair toner
  • Crème developer
  • Semi-permanent hair color
  • Masque hair color
  • Conditioning cream color
  • Semi permanent hair color

Optimizing the Client Experience for Business Success

In this article, we have talked about some of the big picture things that people look for in salons. If there is a single takeaway, it is that the client experience comes first. It is, of course, important to have talented staff, but none of this will pay off unless the entire experience is positive and calming.

Going to a salon need not be stressful. It can actually be the opposite. When checking the essential items off of the list of required equipment, make sure that you keep the big picture in mind as you select each item.