Phil Mania knows that clients have many options in choosing a salon. That’s why he made it a personal goal to offer irresistible customer service at his Park Ridge, New Jersey Mania’s Hairstyling salon. With a mission statement of “It’s not all about the hair; it’s about the complete experience,” this salon owner offers clients an exceptional overall experience.
Q. What is your salon’s business philosophy?
A. From the moment a client first phones us, to the day of the appointment and thereafter, I am looking to establish a long-term relationship. Because I realize that our clients want options, I am a proponent of client sharing and offer a tiered system allowing them to choose the stylist with whom they are most comfortable. The salon is still providing the same overall experience from level to level. I believe that consistency is the key to success.
Q. What makes your salon unique?
A. I really care about each of my team members. I nurture their career paths, give encouragement to grow and offer rewards for their efforts. I am committed to helping them succeed. A long time ago someone gave me some very sound advice: Do not focus on the dollars, focus on your integrity and the rest will come.
Q. How do you market your services?
A. I believe change is good; however, in this category, you can consider me old school. Nothing beats good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing. Your client is your biggest advertiser. Yes, we have a top-of-the-line software program with all of its bells and whistles, and we use it to all of its mass-marketing capabilities—but I still stand by my clients as being my greatest advertising tool.
Q. What niches do you target as clientele?
A. If by niche you mean demographic group, there is no niche. I realize you need a business plan and cannot be everything to everyone. However, by having a tiered-level system, we do have something for everyone. We want to encourage all to experience Mania’s Hairstyling. Sometimes it is a big mistake to segregate yourself and be labeled a certain way. You back yourself into a corner and miss out on a whole genre. You have to be flexible, being too exclusive can sometimes affect a salon’s success—so, with that, not having a niche is our niche.
Q. What is your best customer service technique?
A. Without question our best customer service technique is our guarantee. Our clients are confident in the knowledge that if they are unhappy, all they have to do is speak to any team member. Our guarantee goes beyond the service, it pertains to the client’s overall experience: We never take our clients for granted, old or new. We treat each client as though she is a new client!
Q. What are your most popular services?
A. Hair design and hair color—on average, our clients receive these services every four to six weeks. For our salon, these services are our foundation. Therefore, our education program is heavily focused on these two categories. We train in all facets of styling and cutting techniques, color theory and application. I believe that education is ongoing—it doesn’t end when you reach a certain level as stylist. I encourage our stylists to further their education, keeping them motivated and inspired.
Q. What has been your greatest challenge in business?
A. Time. I have a very “hands-on” approach to business. However, I realize that to continue to grow and expand I must delegate and create new systems and procedures to run the salon more effectively. I recently implemented a director of human resources to assist in coaching and motivating our staff as well as taking on other administrative responsibilities. Most recently, my wife, Corey, has taken on restructuring our client services department. Not only am I excited about this project; it will allow me more time to focus on our intended growth for 2009.
Q. How has client sharing impacted your salon’s working environment?
A. Without question, client sharing creates a much more team-based atmosphere. There is no competition between team members because we are all working for one common goal—the client’s satisfaction. We all know clients today are busy with their careers, families and social agendas—they don’t want to be put on long waiting lists. That is the solution that client sharing provides. Our stylists encourage clients to see other team members. They realize that the client drives the success of the salon. Our stylists are confident and secure that our salon is thriving and they don’t have to worry. They know their future is secure with us.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
A. I’ve decided to expand our color and styling departments. Administratively, changes will focus on expanding our client services department, which will include introducing a special services coordinator. Technologically, we will be making upgrades to our computer systems to streamline our mass marketing capabilities. Our intention is to also devote more square footage to retail. I believe change is good: Change shows we are evolving with the times and introducing features that are fresh and exciting, not only for our clients but for the staff as well.
Mania’s HairstylingEstablished: 1975
Salon setup: 14 cutting stations, 6 color stations, 2 manicure stations, 2 pedicure chairs, 1 waxing room
Square feet: 3,000
Prices: women’s hair cut $40-$56; single process color $40-$60
Salon software: Millennium
Equipment/furnishings: Takara Belmont
Primary hair care line: Bumble and bumble
Primary chemical line: Tocco Magico
A muted, yet upscale decor helps Mania Hairstyling with its no-niche strategy.