With the start of our new business, more than ever, I value my me time at the spa. This particular day, I wanted to unplug, I even packed my Present over Perfect journal and multi colored gel pens that my bestie had given me. Usually, while I process, my stylist can squeeze another client haircut in. This is fine with me because it means I get a little more time to just enjoy the moment. The journal entry for the day said, “Those who look for beauty find it.” It followed with the question, “What beauty have you been ignoring?” While I took a moment to contemplate, I looked around the salon. You should know something about me. I love people watching AND I have never met a stranger.
That I noticed was the very same thing that I feel each time I leave this great little locally-owned salon, it is a beautiful, empowering, soul-healing retreat. The ladies that work there are the ultimate professionals at the top of their industry. I mean, I can attest to their mad skills, but they are also authentic, real, transparent, kind and genuinely care about their customers on a personal level. Several know my name, ask about my family and compliment my hair. This might seem superficial, of course, they are in the beauty business. BUT, they do more than just makeover what you see. When you walk out of the salon doors, your entire attitude is made over. You feel better, positive, empowered and beautiful. AND it wasn’t just me. They were doing it for everyone in there. No matter who they were, what they were having done, who was working on their hair. I observed them rally around each person while they were in the chair and sending them out the door with one last dose of words of affirmation. They celebrated each and every person’s unique beauty, the stylists’ work and – along the way – they were forming strong relationships with their clients. It truly was an inspiration.
“What you leave in them is more important than what you leave them with” – T.D. Jakes
This local woman-owned salon is leaving people not only looking and feeling great, but valued. They are creating super fans. They are community building. Those people who will not only become repeat customers for life, but will recommend them to each and every person they meet. They created the best street team money can’t even buy, because they will share how they felt and their experiences will inspire others to want to get some of that. The will take photos and share their new look expressing gratitude for the talents of their personal stylist. They will become part of their brand ambassador team. Leveraging this is essential. This is your value proposition, your intellectual proposition. This can’t be replicated, because it is uniquely you and genuine. Others can try and duplicate this model, but their experience if genuine and authentic, will be unique to them as Inspirations’ is to their clients.
How can I replicate this? Here are 5 tips to creating an exceptional experience that leaves your clients inspired:
- Decide who you are – and be you! Just do you! People like you for you. They will come back because of you. Honor your authentic self and you can’t go wrong.
- Don’t try to be all things to all people. Those who love you will stick with you. Those who don’t will do you a favor and go elsewhere. Stick to what you do well.
- Surround yourself with others who also believe in what you do. Hire “we” people, not “me” people. You shouldn’t have to convince them of buy in. They should have already bought in.
- Celebrate others successes and failures. The success of others doesn’t take away from yours. Let your leaders have freedom to try things and make mistakes. If you are doing big things you are going to make mistakes, so learn from them and celebrate the growth and potential.
- Don’t take yourself so seriously. If you are truly doing what you love it should be fun.
I once had a bad dream that my personal stylist at Inspirations got so popular that I couldn’t get in to see her anymore. I was eager to sing her praises, until the reality that others were going to want what I had. I shared my fears with her and she assured me that she will always have room for her special clients like me. Thankful and inspired, I am the definition of a true fan. They are living out daily my theory that customer service is the new marketing. Community building and your street team are the new tools of public relations. If you are like Inspirations and are leaving your customers feeling like a million bucks – don’t worry about negative reviews, figure out how to leverage the good ones. People don’t typically write reviews if they are happy without being asked. So ask. If you are looking for a way to leverage your customer experience we would love to help you form a strategy to do so. If you need help defining who you are so you too can leave people inspired, we would love to help be your creative spark.
Thanks to the ladies at Inspirations for allowing me to be part of your community. Signed, Your #superfan.