Brianne Ika

By Brianne Ika

The 5 Steps to R&R

The 5 Steps to R&R 150 150 Brianne Ika

Growing up, I wanted to be just like my mom and do everything she did. I remember going with her to get her haircut and dreaming of the day that I would get to color my hair like my mom. I thought she looked so cool with all that tinfoil on her head, sitting under the dryer. Little did I know, I would get to spend a lot of time with tinfoil in my hair, sitting under that dryer because a few years later, my aunt Brittney graduated beauty school and I was her guinea pig. I loved going to her salon and sitting in her chair. All her attention was on me. There were no other distractions, and I always felt like she was so interested in me — how I was doing at school, my friends, and the always important question of if and who I was dating. Sometimes we would laugh, sometimes we would cry, but I felt I could tell her anything while I was in that chair. She had a client for life because I felt like a queen when I was there — she made it all about me.

Well, Brittney got married and had a couple of pretty awesome kids and decided her hair doing days were over. This meant I would have to give up my crown and find someone else that I could trust to do my hair — someone who I could talk to.

It took me a few tries to finally find a hairdresser that I loved after Brittney stopped working. I wanted to make sure the next person that did my hair was not only exceptional at their job but also cared about me on a personal level. When I finally found “my girl,” my hair looked better than it ever had before. Her name was Jamie and she showed me, yet again, what it was to be a master at creating lifelong clients.

Like me, most people, once they sit down in the salon chair, don’t stop talking until they leave. Jamie learned how to leverage the information that she got from each of her clients during their visits and turn them into raving fans and repeat clients. What I learned from Jamie helped me create the five steps to R&R, repeats, and referrals.

Get to know your client on a personal level

Harvey Mackay, in his book How to Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, he created the Mackay 66, a customer profile that outlines some great questions that can help any business owner to get to know their customers. What do they want? What do they need? How can you serve them? Having the answers to these 66 questions allows you to ask for the sale and get to know your clients on a personal level. Once you have the answers to these questions you know what their objections are going to be and how to overcome them to ask for a referral, schedule the next appointment, sell your goods, and even ask for reviews.

Set a goal that each time someone sits down in your chair, you always ask five of the Mackay 66 Questions.

Knowing these details about your clients will increase the likelihood that they use you again.

When I go see Jamie, she always has a cold bottle of water and a bag of M&M’s waiting for me. I know I could just stop at the store and pick both of those things up on my way, but I feel like a rockstar when I show up and she has a little gift waiting for me. Can you imagine going to your hairdresser and when you arrive they have your favorite treat just waiting for you?

Every year on my birthday, I get a birthday card, nothing extravagant just a simple “Happy Birthday.” I’m lucky if my own siblings remember to text me, and here I am getting an actual birthday card in the mail! These things may seem small, but if you increase the customer experience above and beyond what is expected, your growth will be exponential.

Utilize a CRM

I tend to forget pretty much everything. After having kids, it’s hard to keep it all straight and I start to think I did something that I actually just did or said in my head. Which makes me wonder how Jamie remembers all my kids’ names and that I like M&M’s. So how does she remember all of this? How does she keep all her clients’ information together and easily accessible? The simple answer is a CRM or Contact Relationship Manager. There are so many different CRMs on the market. You just need to do the research to find the one that works best for you and your business. Be sure to always keep it up to date, and each time you see your clients and gather more information, you add it to your CRM. If I told Jamie that I started drinking soda again, you better believe she would have an ice-cold Barqs Root Beer waiting for me the next time I showed up.

It’s not just my food preferences she is keeping track of either. I like my hair cut a specific way and I like it colored the same each time I go. She always asks if we are keeping things the same or doing something different, and when I tell her we are keeping things the same she knows exactly what I want because she has put that information into her CRM. She knows the cut, color, and style I like to leave the salon with. She also knows that the last time I was in, I purchased hair spray and that six months ago I purchased shampoo and conditioner. Be sure you are keeping track of services provided and products purchased and be sure to always have those products stocked when they come to see you. Keep track of any pertinent information that could prove useful.

If Jamie asked me all these questions, put them in her CRM, and never looked at them again, what would be the point? You have to make a conscious effort that before you greet each client, you take a look at your notes. Did they just have a birthday? Were they planning something exciting or going on a trip the last time you saw them? Comment on these things, ask questions about them and continue to build your relationship. Always be working toward your goal of completing the Mackay 66. Running a business without some form of a CRM is impossible if you want to have returning clients — and ultimately if you want to scale.

Ask for the sale

Because Jamie knows when and what I purchased the last time I was there, and she’s noticed a few fly-aways, she has no problem reminding me that I must be getting close to the end of my bottle of shampoo and conditioner and informing me of a new product that she has for my fly-aways that isn’t as heavy as hairspray. She pulls the items off her shelf and puts them on the counter in front of me while she continues the process of doing my hair. She has asked for my money in a way that doesn’t even feel like she is selling me anything. By simply reminding me of what I seem to need and telling me about something new that will help my need, she can easily upsell me on the products. That’s how you make a client happy to buy from you.

If you never ask for the sale, how can you expect ever sell anything?

Ask for referrals

Coleen, Paula, Pat, Emily, Felicia, Anna, and Carly. Those are the names of just a few of the many people I have referred to Jamie that are now clients for life. Each time I see her, she hands me a few business cards and says “If you know of anyone who could use my services, please give them one of my cards and let me know.” I’m always out of cards because I love the experience so much, and I want others to have that same experience. Jamie always asks me to let her know when I’ve given her card to someone so she can put them in her CRM and follow up. I send her a simple text with their name and phone number. She always picks up the phone calls them and simply asks if there is anything she can do to have the opportunity to earn their business.

Walking back from my mailbox one day, I was flipping through the junk and bills, the usual boring mail, when I noticed a cute little purple envelope. I couldn’t wait to get back inside and free my hands so I could open it up. What could it be? Who was it from? I was excited about a piece of mail!  When I opened it up, it was a simple thank-you card from Jamie for the referral I had sent over a few days prior. I had never received a thank-you card for something as simple as sending a referral. If anyone ever asks about my hair or if I know anyone that could help them out, I always give them one of Jamie’s cards. I know she will take exceptional care of them and I know I’ll be getting a little purple envelope in the mail.

Schedule the next appointment

When you leave the dentist, they always schedule your next cleaning. Then, as it gets closer, they send you a reminder email, maybe a text. By the time the day comes around, it’s already in your calendar. It’s often easier to just go and get it taken care of than to try to reschedule. Jamie has taken this philosophy and applied it to her clients. She knows that my color is good for between six and eight weeks. Before I leave her chair, she schedules my next appointment. “Six weeks from today is July 23rd. Did you want to come in at 2 p.m. again?” This gives her some guarantee that I will be coming back by offering me a service Then she follows up with a text and email about my new appointment, date and time included, and I get another one the week and day before my appointment. She gives me no excuse to find myself too busy or to schedule something over that appointment.

Jamie doesn’t think like a normal hairdresser. She has taken the time to design what she wants her business to look like in the future. Take a step back and ask yourself what it is you really want, do you just want to cut hair at a salon? Or do you want to create an experience where you are so overbooked with clients, that you now have to hire other stylists that get to give the same level of customer service that your clients have come to expect from you? Following the five steps to R&R will help you achieve growth beyond what you ever thought possible, build better relationships, and provide great value in every interaction.