How to Enhance Your Reputation Behind the Chair
As a stylist, spa owner, esthetician, makeup artist, or more, you’re probably pretty invested in the idea of your skills speaking for themselves, right?
If you’ve got the training, the experience, and the talent backing your game, then you’ll probably never have a problem gaining—or keeping—clients. Right?
Well, not really.
Sure, your skills matter. Your training matters. Your experience matters. Your creative vision matters. But all of those things are useless if you’ve got a bad reputation.
We’re serious—your reputation directly affects whether or not people are willing to work with you, recommend you, and ultimately, keep you as their stylist.
All that to say, no matter how talented you are, if your reputation isn’t great, you could end up dealing with client attraction and retention issues. That being said, if your reputation is less than stellar, there’s plenty you can do to enhance your reputation. We’ve compiled a few tips, tricks, dos and don’ts here to help you up your rep game.
Encourage Referrals & Offer Discounts
Referrals and reviews are everything.
We’re going to say that one more time, a little louder, for the people in the back—referrals and reviews are everything to your business.
Like we said before in the intro, your talent and skills and creative vision mean nothing if you’ve got no reputation. The best way to boost that? Offer your current clients rewards or discounts if they pass along your information or refer friends or family to you.
That does two things simultaneously—first and foremost, you’ll be getting your name out there, and secondly, you’ll be figuring out fun, new way to retain the current client base you have.
Keep Your Cool Professionally
Listen, we’re all people, OK—we all have emotions, feelings, and of course, we all get frustrated and angry. But you, you’re not just a person—you’re a person in the service industry.
Working that closely and directly with people every moment of every day has the potential to be 1000x more frustrating than a different, less service-focused industry. And that, often, can lead to you wanting to lose your cool.
The best thing you can do for your reputation? Always check yourself and never allow a client to get the best of your professionalism. We’re all human, so this can be difficult, but we recommend instilling a strict, self-adhering procedure when you find yourself getting frustrated. If you need to take some space before or after dealing with a tough client, do it. If you need to hire a customer service employee to deal directly with client issues, do it.
Do what you need to do to keep your cool—because a bad reputation based on your personality, temperament, and ability to deal with clients is absolutely vital to the success of your business.
Under Promise & Over Deliver
By this, we don’t mean that you shouldn’t promise your clients you’re not going to give them an amazing experience—you should never make your service sound worse than it actually is. But, try to implement little things here and there that help you go above and beyond what’s expected of you.
If you have a new client, offer a 15 percent discount for their first service. If you think a client’s hair cut will take forty-five minutes, tell them to expect an hour and then have them out early. Tiny, minuscule things that let you go above and beyond what’s both expected of you and your services will help boost your reputation in a pinch.
Be Direct & Honest with Clients
This one is simple—just be transparent and real with your clients. Do what you say you’re going to do, do it in the timeline you promise, and do your very best to never let them down. By simply showing your clients that you’re being as transparent, warm, polite, and kind as possible to everyone who walks through your salon door, you’re already creating a fantastic reputation for yourself.
Do Take Critical Feedback to Heart & Don’t Take it Personally
If you have clients, employers, employees, or anyone in your life give you critical—yet constructive—feedback about your performance, your people skills, your talents, etc., try to take it to heart.
Oftentimes, people aren’t giving you critiques because they want to hurt you—typically, they want to call your attention to something that could make you a better stylist or artist. That’s not to say that there won’t be people out there whose feedback comes from a malicious place, but as a general rule, we suggest truly reflecting on critical feedback and analyzing what you could learn from it.
Don’t Forget to Manage Your Online Reviews
So many of us think that because we work as artists who style makeup, hair, skin, and more, that we’re simply creatives living within the sphere of the art industry. But we’re not—we’re artists who so happen to be in the business of customer service.
That means we need to go above and beyond to listen, pay attention, and hear out our clients—even further, we need to ensure we’re doing what we can to make them happy.
The most telling way to determine if your client base is happy with you? Check out your online reviews.
Go a step further by doing your very best to manage those reviews, too. Have a client that was unhappy with their experience and posts about you online? Respond to that client—try to remedy their issue, offer them insight, and try to learn from them about ways to improve.
By managing your online reviews, you’re keeping a relevant eye on your current reputation and further, giving yourself a new avenue to alter your reputation, too.