Archives for August 2019

Are you Accommodating?

Is there a difference between Customer Service and Accommodating?

 

  • Customer Service; The assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services.
  • Accommodating; Those who are easy to get along with and willing to help you. Those who are cheerfully willing to make small adjustments to help you out.

The thought of this difference never really crossed my mind until recently. As I'm traveling through Ireland and dealing with Hotels, Restaurants, Drivers, Shops and Bars, the stark reality of one versus the other made me start thinking.

Is it possible to have one without the other?

Raving-2

CUSTOMER SERVICE

  • Patient-Dealing with clients on a daily basis, it's important to stay patient when they come to you if they are frustrated (for whatever reason).  Also be sure to take the time to truly figure out what they want — they’d rather get competent service than be rushed out the door!

 

  • Attentiveness-What are your customers telling you without saying it?

 

  • Clear communication skills-When it comes to important points that you need to relay clearly to customers, keep it simple and make sure you are clear.

 

  • Knowledge-Without knowing your product and/or service from front-to-back, you won't know how to help customers when they run into problems.

 

  • A calming presence-Don't let a heated customer let you loose your cool.  Staying calm in fact, is the best way to de-escalate a fiery situation.

 

  • Empathy-When you can’t tell the customer exactly what they want to hear, a dose of care, concern and understanding will go a long way.

Just to name a few!

ACCOMODATING

  • Truly listen. Offer expertise, but make sure you are listening as much as you talk.

 

  • Be responsive. Customers want answers, fast. Even if your answer can’t be delivered immediately, always email or call back the same day.  In today's age of Technology, there is just no excuse.

 

  • Accommodate customers. Unfortunately, customers can cause a bit of frustration with being late or even be a no show.  Keep in mind, when you speak with that client,  that every client is a potential brand ambassador, meaning every interaction can be a selling point or a barrier to attracting more business.

 

  • Build trustGoing the extra mile and showing passion for the client builds loyalty, trust and a longer customer relationship.

 

  • Live the company valuesTo ensure a great client-service experience, your Business needs to make customer service and accommodating your clients a culture.. When creating a company culture, standard practices, or a mission statement, highlight the importance of customer service.

 

  • Don't grow too quickly.  Don’t sacrifice quality in lieu of hunger for growth. Happy customers lead to word-of-mouth referrals and an overall positive company brand, image and reputation. This organic and steady growth is what will lead to a much healthier company.
Raving-3

I often read on SM questions about "what would you do if"?  These "if's" are mostly related to questions regarding clients being late, a client who forgets her money to pay, a no show.  I also see messages from Technicians to clients (usually no name mentioned) in regards to these issues.  It boggles my mind.

No doubt, there is frustration in Business.  However, thriving in Business isn't about what can your customer do for you....it's about what can you do for your customer.

  • Manage your frustrations privately, not on SM for the whole world to see.
  • Remember - your client IS your income.
  • Learn how to communicate clearly and communicate professionally with clients who seem to take advantage of you.

I can tell you from personal experience, many of my frustrating clients ended up being my best "raving fans".  It's not what happens to you as much as it is how you handle what happens to you.

So...think about it.  Customer service is hugely important, Accommodating just as much.  Do you know the difference?

CJ Murray, President

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Does your attitude have Zing?

Are you glad the heat of the summer is almost over?  It’s crazy how this time of year we look back and wonder “how did the year go by so fast”?

Well, it has and we are approaching the madness of the Holiday season.  We have Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all in the final quarter of the year.  Yippie for us!!!!

How do you approach the Holiday season?  In my earlier years at the Salon, I honestly never realized how important the season is to our Business.  Not just from a current standpoint, also from the standpoint of drawing in future Business.

What’s important to realize, the fertilization process of Business growth is never ending.  However, that fertilization needs to have a zing to it at times, and this is the time of year to start zinging.

Zinging?  

happy team

I’m not going to go through the whole “planting the seeds” thing which I commonly do this time of year.  What I would like to do instead is talk about our attitude, our disposition and how we come across to not only our team, but our clients.

Stress is a real thing.  This time of year induces the stresses we feel or even have suppressed.  It’s imperative we turn that stress into positive energy in order to reap the benefits of what the season can bring to us.

Many of you know I am and always have been a positive person.  Is it easy?  Heck NO!  It’s necessary!

Being positive isn’t just about an outward impression.  It’s about believing.  It’s about believing that what you do and what the outcome is will always be for the best.  It’s about keeping the positive energy around you and not letting the evil of negative energy take over.  Regardless of what you may be going through.

This Business is a people Business.  Do you think your clients want to expose themselves to negative energy.  Be it from you or someone on your team?  Trust me…..I’ve had air in my Salon so thick at times, you could cut it with a knife.  When I got rid of the negative energy causing that cloud….my life always turned around.

Getting back to the season.  We all need a time to “start anew”.  How more exciting to do this as we enter into one of the most recognized quarters of the year.  How?

  • START WITH A NEW LOOK - clean, re-organize - move things around
  • BRING JOY TO YOUR SPACE - decorate, positive-reinforcement signs, fragrance
  • INCORPORATE YOUR TEAM - make it exciting for them.  Offer spiffs, days off, gas cards.
  • PLAY GAMES - Participation is 1/2 the fun.  Let your clients join in on the fun with hidden gems for discounts, free service, goodies
  • COOK - yes, cook hotdogs, hamburgers - make smoothies
  • CREATE NEW SERVICES - Or, spark up the ones you presently offer.
  • BE THANKFUL - thank you cards - donate old products - take up a collection

These are just a few ideas to get the juices flowing.  Variety is the spice of life.  Offering variety to your Salon will for sure keep your clients interested and having a variety could very well keep them a client of yours for a lifetime.

happy team-2

There is a lot I don’t miss about being a Salon owner, yet there are a lot of things I do miss.  My team and I were always creative.  We were constantly decorating, playing, enjoying our job to it’s fullest….as did our clients enjoy coming to see us.

I was truly humbled this past weekend when we participated as a sponsor at the Foot Forward Summit.  The amount of people, some whom I knew and many I didn't had shared with me how much they enjoyed reading my articles.  How they are able to take something from my article and learn from it.  How they actually look forward to reading them.

Full transparency, it actually brought tears to my eyes.

We don't always realize the impact of what we do and the affect it has on others.  This is what I experience with former clients of mine and even former staff.  What they remember are the memories we made.  The decorating, the dressing up for the Holidays, the fun we made for our clients.

THAT'S what Zinging is.  Whatever you decide to do, do it with zing and begin it now.  Prepare yourself for the months ahead and don't ever think that starting early is ever too early.  There is never a too early time to start.......there is however, a too late.

CJ Murray, President

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Is your Salon ready for “Back to School?”

Whether you are a student a parent or a teacher, going back to school can be exciting, it can be fun and it can be down right exhausting.
School is like having Company. Glad to see them come, happy to see them go.
Can't wait for the summer...can't wait for school to begin.
I was never one who offered many "Back to School" specials in my Salon.  It never really paid off.  It seemed to me, this was the time when the sub-standard Salons took a lot of our Business.
Mom's weren't going to pay "our" prices for their teenage daughters or sons.
And, because Mom's were so stressed over getting the kids ready for school, they never paid attention to themselves.

I always felt also, those of us who no longer or never had kids in school deserved some type of a "celebration" as well.  After all, we were finally going to get a reprieve from the kids invading our malls, consuming all our movie seats and if needed, coming to work with Mom and/or Dad on days the sitter, for whatever reason wasn't available.

That's why I always treated back to school as a "before" and an "after" thought.

 

I decorated for the occasion, yet offered any promotions after the first day of school.

 

apple

Decorations to me are a very simple way of saying "we care".  My clients enjoyed all the Holiday and special occasion themes we used throughout the year.  We weren't stagnant.

Much like decorating our yard for Christmas time, decorations was for the sole purpose of bringing enjoyment to my clients.  They began to look forward to what was coming next.

We could be so creative in what we did.

  • Make red paper apples with a discount listed on the back, let your clients go "bobbing" around the salon to pick an apple for their special discount
  • Pencils could easily be hung from a string and hung from the ceiling
  • Pencils, erasers, paper apples....any school supply could be used to decorate a "back to school" tree.
  • Apples could be served as a snack for your clients
  • You could have a large chalkboard and your clients could sign their name on it

Specials and discounts I don't think are as effective as a "back to school" as they are as a "back to rest & relaxation".  Clients who do have kids feel freed by their renewed sense of freedom.  At least for a few hours.  They now want to take time for themselves and enjoy the rest and relaxation they feel and do enjoy.  They want all the attention.  It's our job to give it to them.

TIME TO TAKE A BREATHER

Pampering our clients is what we are good at.  Think of all the ways you can make them feel even better.

  • Offer a Mom's morning club.  Bagels and Mimosa's with all services between 9am and 11am.
  • Offer a hand treatment with the purchase of a leg treatment.
  • Offer a hand and foot massage
  • Offer a special on your services as an "adjustment" discount while the Moms (and Dad's) adjust to their new schedule
  • Don't forget Mommy/daughter day.  There are always those children not yet old enough for school who will miss their sibling but be so thrilled to have Mom all to themselves

My point is....you can be that typical "Back to School" Salon, or you can

dare to be different!

 

This time of year can be scary for our Salons.  Summer is over, kids are back at school, parents have already spent a lot of money getting their kids ready for school, vacations are over and reality has set in.  We are only 4 months away from Christmas...yikes!

However, if you let your creative juices flow, allow yourself to step out of the box.....it can be profitable for you.

Happy back to school everyone!

CJ Murray, President

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WHAT IS IQS?

In 1987 when I suddenly found myself the owner of a Nail Salon, I truly did not know what I was getting myself into.  My background is Business.  Sitting behind the chair is not really what I anticipated when I leaped into this Business.

Many things went wrong however, and that’s exactly where I ended up…behind the chair.

I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it.  I did.  I met some wonderful people, earned a decent living and mastered an art I didn’t know I was capable of doing.

When my Distributors rep approached me 2 years into my Salon ownership, about a position as an Educator….I had no idea what this mean’t or what to expect.  I only knew it sounded exciting.  I could choose how much or how little I wanted to put into it.  I could travel.  I could work the trade shows all over the Country.  I could teach.  I’m in!

The position was with a Company called Elegant Glass.  They were known for their fiberglass nail product.  It was this Company which opened my eyes to the endless opportunities our Beauty Industry has to offer.  It was this Company that led me to forming friendships which I still have today….namely the owners of Life of Riley Salon Supply, my landlords - my roommates.  It was also this Company that not only fed my passion for Education but made me realize my days of playing teacher as a little girl, could actually become of a reality.

I ran their Education with Sheryl, the owners wife for 14 years.  I travelled the Country sponging off their Sales Directory Clyde and I sat with them on more occasions than I can remember, dreaming up the next biggest “thing” in nails.  Many of which we scoffed at and are now common place in our Salons.  One in particular I will always remember, is an idea they had about mixing powder with a resin. We laughed at the idea of calling it C.R.A.P - clear, resin, acrylic powder.  

With products such as CRACK being sold in our salons today, maybe we were actually on to an idea.

The biggest thing I think I learned however, is helping people realize they need you.  Not because they actually need your product, but they need what your product has to offer.  They need the benefits of your product.  They need the benefits of your Education.

In our presentation, we always began with asking our audience “what are you looking for”.  If you could design the perfect product, name the features and the benefits.  In the end, what the audience was asking for, we knew we could deliver.

I think of this often when I want to share the brands I carry with you.  What is it YOU want?  Is it the tangibles?  Or is really the intangibles, the things you can’t really put a price on like Customer service?

So I put myself back behind the chair and I imagine I’m specializing in Foot Care.  I imagine I’m in this world of many many choices and I imagine I found this magic Genie lamp where I rub the lamp and I can have anything I want.

It took some thinking, after all…you do have to be careful what you wish for.  My list is a bit more complex than I thought it would be.  It really gets into the guts of providing Professional, quality foot care

  1. Integrity - 
  2. Quality
  3. Safety

With the age of SM, it’s more of a reality to me now, how important these three things are. There are so many products available to us and everyone has their favorites. Everyone always says what they use is the BEST ever.  Not sure how anyone can say that unless they have literally tried every product on the market.  Virtually impossible.

What I wish I could see more Technicians bragging about the IQS of the products they use. What I wish I could see is more Mfgs with IQS!

Integrity

INTEGRITY

INTEGRITY- Truthfully, this word is the most important to me personally. In my opinion, without integrity....you have nothing!

Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles

What about integrity in the brands you choose;

In products, integrity is the source of sustainable competitive advantage. Products with integrity perform superbly, provide good value, and satisfy customers' expectations in every respect, including such intangibles as their look and feel.

 

Satisfy customers' expectations in every aspect!

YOU are my customer.  It is important to me that the products I represent meet your expectations not just today, but tomorrow and the day after and the day after.

However, it's also important to me that you are able to meet the expectations of your clients.  Even expectations they don't even realize they want.

QUALITY-Continuous is of importance to me.

Quality: the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.

"Quality is the degree of excellence at an acceptable price and the control of variability at an acceptable cost.""Quality means best for certain customer conditions. These conditions are (a) the actual use and(b) the selling price of the product.

QUALITY

INTEGRITY-2

When choosing quality products, you are agreeing to choose products which will work for your clients.  What are they needs, at what price range.

YOU are the only one who can answer these questions.  I can provide Educational material to assist you in your research, but ultimately, it is your decision.

SAFETY-the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury

When choosing products you want to use on your clients, safety is so important in our times today.  We, as Technicians are subjected to so much more than we used to be.  We have more clients with immune compromised healthy concerns than ever before.  Diabetes, neurothapy, fibromyalgia just to name a few.

It's important we know the ingredients and what they mean to us.  It's important to know the contra-indications...if any.  And, what if one of our clients has a reaction...will you know what to do?

I beg you, caution your choices with what you see on SM.  Do your own research.  Know what your own needs are, the needs of your clients.

Educate - Educate - Educate

My Dad always said, as he was running is own Business.  I could be a millionaire.  I could have my own jet, afford to send you kids to the most expensive schools.  If I did, I wouldn't be a man of integrity, and integrity means more to me than being a millionaire.

Instead, we ate left overs, we wore hand me downs and we traveled to friends for our vacations in a Chevy Van....all 9 of us and sometimes our dog.

Today, my Dad still talks about the "what if"s, on occasion. I look at it from a different perspective.  I thank him for being the man he was....I'm just like him.  I thank him for teaching the values that are missing in our society today.

Because of what he taught me, I am able to bring you with great confidence, products with IQS!

IQS the 3 most important values in our pedicure chairs today.

CJ Murray

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