What makes your salon or spa different from your competitors—wonderfully and authentically different from all the others? I’m betting this is not the first time you’ve heard that question. If you can unwaveringly answer that question—well done and bravo to you! You’re leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors.
But if you can’t answer that question, can’t enthusiastically describe the one thing that ultimately sets you apart from everybody else, then this is a question you must keep asking until you have the answer. It’s that important.
Think I’m kidding? I’m not. Salons and spas are a dime a dozen—there’s one on every corner. If you want to be the best salon and spa in town, the only salon and spa in town, you have to give your guests a reason to come back, a reason to become a raving fan—a reason to tell everyone they know that you’re the best in town!
Here’s what I’m talking about. Twenty years ago, I had the privilege of dining at a widely renowned Aspen restaurant. I cannot tell you what I ordered or how it tasted. I don’t remember (even though they were known for their legendary culinary skills). But what I do remember is the blue and yellow ginger jar, delivered after the meal to our table—filled with delicious, mouth-watering, hand-crafted warm chocolate chip cookies—compliments of the owner.
It’s been more than twenty years and I’m still raving about “that little something extra”—that beautiful, aromatic, unexpected delight, delivered to our table—compliments of the owner!!!
Turns out, it’s the little things that matter most.
And then there was that salon conference I attended in Dallas, Texas. If you know anything about Texas, you know it’s hot as hades most of the time. Anyway, after checking out of the hotel where the conference was hosted, my boss and I waited under the portico for the valet to bring our car around. The heat was unbearable—in a matter of minutes we were dripping sweat. It was so hot!
But on that sweltering September day something happened that I’ve never forgotten. When our car finally arrived, the valet driver opened the car doors, waited for us to be seated, and then handed each of us a beautiful gold-labeled, glass-bottled, ice cold water. He smiled at us and simply said, “An ice-cold water for your journey home.”
I’ve never forgotten our experience with that valet company. Dripping sweat on that horribly hot day, “that little something extra” left an indelible impression and set that valet company apart from all their competitors.
Think about it. What do we normally envision when we think of valet services? Long lines and long waits at the end of some long event. When an event is over, the parting memory for the event guests should be a happy memory, a joy-filled-moment memory. But that’s not what happens.
For most people attending an event, their last memory about the event is the overpacked lobby, filled with irritated people, waiting in crazy long lines for the valet to finally bring their car around. There’s nothing pleasant about that experience. And yet, that is what every valet company is up against on daily basis. Long lines and tired people waiting for their cars.
But a decade later, I’m still raving about the one valet company that got it right! The one that handed us a parting farewell gift, a little something extra, an unexpected delight—on a hot-as-hades summer day for our long journey home.
And here’s the truth of the matter: your clients will appreciate great haircuts and beautiful color, but that’s not enough to keep them raving about you for decades to come. Only a memorable experience can do that.
So, gather your team, put your thinking caps on and design an experience for your clients that will keep them coming back again and again raving about your salon and spa for years to come.
Skill alone will not keep your guests coming back year after year. Like the Aspen restaurant owner and Dallas valet company, design a signature experience that will say to your guests, “From our heart to your heart, here’s a little something extra—thank you for coming, we’re grateful for you.”