What is Luxury

The word luxury is something that is thrown around by brands and PR firms all the time these days even worse is the grievous term affordable luxury, what is that? The dictonary explains the term luxury as follows –

1 – a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity: A diamond upgrade was a luxury not allowed for in his budget.

2 – free or habitual indulgence in or enjoyment of comforts and pleasures in addition to those necessary for a reasonable standard of well-being: a life of luxury on the French Riviera.

3 – a pleasure out of the ordinary allowed to oneself: the luxury of an extra hours sleep.

You may be wondering where this is going, i’m thinking of the word luxury in terms of experience within a hair salon and how I percieve it.

luxury is not necesarily dictated by price, we can go into many high end boutiques and receive poor service yet spend huge amounts of cash on a purchase that we can see everywhere, that I don’t see as a luxury. Salons are usually, if successful busy places, with a talented team of well trained staff who do produce great results but often it has been my experience that the luxury part of the experience can often be forgotten, when the focus is only on the hair cutting / colouring service.

It is my experience that the way we can provide a more luxurious service for the client on top of producing great work is in three areas.

1 – Reception. One of the first experiences a client gets, and usually one the client she likes least. Poor receptionists get the short end of the stick trying to meet the demands of the client, boss and staff whilst keeping a smile on their face and conducting themselves in a professional way.
A couple of tricks I find work well for receptionists is always to acknowledge the client on her entering and exiting the premises and try if possible to come away from the desk to great the customer, it breaks that barrier of the desk and makes it all seem more welcoming. Many a clever receptionist use the

junior members of staff to take coats, run errands and check stylist bills whilst they can focus on the most important task – greeting and booking with a smile.

2- consultation – This is the one

lots of people get wrong. Never shampoo a client before you have spoken to her, always listen to her, when clients speak to past experiences they are not insulting our skills, they are speaking from a place of their experience, we should take that into account. If the salon operates by departments both stylist and colourist should be involved in the consultation. Never over sell the result, let the result speak for itself.

3 -shampoo – The worst thing at salons and probably the easiets to fix, is the shampoo experience, teenagers washing hair chewing gum and talking about their boyfriend/girlfiend (we all know how that goes) A shampoo experience should be a luxury one. Think about it – having your hair washed by someone else is a luxury, we usually do it ourselves, so why then is it a hurried and forgotten part of the service we offer.
Every shampoo can have a massage and the focus should be on the client at this point, allowing her to relax and enjoy, every member of staff should be able to do this properly, and when they can, why don’t they take the client all the way through the whole experience from greeting, shampooing and styling now that I think a client would see as a luxury worth having.

Jacks tip – don’t wait to do the massage with conditioner, start straight away with the shampoo – the ladies love it.

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