As a long-standing beauty spa and hair salon business located in Karen, our most celebrated accolade is the repeat visits of clients returning to a service that is unforgettably good. How have we continued to do this over a span of 10 years in operation across two branches, you ask? The key is to focus on the most important aspect of any business, customer service!
At Nothing Like It, we dare to do what we believe, rather than conform to the mainstream. Think about it this way, in a world that is moving faster and with increasing demands each day, creating absolute comfort for your clients is mandatory. Not just because spas and salons are meant to ooze relaxation and ‘zen’ but because each client that walks in and out of your business expects to receive complete and undeniable value for their money. There are three components to delivering excellent services that clients want to come back to.
Understand Your Clientele
Initially, you start by understanding your target audience as a group. Who are they, what are they looking for and how is your offering different compared to their other options? Once you have this information, you can tailor your products and advertising to take this into account. This gets your clients through the door.
The second stage of this goes towards retention. To keep the clients coming, you now need to personalise the experience. What about the service or product did they like? How do you make every visit like the first? Listen to the feedback they give you, take note of how they experience your products and use that to personalise their next trip or add to the products and services that you provide.
For instance, providing drinks and food at the spa is a great vertical and something our clients ask for frequently. The question becomes do you do that for free or do you charge the clients? Do you have the capacity, resources and skill to do this seamlessly and to the standard expected by your clients? At Nothing Like It, we chose to focus on our core business but partnered with a restaurant nearby to provide food and drink for our clients. Now we provide world-class services, and you can enjoy food and drink from a reputable business.
Consistency of Service
Another thing that keeps clients coming back is the consistency of service. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you not to continue to up your game and delight your clientele. I’m talking about consistency in the quality of service. Clients need to be confident that they will consistently get good quality service that provides value for money no matter the time of day or who provides the service. While we endeavour to give you the same stylist or masseuse every time, each of our service providers is well trained and will provide excellent service. So, whether you choose to book an appointment with your favourite masseuse or walk in and have one assigned to you, the service will be consistent.
As you set up your business, what should you focus on for consistency? Some suggested areas are consistent delivery times, quality products, a fantastic returns process and ensuring what you advertise is exactly what the client gets.
People buy things because of how you make them feel and, in some cases, decide to work with you long before they meet you. For instance, you could buy a product because of an interesting advert, a referral from a friend or a post on social media. Your customer engagement at both the acquisition and retention stages needs to be very deliberate.
Design your customer engagement based on the touch-points you have with your client. Start with how they find out about your business. Who are you? What do you do? Where are you located? How can they buy your products? How can they get in touch with you? I’d just like to point out here that it is annoying to have to ask for prices. If you post about your products, please share your prices.
The second stage pertains to how they experience your product. From the reception desk and throughout the services we provide, we let the client know that we’re here to provide quality services. We welcome all clients into the spa and salon with open arms and communicate clearly that they are free to feel totally at home in our spaces. Our regular clients feel as though our spa and salon is an extension of their home where they can relax and refresh or carry on working as they get groomed. We know you by name, know your preferences and will offer conversations or silence as you require to ensure that you leave with a joyful and content spring in your step!
Payment and delivery are other touch-points with your clients. Please make them as painless as possible because they have the potential to ruin the entire experience and prevent them from coming back or even completing the sale. Here are some tips.
- Be upfront with your prices and avoid hidden charges. It is in poor taste and you will lose a lot of business if have different prices for different people.
- Provide multiple payment options: cash, M-Pesa and Card as the case may be.
- When it comes to delivery, factor in the costs of delivery into your pricing or have a publicly displayed rate. Clients are often left with a bad taste when the cost of delivery is higher than the item they are buying or are haggling about costs of delivery when they’ve spent a lot of money to purchase the item. I’m not telling you to cover the costs of delivery but be creative in how you do it so you don’t irritate your client and ruin their experience.
With these in place, you’re on your way to building a successful business.
About Nothing Like It
Nothing Like It Spa has two locations in Karen and Hardy/Langata areas. We offer hair care, nail care, body treatments, massages and facials for Afro, Caucasian and Asian clients including braiding, relaxing, and natural hair styling for both kids and adults.