Classic questions salon clients ask and how to respond to them!
It’s another day at your salon or spa - you’re busy doing a client’s hair, staff are tending to walk-ins and the floor is bustling. You check your appointment calendar to make sure you’re ready for the next client, and you’re approached by a potential customer who asks: “Why are your prices so expensive”? You’re completely caught off guard, but you can’t let that show! So what do you do? You respond without thinking too much about what you want to say, and it goes something along the lines of “well, those are my prices” or “sorry you feel that way”. Although you don’t think much of it, your potential customer might see you as rude and condescending, which might earn you a negative review online. Where exactly did you go wrong, and how should you respond to the classic questions asked by salon clients?
The pricing question
Dreaded by all those who work in the hair & beauty industry - the pricing question is the most commonly asked one. It often stems from the client’s lack of knowledge or their experience with a cheaper stylist or artist. It might be their first time getting a full head of highlights or a deep indigo balayage and they might not be familiar with the pricing. They may have also been to a less-expensive beauty business and paid less for a poorer-quality treatment. Look at your treatment options and products - you’re no YouTube trained, box colour stylist! You’re a certified specialist who utilises top-quality products and provides exceptional services!
You never know when to expect someone to ask this question, so you have to be ready with the right response. However, a response shouldn’t just answer the person’s question, but should give them a moment to think and reevaluate their way of thinking when it comes to your prices. So let’s travel back to the last time someone questioned your prices. Instead of responding with the usual line, try asking one of these two questions:
- How much were you looking to pay?
- Why do you think my prices are too expensive?
Why these questions specifically? You’ll know exactly why the client thinks the way they do - either they’ve paid less in the past, or have never had that kind of treatment and don’t know what the pricing is based on. Make sure to educate your clients, explain that you’re a certified specialist and the quality of products you use, as well as the treatment process.
The discount question
Any variation of the discount question gets every beauty practitioner's blood boiling - especially when you’re on a roll. Say it's a busy day at the salon, and you’re getting clients in and out lightning-fast, but then that one customer comes in. You make eye contact from across the floor, and they begin to work their way to the front desk. They ask for a treatment menu, skim through it and ask, “any discounts today” - leaving you flabbergasted. You respond with “not today, sorry” and the client leaves without saying goodbye. You go back to your duties, but without the same drive as before. You put your heart into your treatments and products, and having clients come in looking only for discounts can leave you feeling down.
The reason why you felt down after this situation isn’t due to the fact that the client was only looking for discounts, but that they reduced the value of your treatments and products. You’re probably left wondering if maybe your prices are too high, or that the work you put into your treatments really isn’t that much. Instead, you should be standing behind your business. Who is the professional in this situation? You are! If this situation reoccurs, consider asking these two questions:
- Why would you like to receive a discount?
- Are you a loyal client?
The truth is, clients feel entitled to receiving discounts just for coming in through your doors. But that doesn’t mean you have to turn them away! Confront your discount-driven clients and ask them why they would like to receive a discount. Then, they have to create a compelling reason for that. That’s when you make a move and ask them to purchase a service package that lets them buy your treatments cheaper but also attaches the clients to your business. Mention that loyal customers can pick up discounts (which Booksy allows you to apply automatically) and special offers (which you can easily communicate to your VIPs only).
The booking question
It’s 2am and your phone is suddenly flooded with Messenger notifications. You slump towards your phone and are blinded by the light from your phone screen. You find your Messenger app and look who wrote - only to see a notification from an unknown person that reads, “Hi, Karen here, I knoooow it’s late, but I wanna book for tomorrow - a balayeouge, any free slots at noon? I’ll bring my own shampoo! Xooxoxox”! You don’t know this “Karen” but you’ve already had enough of her. Well, that’s what happens when you post your private number on your salon’s fan pages. You’re obviously not going to look for your appointment calendar, and you don’t want to message her, saying that she should have booked earlier - that may cost you a client!
The next day, you’re regretting not making use of an online booking option. You’ve seen Booksy - beauty & hair salon software on a number of pages - you’ve even visited their page, only to have bookmarked it for later use. Well grab your coffee, take out your phone, computer or tablet and bring up the page. After 5 minutes or so, you’ve set up your account, along with your very own online booking profile. Next, link it to your social media pages. Now comes the exciting part - respond to your late-bookers with this: “Hi, thanks for looking to book with me! I’ve just launched my online booking webpage - reserve your slot through the system!”. Salon owners that avoid online booking fear one main thing - not being in control of their appointments. Luckily for you, the Booksy team does a free onboarding and training as well, to help you prepare your account for real-life use! Grab your free account and book a live tour today!