Art of Business puts a spotlight on Margaret Landis, Owner of Details Salon and Spa, to shed light on how to retain salon clients and employees.
After eight years, Margaret Landis, Owner of Details Salon and Spa
, is still making improvements to keep clients and employees satisfied.
Sometimes it comes in the form of new team members, and sometimes it comes in small upgrades like switching from a coffee maker to an espresso machine. Either way, Landis is invested in her team and salon guests, and Art of Business is putting a spotlight on this salon owner’s tips for retaining employees and clients.
How do you get more customers, living in a small town?
First, we handled being in a small town by getting involved in the community in whatever way possible. “Word of mouth has always been our biggest business builder,” she said, citing her stylists that live in York, along with one in Hershey and Quarryville. “They bring in a wider array of customers.”
What are your tips for getting new customers?
1. Encourage new team members to assemble gift bags and visit local business owners, introducing themselves to the owners and customers in the store, when appropriate.
2. Referrals are huge—always ask guests for referrals. “I know that can feel uncomfortable to some people, but that’s how our industry works,” she said. If a friend or family member visits with a referral card, they get a discount on their first visit, and the guest that refers them gets 20% off their next appointment.
3. Offer an add-on service
like a free eyebrow wax with a haircut or a free conditioning treatment with a color service. “We’re not really huge on discounts; we very much prefer to do added value,” she said.
Instead of discounting, how do you get clients to spend more?
When it comes to upselling, “all you have to do is ask,” she said. When the salon
does confirmation calls a day before each appointment, they offer services like body waxing, lash lifts, and lash and brow tints as an upgraded experience, and “often the client agrees to the add-on service.”
When it comes to retailing, stylists should mention and display the products throughout the service. “Because retail has some of the highest amounts of profit, stylists need to make selling a priority,” she said. When clients are checking out, place the products on the checkout counter, and say something like, “this is what we recommend you take home today.”
What are the ways you’ve used feedback to improve the business?
“If we’re thinking of bringing on a new service, we do a poll on social media, and sometimes we’ll do it in-house, too,” she said. Getting feedback from customers before bringing a new service on is something that Landis had to learn as a new business owner. Feedback was also especially valuable when it came to employee communication.
“It was a learning curve because I didn’t have that at places I worked before, but once I realized how impactful it was for the team to have input and open communication, it changed the business on almost every level.”
Letting employees know what’s going on in the business opens a discussion that generates new ideas and picks up on details that may go unnoticed, which brings us to Landis’ most significant piece of advice: “Surround yourself with like-minded people, including your team. The team is the lifeblood of your business—they need to have the same vision. Not giving them a voice would be an injustice.”
How do you retain employees?
Growing together, as individuals and business professionals, is essential. Every morning, she hosts a huddle as a way to make sure the team is all on the same page. They go through highs and lows, as well as new clients and guest birthdays. They also frequently meet to touch base on goal setting—personal and work-related—so employees feel valued and that they’re making an impact on the business.
How did you grow as a team and a business?
“We attended The Institute at Art of Business our first or second year as a salon, to learn many guidelines and protocols that needed put in place,” she said. Making sure stylists are consistent with re-booking each guest is a huge key to unlocking more business potential.
As far as business is concerned, customer service has been a massive goal for them. People are used to the status quo or less, meaning that customer service has gone to the wayside. “We wanted to stand out from the crowd in all aspects,” Landis said. Excellent customer service is one way they set themselves apart.
They also attend education regularly and are continually learning through classes at Art of Business and Eufora, where she and two others at the salon represent the brand as educators.
What do you wish you knew when starting a salon?
“I wish I were more diligent with tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from the beginning,” she said, also touching on the importance of a reliable, intelligent accountant that you can ask questions.
In 2020, Landis will step back from the chair and focus full-time on visionary and creative efforts in marketing and promotions to grow the business. It’s a different mindset, but sitting down to review numbers has never been a bad thing.
“Every time I’ve done that, it’s paid off tenfold,” she said.
As salons start 2020, Landis recommends keeping track of these KPIs to run a healthy, profitable business:
• Average retail per client.
• Utilization and productivity percentage.
Look ahead for success with employees and clients. Shop at Art of Business
or contact a local sales consultant to get started on goals for the new year and the new decade.