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A Comprehensive Guide to Salon Customer Feedback | How Clients Choose a Salon or Spa

How to collect feedback from your salon clients, how to process it, and how to use it to empower your business development strategies.

Lilit Nersisyan

Sep 18, 2019 · 18 min read


salon Customer feedback

Let’s speak about customer feedback in Salon & SPA industry.

No, not about its importance, crucial role in business development, not even its obvious benefits in salon marketing strategies optimization or measuring your salon’s customer experience success. We will neither tell you that if you neglect or don’t collect customer feedback, you stay behind the competition.

All of these are already proven and working. We bet you also know that collecting customer feedback not only helps the businesses to gather useful information about the business itself but also helps to understand who your clients are, their preferences and habits, challenges and needs.

In this article, you will learn HOW to collect that valuable feedback, how to process it and how to use it to empower your business development strategies.

From now on, you are going to listen to your clients. Let me explain why. You are a salon owner and your employees are super polite, you have high standards of customer support, you do your best to satisfy customers’ needs and solve the issues in no time.

But does that work? How do you measure your success? What are your clients speaking about you?

Did you know that most of the successful brands even pay their customers for feedback?

Prompted and Unprompted Feedback

There are several ways to know the customers’ opinion about your business. They are often classified as “Prompted” and “Unprompted Feedback”.

Online surveys, interviews, polls and feedback boxes are examples of prompted feedback and are the bread and butter for the feedback collection process.

*Unprompted feedback *can be found through the reviews of the clients regarding their satisfaction or dissatisfaction posted on different platforms on the internet.

Well, for the beginning we will define the feedback channels.

Channels for Gathering Prompted Feedback

  • Online Surveys

  • Direct asking

  • Social platforms

  • Paper Forms

  • Tablets, interactive stands

  • SMS & Email

  • Messaging Apps

Online Customer Surveys

Online customer surveys crown the feedback collection channels.

The first rule for the right survey is to “keep it short”. No one likes to fill in long surveys, and most often they are skipped, or people just fill them in in a haste. According to QuickTapSurvey, the more questions the survey contains, the less time the respondents spend, on average, answering each question.

salon customer survey
Second, make a super-specific survey, avoid general ideas and be sure that every single question is a necessity for you.

Don’t create sentences with actually two questions in it, like “Do you consider our new salon comfortable and modern?”

Avoid biased questions, like “How would you rate our large and comfortable treatment room?” Instead, ask a neutral question, like “What is your opinion of our new treatment room?”

Pros: Online surveys can be easily made with Google Forms, SurveyMonkey or Typeform. Online surveys are easy-to-made, don’t cost much, and give visual data which can be processed and used in marketing strategies.

Cons: The most common problem with online surveys is that they are time-consuming and clients usually skip them. For sending online surveys you need to set up an email campaign.

If the survey is poorly formed, there is a possibility of getting low response rates and incorrect data. It is impossible to make personalized surveys. For example, you can’t ask the respondent whether she liked that exact gel done yesterday, or whether she liked today’s blowout. We took this into account while creating RetentionForce’s feedback feature, and gave the salon owners the opportunity to understand what exactly the clients like or dislike, or which stylist is more professional based on their experience.

Social Media Polls

Most clients love to give opinions and help in decision making, so this is where the polls step in.

This or that? Dark or light hair? Oval or square nails? Brand #1 or Brand #2 products? Points or cashback?

Polls can be created in social media platforms, let’s say, Facebook or Instagram. Upload images, ask the questions you need answers to and stop guessing. Instagram Yes or No poll options are working especially well. You can also just make a post on social media with two or more options and ask the audience to discuss and share their thoughts.

salon social media
Pros: People love social media and engagement rate in social media is high. Another advantage of social media is the possibility to show images and visualize the poll.

Cons: Social media posts are open for every page visitor unless it is a closed group with a limited number of users. The second main problem for social media is the low reach. Only a small number of page or group followers see the post, and the probability of collecting accurate and full data is rather low.

Like online surveys, social media polls lack personalization and collect more general information. As a result, you miss the details and don’t have info for a particular visit.

Face-to-Face Interviews

Another option for collecting feedback is just… asking the customers right after the treatment. How does the customer feel? Did they like the procedure? Was the artist professional or were their expectations met?

As the famous saying goes, “For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent”.

**Pros: **Psychological researches show that even the simple act of asking feedback makes a positive impact on the customers and makes them feel more important. It’s most possible that you’ll collect deep feedback and dig into details through that conversation. Clients like to be in the spotlight and feel that their opinion is much appreciated and valued.

Cons: Even if you have that awesome habit of asking for feedback all the clients, afterwards it’s hard to remember what they said, make notes, and as a result have valuable insights. This process takes much time and resources and though it’s personalized and more friendly, it’s not effective. Also, the feedback asked in the salon can be biased, as most clients tend to avoid giving bad feedback not to harm the hairdresser/nail artist/barber etc.

Paper Survey Forms

We live in an era of innovation and technology, so we just want to advise you to make use of the advantages of our digital age while seeking for your customer feedback.

But anyway, if you are firmly determined to use more traditional methods like paper feedback forms, you should know some pros and cons and then make your final choice.

salon survey

Pros: Basic knowledge of MS word is enough for making a paper survey. It’s more accessible, and are ideal for the older generation who are not used to using technology.

**Cons: **They have a very low response rate when they are not executed immediately, but are distributed on the condition of answering later: papers are often lost or damaged. While online surveys can be easily shared, paper ones need to be printed and distributed manually, which makes the execution longer. In this case, making personalized surveys is either impossible or is time-consuming. Reaching a global audience becomes hard with paper questionnaires.

Tablets, Interactive Stands

Tablets and interactive stands are a newer and more innovative form of gathering customer feedback. You can meet these stands in banks, shops, restaurants and in other places where the customer interacts with the customer service team, cashiers or administrative workers.

salon customer  feedback
Pros: The main benefit is the possibility to gather large data and have an exact image of customer satisfaction.

Cons: These devices usually provide yes-or-no or rate-your-experience quick options, and this is not the best option for gathering comprehensive feedback.

SMS

SMS is one of the most common ways of gathering customer feedback. The customer usually gets an SMS after getting the service and when has already left the salon.

salon customer feedback

Pros: Over 5 billion people in the world use SMS as communication technology, and it has a high opening rate.

Cons: Here we have the same problem as with tablets and stands. You can’t ask for much information in one SMS. You can find out satisfaction level from an exact service, not more.

And a small percentage of customers actually bothers to answer them. The next problem with SMS is the lack of visuals. Aso, it’s not interactive, thus not engaging.

Email

Asking customer feedback via email is as old as the internet itself, and it’s one of the most popular ways of gathering customer feedback.

salon client feedback

Pros: Email is still one of the main communication methods for billions of people around the world, and launching an email campaign does not take much time and resources.

Cons: Email opening rate is low, a small segment of your clients reads your message. You waste time, resources and don’t get the feedback you expected. According to Campaign Monitor, the average open rate is 17.92%, and the average CTR (click-through rate) is 2.69%.

Messaging Apps

Messaging apps brought a new stage in human communication and brands’ collaboration with their customers. They made the conversations more emotional, interactive, unlimited and visualized. Video and audio messages, possibility to make purchases, playing games came to add more engagement to communication and made the messaging apps essential platforms for business use.
Asking feedback in messenger apps, like Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp is the most interactive and effective method of all, as besides being interactive, engaging and convenient, they already have billions of users worldwide. According to Statista, 1.6 billion users use Whatsapp and 1.3 billion users use Facebook messenger on a monthly basis. So, reaching out to the customers and asking for feedback has never been so easy.

salon feedback

Whether you want to know the client’s opinion about the new haircut or the new stylist in the salon, just ask in the Facebook Messenger, attach a fun gif, add some emojis. The problem with this type of communication is that it’s hard to perform for every customer manually, and in the end, we don’t see the collected information in one place.

Here is the point where chatbots step in.

Chatbots are the new stage in technology advancement. They are innovative, engaging, highly customizable and are already adopted by millions of brands worldwide. They are constantly developing and evolving new and smarter features. They solve the problem of visualizing the data, help to automate the conversation with the clients, particularly the feedback asking processes.

salon customer feedback
Ask for feedback after each visit, measure staff performance and collect reviews

Pros: They are available 24/7, thus saving the owner time and money. They are highly engaging, have a high click-through rate and gathering customer feedback becomes more than easy. Chatbots have obvious privilege upon email marketing, as have higher opening rate and CTR.

Cons: Simple chatbots have limited answers to the customers’ questions, have limited features, while the complex ones cost more, and are hard to set up. Many salon owners find it hard to use them effectively. While there are really good tools available for creating chatbots, they work best for broadcasting messages, sending announcements or conducting a general survey.

To effectively collect customer feedback after each visit in the salon environment the chatbot system should be aware of things like who the client is, which services were provided, who the specialists were and when exactly the customer left the salon.

And because there wasn’t an excellent existing solution we created RetentionForce’s feedback feature initially for our OD Blow Dry Bar salon and then made it available to the public. At RetentionForce, we have an average 95% opening rate and 75% click-through rate for the customer feedback, which makes it the most effective solution for the salon industry. With RetentionForce we give a full solution for collecting customer feedback. It’s easy to set-up, fully automated, visualized, customizable and gives the whole image of customer satisfaction in details.

salon client feedbackMeasure client satisfaction with feedback data from more than 75% of visits

How to Structure the Questions

Forming the right questions for customer feedback is crucial, as the same content in different sentences may lead to different responses or can even make the respondent skip or stop the process.

  • The first rule for any question is to keep it as short as possible.

  • Ask one question at a time. Don’t confuse your client asking him for feedback about different services in one sentence.

  • Creating personalized questions is probably the most important thing to take into consideration while asking for feedback. Some of the feedback channels discussed in this article (Chatbots, emails) have tools for personalization. The respondents will be more prone to answer if they feel that the question is asked based on his/her personal experience and preferences.

  • While asking for feedback two types of questions can be used: Closed-ended and open-ended. Closed-ended questions require only Yes/No answers, while you may consider asking also open-ended questions, which require a thorough and full answer from the client.

What to Ask

Well, let’s talk about the content of the feedback, or what to ask the salon or SPA clients? RetentionForce partners often tell us that if it weren’t for RetentionForce’s ready-made templates, they would have difficulties to write content for asking feedback. However, if your salon does not have RetentionForce yet, we’ll give you some hints on what and when to ask for that valuable feedback. Here are some good ideas for collecting feedback:

  1. Ask about the quality of the provided services. Start the question with “Did you like….?” “How was….?” “How would you rate…?”

  2. Ask whether they like that particular hairdresser/nail artist/barber. “Are you satisfied with the service provided by…?”

  3. Ask about the products used in your salon. “Did you like our new line…?” “How good was the mask used during the procedure?” “Do you have any comments regarding X products?”

  4. Ask whether they will refer your salon to their friends. “Will you refer our salon to your friend?” “ How possible it is that you’ll refer our SPA to your friends?”

  5. Ask whether they will come back again. “Will you come back for a new treatment/massage/blowout/epilation?”

When to Ask Feedback

The next, and at the same time very important tip is WHEN to ask feedback. If you want honest feedback, you should know when exactly you should ask for it.

If you need feedback about the exact procedure or treatment. you’ll need to ask for feedback right after it. If you need feedback about the salon in general, it can be asked every 6 months.

NPS (Net Promoter Score) can be asked every 6 months. NPS will show how likely are your customers to refer your salon to others.

Recently a new trend of asking feedback has emerged. You ask a question at first visit, then another question at the second visit, then a third and build a complete client profile over time, without overwhelming clients with many questions at the same time. This approach was fully integrated into the RetentionForce’s feedback feature.

The most common feedback refers to customer satisfaction after the procedure. The experience in RetentionForce has shown us exactly when that particular feedback should be asked. After a few thousand experiments we measured the average time when the feedback should be asked to maximize the response rate. .It is the 82nd second after the client has left the salon.

There is real magic behind this exact number. At this point, the client still remembers all the details of the treatment, is already out of the salon (to avoid positive feedback just out of politeness) and still thinks about the procedure.

There is real magic behind this exact number. At this point, the client still remembers all the details of the treatment, is already out of the salon (to avoid positive feedback just out of politeness) and still thinks about the procedure.

Handling Customer Feedback

Customer Feedback should be answered. Always. No matter you like it or not.

Answering customer feedback with genuine appreciation is crucial for establishing a long-lasting relationship between the brand and its clients.

Unhappy customers need to be listened to and taken care of, negative feedback should be answered promptly and timely, and if you do it right, the dialogue between you can convert them into loyal clients and ensure customer retention.

measure salon customer satisfactionLearn about what can be improved in real-time and always appreciate feedback

If there has been an issue, let the client know that his feedback has been taken into consideration and the problem has been solved. If the problem is in review, send the updates upon the feedback.

Measure & Improve

Well, you have gathered a significant amount of feedback, what is next? The most common mistake that most businesses make is not using the gathered feedback properly.
Customer feedback is crucial for running a successful salon business.

There might be negative feedback that needs an immediate solution, other issues can be found out while visualizing the data. In the second case, volume matters. If 75% of your customers complain about a product you use and think it’s a perfect option, you need to listen up.

Use the collected customer feedback to:

  • Optimize staff performance

  • Better understand your ideal customers

  • Create personalized client profiles

  • Improve the quality of services

  • Review products

  • Ensure customer retention

There might be negative feedback that needs an immediate solution, other issues can be found out while visualizing the data. In the second case, volume matters. If 75% of your customers complain about a product you think is perfect, you need to listen up.

Customer feedback is a valuable part of staff optimization, as you can know for sure who are your best-performing employees and who needs assistance and further training. Calculate average feedback for each staff member to have a better understanding of the staff performance.

Sometimes, when there is a constant flow of clients, salon owners don’t concentrate on the first-visit retention. But what if the first-time client never returns because of the stylist? Actually, the stylist can be busy all the time, not thanks to the professionalism, but to salon reputation, good marketing, and other factors. And it’s like having a leaky bucket in your team, which you can’t notice.
This can be detected only with the help of a tool, which will measure the first-time visit retention for each stylist.

When you are in an interactive dialogue with your clients, you already know their preferences and habits, the frequency of their visits and have a personalized customer profile, which will help to prevent customer churn and win back lost clients. Ask the clients, who have not visited your salon for a long time about the reason they stopped using your services. Offer them some discounts, coupons and special offers.

Analyze the collected data, and improve the service quality. Pay attention to the details, change the interior, try another coffee blend, make sure the furniture is comfortable. Your customers will appreciate it, and together with excellent customer service, quality services, and professionalism, you will build strong customer loyalty.

Conclusion

There was a time when businesses dictated their rules to customers. These times have long gone. Nowadays, as we all know, customer is the king, and we have to listen to them and tailor our marketing and sales efforts based on customer needs. Ask for customer feedback, find out the satisfaction level and improve, improve and improve.

Nurture your happy clients and make them advocates of your brand. Show them care and gratitude for being with you. Reward customer loyalty with coupons, small gifts or just thank you notes. Have the individual profile of each customer with preferences, keep track of the visits and never forget their birthdays.

Consider using a loyalty program with full automation features for improving your marketing strategy and achieving better results. Whether you’ll need help, we are here to assist you to step ahead of your competitors with a smarter and more innovative solution.

Customer feedbackManagementMarketing

Written by

Lilit Nersisyan

Digital Marketing Specialist, Strategist, Content Writer at RetentionForce.