If you’ve been tuning in to Beaute Industrie for a while now, you would know just how much importance we place on branding – ensuring your business tells a story, has its own unique personality, and has clear and consistent messaging across all forms of communications. In a nutshell, it encompasses telling the world exactly who you are as a business. This also feeds into how you and your team communicate with clients, from the words you use to your tone of voice.
Your communications should be fairly consistent from team member to team member, across all channels – whether it’s in person, on the phone, via email or on social media. Getting these processes streamlined throughout your business can be done by introducing salon-wide systems and requiring your staff to stick by them. In the case of communications, you can do this by creating some simple scripts for them to follow. These don’t have to be robotic or call-centre-esque, and you can encourage your team to inject their own person flair into them if you choose. But by creating some generalised scripts you can guarantee more control over your clients receiving a consistent message and that your brand values are upheld, no matter who they speak to and how.
Some scripts we recommend implementing for your team include:
Likely something dreaded by both your clients and your team alike, this can be a contentious piece of news and sometimes result in fairly annoyed or angry clients. It’s important to properly brief your staff on how to deal with these scenarios. It’s also important for you to share with your team exactly why you have chosen to increase your prices. Is this a standard annual practice for you as the cost of living increases year on year? Did you open your business with initially low prices with plans to up them as you grew your client base? Perhaps you’ve carried out an area assessment and feel that your current prices no longer reflect your demographic or locality? Honesty is the best policy here, and you should encourage your team to be candid and forthright with clients too. If they are reasonable they should understand, and if not, it may be a good opportunity to question whether you want them as part of your little community at all!
Many of you will have increased your prices recently due to COVID, going towards all of the additional time, policies and sanitary products this entails. We suggest creating a script to let your clients know, along the following lines: “Upon re-opening our business, our safety and client care measures have increased beyond our already high cleaning and sanitisation standards for the safety and health of our clients and our team, and as such we will be implementing a slight price adjustment to reflect this new level of detail. As our services are performed by qualified, experienced and caring therapists, and our business runs off your support and loyalty, we look forward to welcoming you back into our space to support your skin and equally us a small business shortly. Best ABC Day Spa”
We all receive them, no matter how well you and your team deliver. Unfortunately you can’t please everyone! You need to firmly establish how you choose to deal with complaints, and ensure each and every team member has the system down pat. One aspect of this is of course how you respond. What do you want to say to clients? How would you want your business to be remembered during times of conflict? Consider your brand values – do you prefer to be gentle or firm? Formal or casual? How quickly are you responding – do you place a lot of value in being a highly responsive team? Do you want to be seen as a business that places its unsatisfied clients at the top of their priority list?
The other aspect is chain of command. Decide who will be in charge of dealing with complaints, the order of progression, and clearly disseminate this information amongst your team. You will also need to consider how your responses will vary between email complaints, negative Google or Facebook reviews, comments on social media, in-person complaints or unhappy phone calls. Your script (in addition to first responses like “I’m sorry to hear you weren’t happy with your service!”) should determine where the complaint goes next, for example “I will be passing all of your details onto our clinic manager Wendy, and she will be in touch with you directly to discuss a solution.” This should be firmly established for social media as well, as your salon or clinic may have multiple team members accessing your accounts.
Again, you should consider your brand values when it comes to establishing your cancellation policy. How strict do you want to be? Is there a cost involved? It is also important to have consistency for every client. Word travels fast, and if someone hears they were forced to follow a policy that another wasn’t, you may have some explaining to do!
You should also concoct a script for use in the event of no-shows. What is your protocol here – do you call the client? How many minutes after their appointment time does this occur, and how long do you wait before deleting this appointment altogether? How do you record this on file – do you keep strikes against clients on their record, and does repeat offending result in blacklisting? Perhaps you take deposits for all or some of your appointments – how do you explain the ‘why’ to clients?
Here is an example of a cancellations script you may use and tweak for your business:
“Your treatment time (insert time and date) has been reserved especially for you in a treatment room that is booked for your particular treatments. Please advise us with 24 hours prior notice of any changes to treatments, arrival time, wishing to reduce or extend treatments or any other changes you want to make to bookings or treatments. If your cancellation is within 24 hours of booking, respectfully, late cancellations or changes incur the (insert cost) and will be charged to the credit card provided and gift vouchers are automatically used for payment of the treatment unless the booking can be refilled by another client. Without notice, the full charge of your treatment will automatically apply.”
Therapists running late
We aren’t always in control, and sometimes things go wrong – resulting in even your most punctual therapists running late for their appointments. Prepare your receptionists and team members with what to say when this happens, as you may experience some highly stressed and upset reactions, particularly if clients have packed schedules and they don’t want to reschedule or miss out on any treatment time. Establish a policy, and figure out what you would like to offer these clients. Put yourself in their shoes and consider what you might want to be told in this situation, and how you might like to be compensated if it all.
In these scenarios, the difference between a happy client and a disappointed client relies on strong communication between reception and said client, with information being relayed in a calm, comforting and timely manner. An example could be “Mary, your therapist today is Jane who is just finishing up with a client and will be with you as soon as possible. We will ensure Jane extends your treatment time today to accommodate your entire service. Jane shouldn’t be much longer, we appreciate your patience.”
With these types of simple systems in place, you will not only make things much easier for clients, but your team will thank you for it. There’s nothing more confusing for a staff member than inconsistent practices being performed throughout the business, not to mention your training processes during onboarding will be eased considerably! When drafting your scripts, try to keep one thing in mind – if you were a client in your business, how would you like to be spoken to? Let your inner voice, the heart of your business’ branding, guide you.