The importance of customer communication

11 Jan 2018

Written by Alice Smithson

Hair and beauty industry expert and CEO of PHAB Standard (Performance in Hair&Beauty), Nergish Wadia-Austin wants to support salon, spa and barbershop managers to deal with management and professional challenges, by sharing her expertise via private one-to-one telephone, Skype or FaceTime consultations. These confidential sessions are available in 15 minute units. Boasting over 35 years in the industry, Nergish is uniquely positioned to provide this much needed helpline. Her extensive business knowledge of the hair, beauty, nail & male grooming industries as well as her practical experience in running salons, spas & barbershops around the world is what makes her the best person for the job!

When I was invited to write a blog about how important customer communication is, I didn’t have to be asked twice. Businesses that learn how to communicate effectively with their customers and go on to deliver what their customers have communicated they want/need, THRIVE!

The key to this success can only begin with the manager understanding fully all the aspects of communicating with their audience both internal and external.

Starting with what the potential and regular customers see on the website and apps, to window displays and signage. Here the salon/spa/barbershop price list plays the most important role. Traditionally, the hairdressing industry has made many mistakes when it comes to this vital document. Often over complicating its content and pricing strategy, while underselling their USP by loosing their focus on the bigger picture.

Still staying with the topic of external communication by the manager, the annual marketing strategy, promotional activity forethought often seem reactive. Rather than having taken time in the month of October each year to revisit the performance numbers and put together the external communication plans for the upcoming year most of it seems thrown together at the last minute.

Communication via salon consultations remains the bedrock of our business and yet a small minority of outstanding businesses have scripted it, regularly practiced it, taught it, role played it and tested their staff’s delivery of it. This one bit of internal and external communication which can easily make or break a business by impacting revenue generation instantly is so undervalued and underrated by managers in the majority of hair, beauty and barbering businesses, that it perplexes me!

Shifting gear now to internal communications with teams and individuals in the business is another area that cannot be underestimated. From the time the recruitment advert is written till the professional’s time of departure from your business, communication quality is key! Sadly, this area doesn’t get the time it deserves because most managers are too busy running their very busy columns to appreciate the level of damage they are doing to their overall business by placing internal communications on hold while running a column.

Delegating tasks in a rushed, haphazard manner to who ever is nearest without correctly giving them the resources to get that task completed, is in fact a regular hurdle managers face which brings them screaming to that usual misguided conclusion ‘if you want something done properly then do it yourself’!

Then there’s the internal communication that is required daily to keep the operations of a business appear seamless which takes a back seat to necessary trivia management. It is here that the bigger picture is lost in most businesses.

Lastly but by no means least is the ‘soft’ communication required to keep customers and team members happy, avoids feelings of favouritism, keeps customers returning, allows management from being blindsided by big issues like multiple resignations etc. because they have their finger on the pulse of their business.

To contact Nergish Wadia-Austin for a private conversation about your business needs or concerns you can call her on the PHAB Business Helpline on + 44 (0)208 840 9070. Alternatively email her on info@phabstandard.com