July 16, 2014 In business, life

Three Ways to Establish Customer Trust

What Colouring My Hair Taught Me About Business

I’ve been colouring my hair since I was thirteen years old. It’s seen a lot of colour over the years, dark auburn all-over, a few platinum and black streaks, some dark brown, light brown, light blonde to caramel blonde and everything in between. Hair is an adventure and it can also be a real stressful way to spend your money. Over the last couple years, every time I dyed my hair, we put more and more blonde in it. By my wedding, it was almost solid blonde. I loved it! I loved being very blonde but the cost and time required to maintain wasn’t for me anymore. I decided a couple of weeks ago to “return to my roots.” Well – with a little more blonde thrown in there. Not ready to quite go plain ol’ light brown.

From a friend’s recommendation, I booked an appointment with John at ID Salon in Fort Langley. I’ve been to a lot of different hair salons and worked with a lot of different hair stylists in my eleven-years of hair-dyeing and I was blown away by the service and professionalism. As the experience replayed through my mind, I thought, “There’s a business lesson in here!”

1. Value your Customer

When I walked into ID Salon, the receptionist warmly greeted me and offered coffee or wine or water. When I declined, she showed me to the couches and magazines to wait. When John was ready, he greeted me with the same offer – and this time I said, “Sure! Half a glass of red wine.” I was impressed by their hospitality and willingness to give the customer something extra. (Although I didn’t even finish my glass, I was asked twice if I wanted more. They weren’t trying to “hoard” their gifts.)

2. Take the Time

Hair is a delicate but ferocious animal. Hair is a big part of our identities! We care about hair! We cry about hair! (Okay, I do, don’t know about you all.) While I was explaining my recent “hair tales” to John, he listened. Really listened. Not listened while he was folding foils or cleaning up his table but studied my hair and listened to what I needed to say.

Maybe he didn’t even need to hear half of what I was saying – maybe he already had a plan from the visual – BUT he made me feel listened to and that made me feel valued. I think we spent a full 5-10 minutes talking about my hair and looking at swatch samples before he went to mix the colour. And because he took the time, I fully trusted him within 10 minutes.

3. Be Confident, Not Cocky

I’ve had some good hair dyes in my life… and I’ve had some bad ones. Whenever I visit a new salon, the stylist will usually comb through my hair and make comments about the technique/style of colour done previous. What I appreciated about John was his refusal to say anything bad about somebody else. He was very confident he could do an awesome job with my hair. I could see that shining through how he spoke about colour and his technique. However, I loved these words from John: “You know what, everybody is learning. Whether they’ve been doing hair for only one year or for thirty years, we are always learning. And if you’ve stopped learning, you should stop doing hair.”

After three and a half hours in the salon chair, I loved my hair more than I’ve loved any other hair dye. He nailed it exactly. I may possibly be one of the hardest people to “up sell” on anything but when John recommend a product, I bought it. Because the experience made me believe he truly cared about my hair.

How can you implement some of these lessons in your business to establish trust?

1. “Gift” your clients with extras
2. Listen to all of their concerns
3. Never speak badly about others

  • I absolutely love this. Thanks for sharing the knowledge, Jamie!

  • Great insight, and I love your hair this way!

  • Valerie

    Great Insight! I love this!

  • Love, love, love this! You can learn so much by watching other professionals. He sounds like my hair stylist. I love who I go to because she loves to find out what’s going on with me, and values me as her client. :)

  • Hi Jamie,
    Thank you for the kind words about the salon. We try to strive to do exactly what John said, “Everybody is learning. Whether they’ve been doing hair for only one year or for thirty years, we are always learning. And if you’ve stopped learning, you should stop doing hair.” Like you said this applies to business as well. Happy to have you as a client and we look for to seeing you soon.