Amy Pal, owner of Whip Salons, reads client reviews to her team to remind them to keep up...

Amy Pal, owner of Whip Salons, reads client reviews to her team to remind them to keep up customer service standards. 

At Whip Salon we pride ourselves on delivering a high quality and professional end-to-end client experience. We are so focused on client satisfaction, that it's baked right into our mission statement to keep it front of mind across everything we do. When new clients come through our doors, our staff is trained to work together to deliver that “wow” factor. All this focus and hard work has resulted in repeat, loyal clients and glowing reviews.

However lately our new clients are more demanding and challenging than ever. So we started researching why this is happening in order to address it. After doing some research we confirmed our belief that new clients typically find us because of our GoogleMyBusiness reviews or instagram presence. The problem is that unfortunately what they are reading is not necessarily measuring up to their expectations once they get here.

Chasing 5 Star Ratings

It has never been so important that your business has a strong GoogleMyBusiness customer rating. While there are lots of rating services out there, Google is by far the most important because it has 85% market share for desktop searches and 94% for mobile search. And those searches most often pop up with your Google rating featured prominently along with the ratings of all your local competitors. Furthermore, when a client enters your business address into their car or phone navigation, the salon rating comes up right along with it. If your salon’s reviews aren’t impressive, it could result in that potential new client changing their mind before they even get to your salon’s front door.

At Whip Salon we are acutely aware of our scores on GoogleMyBusiness and conscientious about getting clients to leave good reviews after visiting our salon. One of the key reasons we migrated to our new CRM system,, is because it assists with prompting a new client to leave a review immediately following their service on GoogleMyBusiness when they give us a 5 star rating through the software’s exit survey. This fastidious approach has made us one of the top salons in all of our markets, commanding some of the highest ratings amongst the competition.

Additionally, we tend to have the most total number of reviews in our markets along with a strong rating. Afterall, a 5 star rating with only 5 reviews does not measure up to a 4.8 star rating generated by over 150 clients. Both the amount and the score itself are important to consumer research.

Every Review Counts

Like it or not, reviews hold you accountable for every single client that passes through your doors. There is no such thing as a good one star review so it is your job to ensure they are not left in the first place. While you can respond to it, and even try to make the client look silly, it’s hard to do without coming across like sour grapes. What's better is not having to get into "who said or did what" about it to begin with.

If you can smell a 1 star review coming, head it off. If a client lets you know they are not happy, for whatever the reason, evaluate that unique situation and figure out what needs to be done for that client in order to make it right. Learn from it! I’m always grateful when a client directly communicates with us instead of just racing to leave a bad review because that’s after all the right first step. To give us the opportunity to respond. Next time hopefully you’ll do better because you learned from it. When you do turn around a bad situation, it can even make those clients some of your biggest fans if you handle it swiftly and correctly.

Why Delivering on Expectations Is Critically Important

Once you focus on getting lots of great client reviews on GoogleMyBusiness, you will get more business as a result. A recent survey by Summit Salons indicated that 89% of clients will read online reviews and reputation statistics before visiting your salon. But remember, when a new client is reading recent feedback from your client base, that sets an expectation. Whether a client talked about the friendly greeting, relaxing scalp massage or the fabulous end results due to a deep consultation, something resonated.

Now your new client may be visiting because of what your existing client experienced and conveyed and is expecting that exact same treatment. If it doesn’t measure up, that’s when new clients could feel let down.

Sharing reviews with your team and highlighting what clients love will help keep everyone on track and committed to excellence. Since we have started featuring and sharing good reviews internally, we’ve found we’re keeping on top of our game. It serves as a positive morale booster too. It keeps us focused and reminds us what we’re doing right, and what is impressing our clientele.

When you get great reviews, celebrate them in any way that you can. Don’t just leave them buried in the online world, instead put them to good use. Be sure you’re not only sharing them with your team but with your clients too! We like to put them in our instagram stories or send them in our client eblasts.

What’s interesting is seeing how reviews truly level the playing field. Anyone that is delivering top notch service, at any stage of their career in the salon, may get noticed and benefit from a great review. When seasoned stylists see that the new guys are getting great reviews, of course they are very happy for them, but it also makes them strive for more 5-star reviews themselves

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