Scripts and systems keep client retention front and center at Neatbeat in Louisville, Kentucky, but at the heart of the salon are PIP talks.
PIP, or “Positively Impacting People,” talks follow a schedule just like everything else in the salon. Every stylist must write one PIP note per week to the guest of their choice.
The notes are made from construction paper, glitter, glue and other materials the salon supplies, and can be anything from a personal note to an inspirational quote.
The artists typically get a text or call from the guest they sent the PIP to, or the guest mentions it on her next visit. It’s a small gesture that makes a big impact.
“Getting the commitment from the team to discipline themselves to do this has been the coolest thing in the world,” Heather Yurko, owner, says.
Clients will also find little love notes stuffed into the caps of the salon’s top-selling retail products.
“When they open the product, a note will fall out that says something liked ‘you’re valued and special,’” she says.
And the Guest Happiness Team (front desk) has their own PIP talks.
“They make five per day with a quote on each note, and then tape them to car windows in our parking lot,” Yurko says.
“Last week, a big, burly guy walked in the salon and asked who taped the note to his car. One of the women at the front desk told him she did it and he said ‘I just wanted to let you know it meant a lot to me and because of it, I’m going to have a good day.’”
Yurko has many stories like this one related to the PIP talks and firmly believes it’s their responsibility as hair stylists to go the extra mile to love the clients who sit in their chairs.
“So much education is technical,” she says. “I don’t want to discount that, but I strive to shed light on the business we’re in and ask what else my staff is bringing to the table.
“From day one, we’re training our team be the best humans we can be, and in the process, we’ll learn to be the best hair stylists.”
Yurko uses herself as a prime example: “Technically, I was nothing great behind the chair,” she says. “But by my fourth year as a stylist, I brought home six figures. That did not happen because I did the best haircut on the block. I probably didn’t do that good of a haircut at all—I only had four years’ experience!”
Neatbeat guests also get regular mood boosters via social media. The salon highlights its clients on Facebook regularly.
“It doesn’t matter what the occasion is—getting married, a kid winning a softball tournament—it means something to them when we make them feel significant,” Yurko says.
Neatbeat assistants are trained to listen to conversations in the salon so they can note any big moments in a client’s life on the salon calendar. Then, the client’s stylist is responsible for a Facebook post, note or phone call to acknowledge it.
“Those personal added touches make the biggest difference in retaining clients,” Yurko says.