Build a Loyal Salon Clientele & Learn to Manage Difficult Clients

I’m sure you have a real salon client horror story. But how do you deal with the difficult clients and turn them into promoters and ambassadors for your business? This week I’m accompanied by Tomas Edlund, who runs the SAMOTSOH hair salon in Stockholm.

Tomas is doing an extraordinary job in building client loyalty and has developed his system for how he is doing this, and he is sharing a few of his tips in today’s video.

Learn more about how Tomas is growing his business in our course on salon client loyalty systems.

Build Loyalty with the Active Listening Method

John: I’m here with Tomas, from the SAMOTSOH hair salon, in Stockholm. Thomas is exceptional at many things, but particularly when it comes to building client loyalty. Here at the SAMOTSOH, on average, the staff stays and works with Thomas for over ten years.

And he has a highly loyal clientele that has been here for many years, for 27 years even. And you know, he is doing an exceptional job when it comes to retaining his clients and growing his business that way. So I thought this week, it would be interesting to share with you a few of the concepts that you’re working with here at Samotsu.

So could you lead us through a little bit, like some of the things we can learn from?

Tomas: Yeah, nothing that comes for free. Experience has made some of it, and listening has made the rest. I learned to listen over the years, and by listening, you get new ideas, and you get people around you that want to be a part of it.

And then we create different systems you can say that we work from.  A lot of it is about how you would like yourself to be treated. Sometimes, you keep forgetting that when you’re building a concept, it’s very, very, very important to remember that when we work with the system that we do. 

When I go to a restaurant, I notice that I’m not getting treated so well anymore. The service level everywhere is getting lower.

Ours is getting higher, but we write everything down, and we make a system of it. I mean, we have so many different things that we work with.

We have the outside the box inside marketing, except that’s one thing that we do. If we’re going to do something marketing inside the salon, it will be outside the box.

Yeah. It’s not so fun to always do hair. We can do something else. Yeah. Because we have clients that like it.  We work after the active listening model. We work after a consultation system that works very well and makes all the hairdressers that work there very confident.

And we have lots of tools that we can use. Even if you have a very energy-stealing new client that comes in. Now, once in a while, every hairdresser, skin therapist, everybody has that. Yeah. We have tools for that, too, to get around it and make that person the best ambassador. The one that you look in your schedule, you didn’t have her before or him.

And you said, oh, I don’t, I don’t want it today. Yeah. We use that as something that we’re going to work with. And we have systems to turn them around to be our best ambassadors.  So we have lots of systems that we work with that we think are interesting and make our work more fun.

Dealing with Difficult Salon Clients

John: We’re all seeing how the most difficult clients can turn into your best clients in the end because they are the ones that promote you when you’re able to turn those around. So, could you share just a few tips on how you do that?

Tomas: Yeah, of course, we have worked it through, and we have a system for it. We use a lot of things, but it started many years ago because I had a hairdresser, a girl that worked for me, then she had a client that was really, really stealing her energy and really, really not nice.

There are evil people out there. And then we started to work with what can we do to turn that around? You can’t change another person, but you can change the fairness or the attitude they work with. We can use another attitude. So we work a lot with the mirror because if you sit in the mirror and we have a consultation, you’re two and a half meters away through the mirror.

But if I do like this, I’m 35 centimeters away. We never use this until it’s important. So when we come to a yes or no question to start working, and there are really difficult, we can use that system. You can always talk like this for a certain time, but if you want to have a yes or no answer, you go, like, what do you say?

Shall we keep the length? What do you want me to cut it a little? Just a little bit. Yeah. And certainly, it’s inconvenient because you’re inside their comfort zone, and that’s just one thing. We work with many things like that, and all of them are done for a higher purpose. It’s not some trick we do.

It’s something that makes us feel good, but sometimes you need tools to take care of either problems or development. And those tools we write down, and we use them, as our toolbox.  So for us, it’s essential. It makes the environment more comfortable, and we changed them to be our best ambassadors because those clients have been around in all other salons, and they are never happy.

You Need to Have a Client Retention System 

John: Yeah, absolutely. This is foundational, right? There are some incredible things in the course on how to build a loyal salon clientele and manage those problematic clients and all these different tools that Thomas uses.

That’s why we have put together a short course that is walking you through this exact framework.

In the course, you will also learn more about the following:

  • How to improve the vibe in your salon so that customers stay.
  • How to manage those problematic clients.
  • How to increase the spend at client visits. 
  • How to get the rebookings done effectively.

There’s a lot of things which we’re packing down into this course. If that’s something you are interested in, click the link here.

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