Archives for November 2019

It’s time to plant!

How crazy is it that we have entered into the final weeks of 2019? I can still remember the Y2K of 2000. It seemed so impossible that we had actually hit the year 2000, but 2019? No freaking way!

Many of you know how this time of year for me, is seed planting time. Business will have a tendency to slow down a bit. I will be in my office longer than I would be on the road. And, I finally get the time to review my year and plan for the new year coming. 2020

Planting seeds is something I have done since my early days at the Salon.

  • You get those creative juices flowing.
    You think of the idea
    You write it down to make it a plan
    You plant the seeds to grow it from scratch

It’s a lot of work and I must add, you need to be self motivated. It’s not like your shouting to the world “this is what I’m doing” No…you are secretly planning your Business attack for the New Year. 2020

Winter-2

I always felt in the “Salon” Business, planting those seeds in the winter time, made for a fruitful summer. It was an amazing process to know you are more fruitful because of what you did 6 months prior.

If you can be your most creative during the Holiday, you will reap the most benefits.

Your art-2

As a Salon owner, through our Winter months, which in FLorida is always busy…..I entertained my clients. I kept them happy through promotions, events, decorations, packages and more!

Many children would bring their visiting elderly parents in and we would pamper them. When the parents left, the children came back because we treated their family so well.

Many of our snowbirds were regular’s. They looked forward to coming back and there were several cases to where they ended up moving here permanently. Permanent for them, also mean’t permanent for us.

Our seeds was in how we treated them. Some constant form of genuine excitement that kept them wanting to come back.

I also kept in mind when we talk about Seasons, we are really talking about type of client. Think about this. How many of your clients always make sure they are booked through the Holiday, but the rest of the year is much more flexible. In addition, you see the people who come In off of Gift Cards, that normally would not come in. And, there are always the Holiday party goers. Those who come literally 1x per year….maybe 2x if they happen to have another occasion.

So, when dealing with this type of client, what seeds can you plant?

  • You can add $5.00 to their account for each referral
    How about a discount off another service
    How about a birthday incentive (you do get their birthdays don’t you?)
    How about a complimentary AA treatment
    What does your retail shelf say?

There are so many options. We just can’t forget that our seasonal clients CAN become our permanent clients.

One of the things I learned to do which I highly recommend. Order labels with your name and contact info to place on each item you sell retail. When they want or need more, do you want them to go to Amazon, or do you want them to come back to you? Make it easy for them to find you. Anymore, you can order labels very inexpensive through your local printer or you can purchase the blank labels at your local supply store, and print them yourself.

And, speaking of retail. NOW is the time for you to jump out of the box. Clients aren’t looking for the regular items you sell. They are looking for different. Now is the time for you to try some new things.

I realized early on, the Holiday Season can beat you down.  However, if you embrace it and look at is as an opportunity, you will for sure enjoy it a whole lot more.

Don't forget though, keep your customer service happy face on, be kind...be gentle.  Be empathetic towards your stressed out clients and be the ONE....who brightens their day.

And, keep In mind you are doing this to plant the seeds for future Business.

Happy Planting

CJ Murray, President

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Client experience is everything!

I honestly don’t know if my patience level, as I get older, is getting shorter or if I’m
just tired of the lack of “everything”.
I don’t consider myself to be an angry person, however I have truly been put through the test these past few weeks. Different days, different circumstances all with the same results. A head shake. Wondering how and why people act a certain way, do certain unscrupulous things, going on in life like they are the only ones who exist.
Customer service to me, is just one of those things that you shouldn’t even have to think about. Treating others with respect. Courtesy towards others. Just doing the right thing. I just can’t wrap my brain around people acting any different….yet…..I’m confronted with it all the time. It’s just mind boggling.
It seems the idea of a great customer experience has been thrown out the window. Everyone seems so self absorbed they forget there are actually other beings around them.

My experience flying last week is what sparked this article.  I typically search for flights with Southwest Airlines.  In my experience with flying Southwest always seemed to have the happiest team members.  They are usually always on time and for the most part, their boarding system seems to work just fine.

However, my first flight last week, I found myself with a carryon bag, attempting to place it in the overhead bin.  We all know how annoying it is that we have to wait on people who just can’t seem to stuff their big shark into a sardine can.  I’m aware of this, so I’m trying my hardest to do this quickly and get out of the way.  However, there was a small backpack which I was attempting to stand on it’s side, so I would have room for my bag, and it kept on falling over.  There was plenty of room, I just couldn’t hold the backpack and lift my bag at the same time.

The stewardess was RIGHT there and did nothing.  I turned to look at her for assistance and she just smiled and did the shoulder shrug.  WHAAAAT?????  It was a nice little ole gentleman that got up front his seat to assist.  I was blown away.

Southwest Airlines also gives you the option for automatic check in.  $25.00.  What it does, is pretty much guarantee an early spot in line which then guarantees you’ll get a seat at the front of the plane.  Since I mostly travel for Business I like this.  I can get off the plane in a quick manner, not having to wait for all the slow pokes.

I did this upgrade on my way back home last week.  When I got on the plane, 2 people were saving 10 seats for their “friends” and/or “family”.  I was blown away.  NOT cool!  Sadly, the stewardess again, did nothing about this.  How is this fair?  1 person pays the upgrade and everyone benefits.  NOT!!!!!

So, as I’m sitting in my seat (in the middle of the plane) fuming, I’m thinking about the faces of a Business really do make a difference.  Southwest always had friendly staff…..this trip everyone seemed like they were on their grumpy pills.  Southwest always managed seat saving.  This trip they turned their heads.  These simple changes, completely changed my customer experience.  It made me mad, it pissed me off…to be quite honest.  Sure, we may only “pay” for a plane ticket, but that ticket should come with a good experience.

Have you thought about this in your own Business.  Are your faces of your Business reflective of what you want your client’s experiences to be?

Yellow Red Faces Playful Kids Group T-Shirt

Also in this past week, I’m managing some affairs for my parents and needed to seek out other options for their cable/phone/internet service.  One of the carriers in their area is Comcast.  I worked all over their website, and could not find a phone # to call.  It was so frustrating.  I didn’t want to answer their “on line” questions.  I didn’t want to give them details of my interest….I just wanted to speak to someone.  I actually had to go into the chat section and request a physical phone #.  It was a grueling, time consuming process.  Do they not think about these things?

Again, what are you telling your clients?

This reminds me of a commercial for a phone system called Grasshopper.  Their commercial is about a client attempting to reach someone and the message they hear is something to the affect “text me, message me, find me on SM, email me and if I remember to check all these places, you may get a call back from me”.  It sounds so stupid, but it was dead on with the message.  You have got to make it easy for your clients to reach out to you.

Again, what are your processes telling  your clients?

Is your website client friendly.  I know first hand how difficult it is to satisfy every mentality out there. Not everyones brain works the same. What might be easy to someone, can be challenging to others.  However….although we know we can’t make everyone happy…..do you have contact information easily available for your clients or potential clients to reach you?

Is it easy to locate you?  I’ve traveled all over and it’s frustrating.  You go into a Salon Suite and there is no one to send you in the direction you need to go.  I end up walking around in circles because either the information I was given or it was outdated on their website offered no instruction.  The same goes for a free standing Salon.  How about a landmark?  Something really visible for your clients “ease of access”

What about your front desk team?  Do they acknowledge your clients when they enter your building.  I’ve gotten warmer greetings from Chipotle than many of the Salons I’ve visited.  Not a warm and fuzzy experience.

I can remember visiting a local restaurant near our home.  It was a beautiful day, we wanted to eat outside, so we sat at a table visible to the inside.  A waitress never came out until a group of 4 people sat at the table next to us.  When she did come out, she obviously knew them and greeted them with hugs.  NEVER saying a word to us.  It was shocking.  So much so, we ended up leaving.   For months we never went back.  That’s lost revenue for that Business.  Client experience is everything.

As we come into the Holiday season, many tend to get stressed out.  Both clients and us.  However, we have to maintain the higher ground and remember….our clients support us.

I suggest you do a lot of review and do it now

  • Is your reception a really good reception?
  • Is your website user friendly…..can someone find you if they wanted to
  • Is your team informed

Our Holiday business in our Salons dictate what the following year will bring.  It’s your opportunity to maintain all the Business you get from new clients.  Will they want to come back?  Will they remember you “for the good”?  Will they give you a raving review?

It’s time to evaluate before it too late.

CJ Murray, President

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How do you measure Success?

My husband and I recently had dinner with some friends we haven't seen in a while. Mrs.(to keep the name private) is a school teacher. Mr. (to keep the name private) is a retired police officer.
For 30 years he protected his city, provided for his wife and kids providing a good pay, health insurance etc. etc. through his department. However, once retired, this stopped and his kids are grown, living their life with boyfriends, homes and work.
We had a very interesting conversation regarding Mr's lack of ability to adjust to this major change in his life. He always thought "retirement" was being able to enjoy life on his own time frame.....with his wife.

However, she still works.

The conversation went in many humorous directions. The bottom line though, retirement isn't what he thought it would be. Because his wife still works, he can but doesn't want to come and go as he pleases. And, any jobs that may keep him busy continues to give him the realization....he's not in his prime anymore.
One question that kept running through my mind as we try to "analyze" his thoughts. Is this a matter of "I don't feel like a success" anymore?  So the questions becomes........

HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?

Mom Dad Me

I can remember when my Dad retired.  At the time, nothing seemed any different to me. However, as I got older and would have heart to heart conversations with my Dad, he would tell me he wished he wasn't who he was.....he'd be a lot richer. (more on this later)

Recently, there was an article printed by #nailspro magazine. It highlighted 5 successful women in our Industry. They are all amazing icons and I think it's great they get recognition for their work. However, I found it sad, they all measured success by their product, growth and recognition.

Even though I only know one of them personally, I would venture to say they all have far more reasons to call themselves successful besides basing it on their product and sales.

INTEGRIty-4

This made me start thinking about all the successful clients I have. I wonder if those of you whom I find highly successful even realize you are successful.  Do you measure success by;

  • Your sales
  • Number of clients
  • Your artistic ability
  • Income

Going back to my Dad.  I turned and looked at him and asked...."what would you have done so different?" His response was "he wouldn't have been so honest." I was stunned.

Being honest IS what makes you a success.  Not to mention you raised 7 children, have been married for 60 Yrs (at that time) AND you passed on your values....including Integrity!

I also think back to many of the struggles I've had in my life and it also got me thinking about my own Business.

My struggles put my own integrity to the test. Initially I fought that little devil sitting on my shoulder. In the end though, I always took the high ground and did the right thing.

My Business may not be big, it probably could be a lot bigger.  However, when I look back at my mission statement, which I do often, I stay focused on why I did this in the first place.  "To give the Nail Technician the attention they deserve" "To move us Nail Technicians from the bottom of the totem poll"

In addition, it has always been a frustration of mind, in fact it still is....Companies get so big, they forget the people who got them there in the first place.  This is a conversation I have constantly with my husband.  I never want to lose the personal touch, the customer service, the availability I have to my client for when they need me. I never want to lose touch with no matter how small or how large I may become....it's been YOU who has put me there.

 

So, when I MEASURE SUCCESS -

  • I look at "who did I help today, not who did I sell"
  • I think "am I doing the right thing?" always.....even when no ones looking.
  • I look at being the best I can be.
  • I think about being positive
  • I think about being accepting

Think about it.  Are you doing yourself an injustice by measuring your success through monetary things or do you measure success by the person you are?

CJ Murray, President

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