What a Tanning Salon Taught Me About Customer Experience

What a Tanning Salon Taught Me About Customer Experience

podcast scale - unbreakable systems Jul 05, 2024

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Today, I want to share a story that perfectly illustrates why I'm so passionate about customer experience and how it can make or break a business. My recent foray into the world of tanning salons was an eye-opening experience that posed some critical questions about the customer journey.

A little background: I've only gone tanning once in my life, right before my wedding. Fast forward seven years, I decided to treat myself to a tanning session for an upcoming event. Naturally, I turned to Google to find a local tanning salon, as the one I had previously visited was no longer around. Quick shout-out to this new salon for their excellent SEO—I found them right away and their Google reviews were fantastic.

I booked my appointment online, but that’s where things started to get shaky. As someone unfamiliar with tanning jargon, I found their list of options bewildering. They had various brands, tones, and scents to choose from, none of which were explained on their website. Despite this, I picked the most basic option and confirmed my appointment.

Here's where the issues began: I received an email confirmation but nothing that added the appointment to my calendar. No prices were clearly listed, and essential details like the length of the appointment or pre and post-care instructions were missing. I felt a wave of anxiety crash over me—what should I wear? Wash my hair or not? Shave or not?

I called the salon to get a better understanding. The staff confirmed my booking and then rattled off a long list of dos and don'ts. I was parked in my car, struggling to write down everything. It struck me how much easier and more comforting this information would be if it had been emailed to me.

As someone naturally a bit introverted and anxious about new experiences, I couldn't help but wish the salon had guided me better. From my experience, I've learned that customer comfort is key to a successful service. Feeling insecure and uncertain, especially when your customers have to be vulnerable, can be hugely detrimental.

In my case, I already paid for the service, but I felt no more secure than I did before booking. Businesses often underestimate the power of guiding their clients through every step of their service process. From pre-visit instructions to what to expect during the appointment and aftercare tips, comprehensive communication can make all the difference.

Reflecting on this experience, there are several key takeaways for business owners:

1. **Clear Communication:** Right after booking, send a detailed confirmation email. This should include the appointment details, what to expect, and any preparation instructions.

2. **Visual and Descriptive Guides:** Use images or videos to explain your services. For tanning salons, this could be swatches of different tanning shades or videos showing what to expect during the appointment.

3. **Follow-Up:** A nurture sequence could significantly enhance the customer experience. Following the initial confirmation, sending reminders and more detailed instructions as the appointment date approaches can be comforting.

4. **Receptiveness to Feedback:** Always stay open to customer feedback. The owner of the salon I visited wasn’t receptive to my suggestions, which was disappointing. Viewing customer feedback as an opportunity for growth rather than criticism can set you apart.

Imagine if the salon had sent a walkthrough video demonstrating everything from check-in at the front desk to the actual tanning process. This would have put me at ease, reducing my anxiety about walking into an unfamiliar space.

A welcoming tone in communications can also make a world of difference. An email saying, “Welcome! We’re excited to have you and want to make your experience as smooth and delightful as possible,” can turn a nerve-wracking situation into an enjoyable one.

If you run a service-oriented business, regularly evaluate your customer journey. Ensuring your clients feel knowledgeable and comfortable every step of the way will make them more likely to return. For me, this tanning salon experience was a reminder of how vital it is to not just meet but exceed customer expectations.

What you'll hear in this episode:

05:23 Confusion and insecurity regarding service and appointment.
09:22 Need visual examples for makeup color selection.
10:20 Maximize customer success with step-by-step guidance.

If you like this episode, check out:

My Biggest Takeaway from "10x is Easier Than 2x"

The Little Things That Unlocked Growth in My Business and Life

Creating an Outstanding Customer Service Experience


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The information contained in this podcast is intended for educational purposes only and is not individual tax advice. Please consult a qualified professional before implementing anything you learn.