The Keys to Communicating Positively with your Clients and Staff
In any business positivity is a key ingredient, but in our world it’s everything. Clients come to you to leave feeling the best they can. Hair, nails, beauty - it doesn’t matter – they come to you to leave feeling positive, upbeat and ready for life.
That was always true, but given the events of 2020 so far, now more than ever clients will turn to their stylists as an outlet to feel amazing. That’s why the way you communicate with your clients and staff over the next few months is going to be key to successfully rebuilding your business.
We’ve previously brought you our three golden rules for managing salon finances, our eight simple marketing strategies for growing your client base, and now we want to share our latest advice: our two keys to positive communication in your salon or freelance business.
1. Understanding & Preparedness
2. Positive Language and Mindsets
Understanding & Transparency
When people lack understanding about something, our default is to fear it. It can be quite a daunting thing, to have your cut, colour or beauty treatment when your stylist is behind a visor and not as chatty as they usually are. That’s why it’s important to communicate the reasons behind all of the changes going on – so that clients and staff know that it’s for their own health and safety.
By re-framing the measures put in place in salons to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 as positive measures designed to safeguard your clients and your staff, we can flip fear and anxiety on its head and turn it in to a selling point for your business. Hopefully you’re proud of the changes you’ve made and the protection you’re providing – so ensure your salon staff and clients feel that way too. Your client could either leave saying, “wow – the salon is so different. I’m glad they kept me safe but it’s very intimidating”, or they could leave saying “my stylist has put so much effort in to keeping us safe and I’m so grateful for it”. Those two clients are essentially saying the same thing but they probably feeling very different emotions, and the only real way to make sure you have lots of the second client is through the way you communicate.
Use your social media or email marketing to share any changes, but also make sure you’re explaining the reasons and framing it in a positive way. The more the client understands the more comfortable they will be, and the more comfortable they are the more likely they are to focus on the amazing work you’ve just done on their hair or nails.
When we were researching this topic for you, we came across a crazy study by the American Psychological Association that showed people would rather definitely get an electric shock right now than to potentially get one later but not know when. That’s because the anxiety of not knowing is worse than the shock itself. Our point is – tell your clients what to expect and they will be far more positive coming into the salon!
It’s not just your clients, though. Keeping your staff positive is just as important – it’s no good you are being the sole cheerleader, but your staff are dreary and killing the vibe. We’ve released some articles recently on implementing cleaning routines and other safeguards you can be putting in place, which you can find on our blog, and in those we discuss the importance of your team all pulling together and ensuring the new procedures are followed. But the last thing you want is your staff complaining to every client about the extra work they’re having to do. The easiest way to avoid that is for them to feel appreciated for the extra effort, and that they feel like they are making a real difference. Remind them of the importance often, but more importantly – remind them that you can’t do it without them. I mean, it wouldn’t harm to treat them once in a while, too!
Positive Language & Mindsets
Understanding and preparedness are the first two things you want to achieve with your client communication but creating a generally positive environment is really important, too. Positive language can literally change the way a person’s brain perceives something. Although you’re essentially saying the same thing, it’s that idea of looking at the full-half of the cup rather than the empty that can be so powerful.
Various studies into positive language, including one by economic sciences expert and Nobel Prize winning Daniel Kahneman, have proven just how dramatic the shift can be. In one of his studies, people were around 3.5 times more likely to take major risks when the offer used positive language rather than negative.
So, why not try these little tweaks to your day-to-day language:
Instead of “no problem” use “of course”
Instead of “not bad” use “great”
And try and avoid using negatives:
Instead of “don’t do X” try “you should do Y”
Instead of “don’t rush” try “take it slowly”
And STOP saying “it is what it is”.
If you start to change your vocabulary in this way, we think you’ll quickly see the impact it can have on the people around you!
So remember these keys any communication you have over the coming weeks and months as you begin to rebuild your business after lockdown – help people understand and be prepared, and slap on a smile no matter the weather and create a positive vibe throughout your business.
We really hope you’re enjoying being back at work or are excited to get back if you’re not quite there yet. We have a whole host of content related to getting back to salon life, how to do it safely and how to reignite your business with a bang! Head over to our inspiration section for more, and tag us with your tips, advice and experiences from your first few weeks back making people beautiful, @capitalhair.