click image to zoomTo compensate for the lost stylists, Modern Salon and Spa ramped up their training program, shortening it from two years to 8 months without sacrificing quality. At Blo, a bold, non-traditional plan allowed Nunes to be aggressive in retaining his clients. Simply, if a client’s stylist leaves the salon, Blo offers a free service until that client nds the right hairdresser to suit her. “I felt if we were that brazen to offer this to clients, they would feel like they should nd someone new and not just take advantage of the offer,” says Nunes. It was a big gamble, but it worked. Nunes says he can count the number of clients who actually took advantage of it on one hand. Part of the plan’s success was due to the coaching and training Nunes did with stylists and the front desk. “When a client is nished and you ask them if they are happy with their service, there is some pressure to say yes,” he says. “If they are going to say no, they have to say it right away and give us the opportunity to make it right.” Clients who aren’t happy don’t pay and book an appointment with a different stylist to see if the next person will be a better fit. But what about the stylists who give these services? “The stylist doesn’t get paid—it’s like they are giving away a service,” says Nunes.
However, Blo hairdressers recognize the opportunity Nunes is giving them—a chance to build a relationship with a new client. This focus on relationships extends to giving away add-on services to expose clients to different areas of the salon, like waxing and make-up touch-ups, and loyalty programs. “We are into protecting relationships,” says Nunes. “For example, we do retail specials and some we don’t make money on. We’d rather do it that way because it keeps our clients in the spending habit.” As for bringing new clients in, this is an area where Blo excels. In fact, Nunes has a dif cult time keeping enough staff to handle all the new clients (about 180 per month) the salon sees. “We get our name out there,” says Nunes of his popularity in the community. Between philanthropic events, local press and advertising, the Raleigh community knows Blo’s reputation as one of the best.
Like Hafezi and Nunes, Snetman focused hard on her staff and growing new talent in order to retain her clientele. “In the beginning, we knew the relationship with the stylist would take many clients,” she says. “So we let them go and have the experience—or lack of—at the stylist’s new space. And now we still have people trickling back to our salon.” Although clients came back for the Jón Alan experience, they still lost about half of the clients from the walkout. Most of the stylists who walked out were experienced, so Snetman was left with threeyear stylists and new talent she was still developing. “We beefed up our training so we could get new hires skilled in supporting, so the more experienced staffers could do more services and generate more income,” she says. The salon also puts a big emphasis on brow waxing, lash tinting and make-up. “I like to do a full experience,” says Snetman. “Instead of just one service, they get five in one visit. We had been focused on that anyway, but we reinforced it even more.”