8 March 2018
Often as small to medium hair and beauty salons we don’t in theory have a ‘Complaints Department’ so usually any complaints bought to the salon are handled by a senior member of staff such as the Salon Manager or Salon Owner.
Handling complaints effectively can be a challenging task, however when done correctly can reap rewards for your business.
Do you have a company procedure in place?
Do your staff know what to do when they receive a complaint?
There are many areas that your salon business can be targeted with on a complaint such as a client unhappy with their hair colour or hair cut. Maybe they received poor customer service when they came into the salon?
Top Tips to Handle a Complaint Effectively in Your Salon Listen To The Complaint
When your client begins his/her complaint, it is so important to take a step back, stay quiet and allow them to have their say.
You must remove your emotions attachment to the situation as your response will only irritate them further.
Put yourself in their shoes, if you had a concern or complaint you would want someone to listen to you not interpret or try and justify the situation before they have finished speaking.
Try To Understand
When it is you own salon business your passion will come through, however this will usually be in an emotional way and you will come across as being defensive, even more so if you do not feel you are in the wrong. This is not good for you or the customer.
Use Your Initiative
Each complaint should be handled by one person only, this avoids any mixed messaged or confusion. It also makes it a lot easier for the client to contact one person further down the line.
If the complaint is about one particular hair stylist or beauty therapist, I find it is always best to remove both you and the customer from other ears that may be listening in. It will make it easier for everyone and less uncomfortable.
Either both stand or both sit down, you do not want to be towering over your client when they are complaining. Body language is so important. Ensure you are at the same eye level.
Find A Solution
Complaints need to always be resolved as quickly as possible. Without it looking like you are rushing the situation. They need to feel like it is your priority to get their complaint sorted.
You need to turn the negative situation into a positive which can feel like an impossible challenge if you are being shouted at. Arguing will only make the situation worse.
9 times out of 10 you are like a rabbit in head lights and ideally do not want to say the first thing that springs to mind.
Apologise To Your Client
Even if you categorically know they are incorrect. Still apologise to them and be genuine about it. Clearly something has upset them which isn’t a nice feeling for anyone. The majority of people hate confrontation so would have worked them selves up and found it difficult to come to you and complain.
Do Not Make Excuses
Your clients do not want to hear excuses. End of.
Ask Them What Can Help To Rectify The Situation
Typically a complaint is followed by some form of compensation this could be a full or partial refund, or a git voucher. Another good offer for compensation instead of giving the clients money back you could offer to have their next appointment on the house or at 50% which ever you feel necessary.
This last point can throw the client as usually they have thought beyond making the compliant and would expect you to come up with a solution. So turning it round on them gives them the chance to tell you what the expect you to do about it.
Keep A Record Of All Client Complaints
I would always recommend to keep a record of any complaints you get from clients. Purely for your peace of mind more than anything. You will be surprised at how many clients complain about something, then forget about it to then bring it up again 10 months later. By having a record you can easily look back on your notes, to see what was said on both parties and to continue the complaint in a professional orderly manner.