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How Hair Salons Can Better Serve Clients Seeking Experiences

You can make getting hair and beauty services an “experience” at your salon.

The trend of spending money on experiences rather than things has gained momentum in recent years in industries ranging from retail to travel to beauty.

One expert says hair salons can take advantage of this trend by diversifying services and better serving clients seeking to make an “experiential investment” in personal care.

“People are craving experiential investment in themselves, and beauty is a great place to be regardless of market – there is no shortage of demand for hair services as well as every other kind of personal care service,” Christina Russell, CEO of Radiance Holdings, told American Salon. In fact, research shows almost three-quarters of Americans (74 percent) value experiences over things, according to the Microsoft Advertising blog.

In response, some salons are moving to a combination of half hair services and half other beauty and wellness services, Russell states. This trend is strongest in the Northeast and West Coast areas of the country, but it’s happening everywhere. And your hair salon can focus on experience overall regardless of the type of service your client is getting.

Here are five ways hair salons can capitalize on consumer desire to invest in personal care experiences:

Make your waiting area an oasis

You can turn waiting for an appointment from an annoying chore to a relaxing experience by making your waiting area a place that offers a break from everyday stress. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Check out these hair salon waiting area ideas. Consider painting the walls a soothing color, adding warm lighting and creating comfortable seating nooks. Consider an essential oil diffuser and a focal piece of artwork from a local artist. And offering an elegant healthy snack and a choice of beverage, from wellness tea to wine, can make the wait even nicer.

Train your front desk staff to create an experience

Your front desk staff can make or break the “experience vibe” from the very first impression, starting with what they’re doing when a client walks in, how they greet and speak to the client and how they interact with other staff members. Check out these ideas for making salon clients feel welcome. And train your front desk staff to smile, greet clients warmly and to avoid shouting, workplace gossip and other actions that don’t fit the atmosphere you seek to create in your salon.

Focus on all the senses

When creating an experience, senses are key. Walk through your salon, imagining you’re a customer, five times: one for each sense. Observe the atmosphere you’re currently creating and the one you’d like to aim for. Sound is especially important in salons: many salons allow staff members to crank the tunes of their choice, and it can be grating for clients seeking a soothing experience. Choose your music intentionally to fit the type of atmosphere you plan to create. Also consider: wall colors, art and the scents of the products you use in your salon.

Take extra time with clients

Building in even a little extra time with clients can help to take the atmosphere of your salon from rushed to relaxed. Clients wanting to invest in a self-care experience don’t mind paying a little extra for more time and more personalized attention and care. I once attended a salon that offered a head massage with essential oil before every shampoo: this was a small detail that made a haircut feel much more like an experience, and offered a nice human touch.

Add services with an eye on experience

Finally, consider the growing trends toward experience and wellness when adding extra services to your salon menu. Think about services, such as chair massages or pedicures, that a client may want to add to a haircut and color to turn their outing from one more item on their to-do list to a wellness experience.

Making tweaks to how you run your salon can go a long way toward attracting and keeping clients who don’t mind paying more for a beauty service when it’s presented as an experience, and a break from the everyday hustle and bustle of life.