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Relationships = Retention

Steven H. Dayan, MD and Terri Wojak June 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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It's crucial to excel in and provide your clients with exceptional customer service to survive in an economic downturn. Excellent customer service is the most important benefit a business or provider can offer its customers to ensure success. It may be an old adage, but it remains true: “The customer is always right.” Service providers without customers have no business, so it is crucial to make sure they feel important. From the esthetician, to the receptionist, to the physician—if clients aren’t happy, success is impossible. Many spas are competing for clients, so you must set your business apart from the rest. Remember that however many clients you see, you need to treat each one as if they are your one and only when they are with you, and the best way to do this is to build relationships with them.

The initial call

A client’s very first contact with the business is the most important. This is most often the initial phone call, which is a make-it-or-break-it situation. The client may have been referred from an advertisement, Internet search or word-of-mouth, so you have already succeeded in getting the client to pick up the phone and call you, and now is your time to shine. The first rule is to answer the telephone within two rings. Personally answering the phone—as opposed to automated services—will help clients build relationships with staff.

There is no guarantee of an appointment being made, or even kept, just because the client took the time to call. All staff members who answer the phone must be fully knowledgeable about every service your business offers, and the best way to achieve this is by allowing them to experience the services at your spa. This provides the opportunity for them to talk about a treatment from their perspective, and potential clients will likely take the advice more seriously.

Foster enthusiasm

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TREAT Your Clients

This may sound like a lot of information to retain or apply, but an easy way to help you remember excellent customer service is the acronym T.R.E.A.T.—as in how you want to TREAT your clients.

T—Take the extra time

R—Relate to clients

E—Educate clients

A—Appreciate their business

T—Thank them

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