As a retail consultant, I can tell you that if you’re in a service business focused on personal appearance—such as hair salons, tanning salons, nail salons, and day spas or personal services like house cleaning, pet sitting, etc,—there are five customer interactions you should always be using to market your service business and sell your products.
1. Sell your products as a system
As you’re providing your services, be sure to comment on the products you’re using, explaining the features and benefits of how they can help the customer keep looking good. Get your customers to think about your products as part of a total care system. Gently educate them about why they need both your services and your products.
If you do this as you’re working with the customer instead of waiting until they’re ready to walk out the door, they won’t take your suggestion that they buy some of your products as a sales pitch. Instead, they’ll take it as useful advice and will be much more likely to leave with a bag full of your products.
2. Book their return appointment before they leave
There’s no better time than right after an appointment to sign up a customer for another visit. It’s convenient for them, it’s convenient for you, and it keeps them on a regular schedule, which means more business for you.
3. Give out cards
When you’re giving great service and making people look remarkable, customers are bound to have people ask about where they got their hair, nails, etc. done. Before they walk out the door, say something like, "You look so great! I'm sure you'll have a few friends asking where you got it done. Here are some cards to help you." It’s also a way to make the customer in front of you feel good—you’re saying, “You look so good we want to use you as an advertisement to market our services.”
4. Ask for the update
In my work as a retail consultant, I've seen that many customers are more than willing to show off their new look on the Internet, along with a plug for you to all their friends. When people get great service, they feel good about themselves and they feel good about you—and they like to tell people about it. Encourage them to post their new look on Facebook or other social media; it's “word of mouth” in 2013.
5. Thank for their tip
This is simple courtesy, and basic common sense, but it’s easy to get so busy that you don’t properly thank your customers for a tip. When you work for tips, it’s also easy to come to expect them from customers because you count on them.
But most customers want their tips to be acknowledged. It is, after all, voluntary. If you want a customer to continue tipping, let them know you appreciate it when they do.
Service is Key
Customers won’t buy your products, they won’t tip well, they won’t come back, and they certainly won’t promote you to their friends if your service isn’t top-quality. So if you're not giving an exceptional experience, you need to figure out how you can, perhaps by working with a retail consultant.
But if a high level of service is in place, you can easily boost your business with these simple but effective steps to grow your service business.