Want to know the secrets to salon success? It’s all about creating an unforgettable experience.

In a bra shop we talk about Double D. In a beauty salon, skin clinic or day spa, it’s all about Double E – the customer EXPERIENCE and the EXPERT advice.

Our industry landscape is changing fast. More than ever, our clients want two things from a clinic or day spa. They want an EXPERT and an EXPERIENCE. And they want it every single time.

I’ve unpacked Double E into a checklist to help you rethink them and check in on how you and your team are doing. Tick these off and you’ll find it’s easy to start making the changes you need.

  1. Give the gift of time

Everyone’s single biggest challenge seems to be time. Most of us today are time-poor and trying to squeeze more things into fewer available hours. If your business can help people with their lack of time, you’re a step ahead of your competitors.

What if you go one better and provide an environment where the busiest of people can take refuge from their everyday world? What if you created a haven where time stands still? Imagine how appealing and memorable that EXPERIENCE would be for your clients.

Time is the reason why finding an EXPERT is paramount to many clients. In this “information age” we all suffer from message overload. Having you sort and sift what’s available and what their options are is an incredible advantage to your clients.

If you can develop a solid reputation on trust and then back it up with facts, your expertise will have them queuing out the door and around the corner.

  1. Have the right conversations

Often when I’m waiting in a salon or spa, I’m disappointed in the conversations I hear. I get that clients want to know about your mum and your dog. It’d be a dull day if we couldn’t share our lives with our clients.

Just remember that you’re performing a service that your clients can’t and don’t do themselves. Taking them for granted is not your intention but being way too familiar and treating your regulars like friends is exactly what you’re doing. If they’re your friends, then see them after hours. If you don’t want to, then they’re NOT.

Ask yourself this: do I want this person to follow me home to sit at my kitchen bench? If not, then she or he is not your friend. So, do your job – recommend what they need and don’t waste precious time on the yackety-yak-yak. It’s costing you sales and your clients aren’t getting the EXPERIENCE they deserve or the EXPERT they need.

  1. Let them decide

When we cross the “we’re friends” line, we often know too much. We take it upon ourselves to decide if our clients should be spending or not. It’s none of your business where people spend their money. This unconscious decision to hold back on your EXPERT opinion is costing you thousands of dollars. You’re delivering the EXPERIENCE you assume they want rather than giving them the choice.

And remember: your team are watching you do an average job and (like it or not) they’ll follow your lead.

  1. Once is never enough

In a salon, spa or clinic, thinking that “once is enough” can be a big mistake. Telling a client about a product or a service once only is not doing your job.

It’s like asking your kids to put their school bag on the hook. Pick up your school bag, please. Take your school bag out of the lounge room, please. Then one day, when you least expect it, you look up and see the school bag on the hook. Your heart melts.

Consistency will deliver. People need time to soak in the EXPERT information you’re sharing. So keep on sharing it!

  1. You must be both 

Thinking that lemon water and new magazines is the bomb won’t get you far in business. All the trimmings in the world won’t cut it. Today’s savvy people want more than the EXPERIENCE – they want an EXPERT, too.

Getting the aesthetics right is easier than getting the know- how right. Often this means things appear better than they actually are. It’s a letdown.

The truth is most people who work in clinics and spas know 100 times more than their clients do about everything beauty yet they miss the opportunity to share.

You can have the swankiest looking salon in town and serve up barista-level coffee, but if you’re not sharing your expertise, you’re wasting your time – and your clients’ time. It’s like putting the heater on higher because there’s a door open. One negates the other. You must nail both.

  1. Do the research

The only way to be an EXPERT is to spend the time and do the research. If you can’t explain the difference between IPL and laser, or what a derma pen does in one sentence, then you still have lots of work to do.

The list of services today in beauty is huge and ever-changing. The good news? This is where you can really shine. People want the knowledge and they don’t always want to do the research themselves.

  1. Keep it professional

Focus on intelligent dialogue between you, your clients and your team. Chatting about the latest episode of The Bachelor is not intelligent conversation. Random chit-chat has its time and place. They don’t call it “small talk” for nothing. Strive to keep it to a minimum.

Instead focus on professional conversations. Talk about the latest products and techniques, the who’s-who in the beauty industry, upcoming training or events. When you bring the dialogue back to professional topics, you’ll naturally share your EXPERT knowledge with both your clients and your team.

Best of all, you’ll delight your clients with a beauty EXPERIENCE that’s memorable for all the right reasons.