Lessons from Oprah about improving your service for your salon

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey (photo credit: PRPhotos.com)

I can’t believe that my friend in my head Oprah is calling it quits next week. I am a certified Oprah mega-fan with a vision board with her picture on it to prove it.  Oprah has taught me many life lessons, including one about customer service. She has modeled how all service professionals should treat their clients. In Oprah’s case, her clients are her “favorite viewers.”

In my Book Your C.H.A.I.R. Solid framework, I assert that most businesses have room to improve in service. Now, we should not take this as a personal knock. I know that we all feel like we bend over backwards for our clients. Well, do you ache over your client leaving your salon happier than when they walked in your door?  When I watch Oprah’s “Behind the Scenes” show, I see that Oprah does. It inspires me to want to serve my clients in that way. Is there something that you can take from Oprah’s drive to transform her clients?

If you continue to work to improve the salon experience for your clients, you will be able to keep them “tuning in” to your business.

So here are my Oprah service tips:

1) Set out to wow them. Everyone can recall an image of one of Oprah’s “My Favorite Things” episodes where grown folks jump up and down like six-year olds at Christmastime. Now, I know that you may not quite be ready to buy everyone in your appointment book a car. But, we can all learn something from the sentiment. Think about creating that kind of “hand over mouth” moment of delight for your clients. Some examples could be to give a complimentary service for a loyal five-year client, just because. Or give a makeover to a longtime client who recently lost their job. Remember a “wow” equals referrals.

2) Be open to feedback. Oprah is famous for spending time “after the show” to connect with her audience to get their take on the show. Even Oprah after 25 years in the game, she doesn’t take for granted the opinion of her viewers. She asks and she listens. If a loyal client is giving you feedback that would help them feel comfortable with spending more money with you, be receptive to the advice. Don’t run from it. Take it as a gift to help your business. And, as this post about online reviews mentions, your clients will drop dime online anyway.

3) Tame the devil in the details. This is one of Oprah’s famous mantras. Are you ensuring that your staff is doing the little things that make each visit special for your clients? Things like time management (nice way of saying are you always late), salon upkeep, and customer greetings sometimes slip even for seasoned owners. Perhaps, you began to let some things go in an effort to keep the peace with your team. However, you may be chipping away at the atmosphere that your clients enjoy.  Don’t give clients a reason to question why they are paying you $x a visit.

4) Show that your clients matter. When you make decisions about making service changes, think about what your best clients (your top 20% that love you) would say.  Obviously, you will not be able to please everyone. But you don’t want to piss off the ones that have helped you build your business over time. Continue to survey your clients. And, remember to actually tell them that you have decided to make a business decision based on their feedback.

The Final Scoop:

Oprah is arguably one of the best in the business about connecting with her clients. She has proven that striving to delight your clients can allow you to run a very successful business. Consider building your salon business brand around service.

P.S.- Check out the book, Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit to learn more.

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