The Pink Elephant in the Room

Division in the salon is something we see regularly, it’s almost expected. Where does it usually come from. Is it gossip, jealously, miscommunication, or just being catty, yes to all. But, there is another hidden culprit that lies in many salons that stay divided that is not always dealt with. CHAIR HOPPERS, yep I said it Chair Hoppers!

I worked in a “corporate” mall salon many years ago, where the stylist work for the company and clients AND their information belong TO THE COMPANY. The stylist were expected to give top notch professional service but not to build a clientele. It’s true, so as clients returned to the salon a lot of times they were directed to any stylist that was available. Its pretty cool to the clients because they look at it as structured, organized and their needs being met promptly. I’ll be the one to call it out corporately it looks great but behind closed doors, it causes unintentional ruckus. It causes competition which causes division. Clients are unknowingly used as pawns.Now its uncomfortable and causes a BIG MESS.
When I noticed these situations unfold,it was a turn off for me as a stylist. It was also a distraction from focusing on giving clients the best service they deserved. When I opened up my salon, do you know that was the first rule written in our salon manual? Why, because some people do not understand integrity and order. We all know the cliché “It’s their money, they can spend it with whomever they want”. well one of my favorite cliché’s is “all money ain’t good money”. Part of having great comradery in a salon among the people is order and respect. The truth is in a privately owned salon,the stylist are independent self employed operators. Meaning, they are building there own business within a business. Their money is “their” money,and when they lose “they” lose and it creates tension.Some people say “don’t take it personal” well…. you have to look at it from more than just one side,that’s why I call it the pink elephant in the room.
I remember when I was looking for some insurance to purchase and I spoke to a representative. Well, I needed the coverage immediately and they weren’t getting back to me as fast as I liked. So a friend referred me to another office. Same company (independently owned) but different office. They asked me had I used this company before, I said yes and explained the situation.

They explained to me that they had a clause, stating that it was a conflict of interest so to speak and they would have to refer me to the original office I dealt with.Not only that BUT, they would talk to the representative themselves and explain why they were about to loose a client and to give me immediate attention. “WOW”, I really couldn’t do much but respect their policy OR go to a totally different company. Needless to say that original representative contacted me and got me all set.

So imagine if we all conducted business that way. Imagine, if an unpleased or just indifferent client was referred back to their original stylist to at least rectify any problems that may not have been unresolved.If they were unable to come to a resolution the stylist would refer the client to a stylist who may better assist them. To me that’s called customer service.

I think a common mistake clients make is try out all the different stylist in the same salon. That’s a no-no! … Do you want to know what we do at my salon? We take pride in building our own clientle, but “IF” I am on vacation,out of town,etc.,I make sure my clients are taken care of by referring them to another stylist within the salon. In return, after their service is preformed, they are referred BACK to there original stylist for their next appt. That’s it! No uncomfortable feelings, no tension between stylist (because they still have to work together),no tension with the clients. In the end,stylist have a comfortable drama free salon to work in and clients have a comfortable place to relax and get their hair done.

Do you know how many salons have been torn apart by this? Nope, because no one wants to admit its a problem. (kicking the pink elephant out of salons for GOOD #boom)