Recently there was a salon that came under scrutiny when a client was unable to pay for a service because she didn’t have her wallet. I thought it was a good opportunity to discuss the power of social media – and understanding that it is a double edged sword.
First up, I just want to start with there is obviously two sides to every story, I don’t know exactly what happened just as you don’t know what happened either.
I can see this from the Salon Owners point of view that they needed to make sure that they would get paid for the work that was performed and not have someone do a runner on them.
I’ve definitely heard stories that there are people out there that pull the whole “I forgot my wallet, let me leave my bag here while I run out to the car.” Then you find out that the bag has nothing in it besides a water bottle and you’ve been left incurring the costs from the service that person just had.
So from the Salon Owners perspective, I get it.
I have no idea exactly what happened, if the situation was handled professionally or not… but based on the lashing out that’s been all over Facebook, chances are it wasn’t handled well.
It’s entirely possible that this situation had played out with this owner multiple times over the last few months and she had had enough of it by the time a person genuinely had forgotten their wallet and maybe was abrupt to them?.. and they snapped at an innocent person.
It happens – but we can all learn from this.
The Power Of Social Media Can Make Or Destroy A Business
The power of social media can absolutely destroy a business because the client has an opportunity to tell their version of what happened in your business.
The client can make situations up, they can exaggerate the story and they can abbreviate the story.
The number one thing that you need to remember is that you CAN’T CONTROL what the client does.
The Only Thing You Can Control Is You, And How Your Salon Responds
You can control the way that YOU respond to any slander against your business.
- You can control what YOU post publicly on your social media.
- You can control what YOU say to any clients in the salon.
- You can control the way that YOU feel about the situation.
The client in this situation was obviously completely embarrassed, how we approach that as Salon Owners, is something we can control.
When someone has been shamed and embarrassed they have two options. They can do nothing and deal with their feelings, or they can lash out at the person that they feel has made them feel that shame.
In this case last week, the client lashed out.
She didn’t really think about the effect that it could have on a business. Let’s face it. When we get angry and upset, we don’t really think about the impact to the other party.
In this case, there is a real risk of – Clients dropping off, money goes down, staff lose their jobs, families go without, kids miss out on Christmas presents… the snow ball effect just keeps going and going.
The power of social media can ruin a business.
So how do YOU deal with bad experiences with business?
Next time you are in the situation with any business where you feel as though you weren’t treated to your standards, you felt as though the service wasn’t up to scratch or you didn’t get what you wanted, I want you to stop and think about what you can do.
You may think that “Naming and Shaming” on social media is the solution because “It’ll get them” or “I want to destroy that business”, but the truth is all it will do for you is give you 5 minutes of fame, maybe a refund and you’ll still be left with that bad experience.
The business on the other hand may have that snowball effect happen as I mentioned above.
The better option all around, would be to speak to the owner of the business and tell them your concerns and let them offer you a solution.
Most business owners when they have it brought to their attention actually want to fix the problem. They want you to have a good experience dealing with their salon.
Recently in Sydney while presenting an event, I ordered lunch for my assistant and I in a little café. The food was terrible when it came out, pretty sure they thought my chicken was fish as it had lemon all over it. Anyway when I went to pay, I said that I wasn’t happy with the food and explained to them why. The owner was apologetic, didn’t charge me for anything and gave us two gigantic muffins to take with us if we were still hungry.
Had I not said anything and just paid then wrote a terrible review about them, what would that have accomplished? Nothing. I’d still be pissed off about paying for the food and the café owner would have lost business.
When I walked out, I commented about how well he dealt with the situation and he was honestly upset by it and wanted to fix it. Was there any harm done in that situation? No, not besides me still being hungry later, but lucky I had the muffin!
What Steps Should Salon Owners Take?
Most of you that are reading this are going to be business owners, so I am sure that you can relate to me when I talk about you’d like the problem brought to your attention to rectify.
I also want you to remember that next time that you are a customer somewhere.
There are two sides to every story, as there is with the situation that happened last week with the lady that couldn’t pay for her service.
The point is, as the owner, there were a number of ways this could be handled better.
The Simplest Option? Take Deposits.
One of the simplest ways to deal with this issue? Take a deposit up front for all services…. It actually enhances the reputation of the salon… because the client KNOWS that the time has been set aside for them.
… But We Can’t Do That Here
… but I hear salon owners all the time tell me “We can’t do that here”. “We don’t do things that way”, “Nobody else does that in our town”.
I call these the mindset myths. This is one of 10 that I commonly see, that are holding most salon owners back from a successful salon.
If you want to learn more about the top 10 mindset myths, you can download the report below.