Good communication is key for any successful business, but it’s especially important in the beauty industry.
Poor communication with clients can land you in hot water because if you misunderstand what they ask for, you could leave them disappointed with the results. But when customers feel comfortable communicating freely, they can clearly explain what they want and enjoy the whole salon experience.
Effective communication matters for your staff, too. When team members talk openly to each other and to management, there’s more transparency and less chance of conflict in the workplace.
So, how can you improve communication in your salon?
We’ve put together our top five tips for salon owners to foster good communication with their client base. We’ll also dig into why creating a culture of communication is so vital for your salon team.
5 tips for good communication in a salon
If you can’t communicate well with your clients, you won’t be able to deliver the results they want. They’ll leave unsatisfied and unlikely to return.
Clients don’t just visit salons for haircuts — they also come to the hairdresser for a relaxing, fun experience. And if you can build a rapport with them, you’ll likely have a customer for years to come.
Conversation is all part of the salon environment — clients expect a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, and they need to feel comfortable explaining what they want and giving feedback.
Good communication can also prevent mishaps before they happen, so as a salon manager, you have to make sure you and your staff are following best practices when communicating with clients.
These are our top five tips for good communication in your salon:
- Be polite and professional
- Initiate conversations
- Ask questions
- Don’t talk too much
- Be a good listener
Be polite and professional
Always be polite and professional when you’re doing your client’s hair, especially when they’re coming to your salon for the first time.
Focus on what they want to achieve and answer any questions or doubts they have.
Offer your professional advice where appropriate to help them choose a flattering hair color or hairstyle they’ll love.
If you get straight to work in silence, your clients may feel awkward or get bored, especially if the treatment takes time.
Hairstylists should take the initiative and start conversations. New clients might feel shy at first, but a light conversation will help them relax and trust you. Make eye contact, and make sure your body language is open and friendly.
Ask open-ended questions
If you’re not sure what to say to clients, just ask questions. Avoid heavy topics (politics and religion are off the table), but the right lighthearted questions will get your clients chatting.
Ask them about their weekend plans, their hobbies, and whether they have a vacation or any special occasions coming up, and pay attention to their answers.
As you get to know your clients, you’ll find it easier to strike up a conversation whenever you see them.
Don’t talk too much
Remember, clients come to your salon to feel pampered. So while they might be eager to tell you all about their upcoming trip to Thailand or their best friend’s wedding this weekend, they might not be so excited to listen to all of your news.
Of course, you can talk about yourself, just don’t overdo it and try to keep the focus on them. If you sense that your client isn’t in a chatty mood and would rather relax quietly, respect that and don’t try to force a conversation.
Be a good listener
Salon employees must have good listening skills.
First, you have to listen carefully to what clients want, even when they aren’t doing a good job of explaining it. Sometimes people have unrealistic explanations (make me look like Jennifer Lawerence!) or want something you know won’t be good for them (bleach my jet black hair platinum blonde!) You’ve got to listen and interpret their wishes to deliver them a result they’ll love.
You also have to listen to customers while they’re in the chair. Non-verbal communication also counts, so make sure your body language is open and receptive, and your facial expressions convey that you’re listening and interested in what they have to say.
Back-of-house communication is also important for salons
Salon teams are most often diverse bunches of creative employees, which can sometimes result in personality clashes. But a team with great communication skills can resolve conflicts and clear any tension quickly.
Employees must be able to communicate with each other and with management. When it comes to team communication, we believe there are three best practices that can help you get it right:
- Set a communication policy
- Make it easy for team members to get in contact
- Ensure teams don’t discuss work matters in front of clients
Set a communication policy
Create a set of rules and conventions for communication.
For starters, ban aggressive or offensive language in the salon —- both in front of clients and in the break room.
As well as making sure your staff behave professionally in front of clients, it’s important that all employees feel safe and you avoid any bullying.
Make it easy for team members to get in contact
Encourage your team members to talk to each other about work and ask when they need a favor, such as a shift swap. It helps to have a specific tool for work chat — in the next section, we’ll discuss how Homebase can provide that.
Staff conversations don’t have to include management, but put some rules in place so that managers get notified when employees swap shifts.
A workplace communication channel will make your business run smoothly, as well as increasing employee happiness and team spirit.
Ensure teams don’t discuss work matters in front of clients
Let your employees know they shouldn’t discuss their salary, vacation pay, or other work matters in front of clients, and they should certainly avoid talking disparagingly about other employees, managers, or clients.
Make these guidelines clear in your communication policy.
Good communication software for salons
Ideally, your salon should have a dedicated tool for all internal communication between salon employees and managers.
That’s where Homebase comes in. Our app helps small business owners run their companies more smoothly, and with our communication platform, you can encourage a healthy rapport between employees and unite them as a team.
Using Homebase’s communication tool, you can:
- Create a dedicated space where all work conversations live. There’ll be no confusion, missed messages, or disputes about what was said.
- Message individuals, teams, or your whole company at once. You can easily send a quick group message to everyone who’s working today or staff who are available for a shift tomorrow.
- Automatically send shift reminders and schedule updates. This helps reduce lateness and no-shows.
- Let employees handle shift swaps amongst themselves. All you have to do is give final approval.
Foster team spirit. Encourage employees to chat about work and congratulate each other on performance.
Other useful tools for salons
Homebase is more than just a messaging app.
We help you manage every aspect of your business, saving you time and stress and supporting you as you grow.
Here are some more ways Homebase can help you run your business.
Homebase’s scheduling tool takes the hard work out of scheduling and lets you automate the process with templates and avoid conflicts.
Your salon team will always have access to an up-to-date schedule in the Homebase app and get notified any time changes are made. As a manager, you’ll know whether employees have seen these changes too.
Shift reminders also make sure employees know when they’re due to come in, and you can adjust the schedule on the fly as needed. So, if you suddenly get lots of booking requests, you can post a shift for employees to claim.
Managing payroll for your hourly workers is easy with Homebase.
Our tool instantly converts hours worked into wages, as well as tracking overtime and vacation pay. Instead of spending hours manually entering data and calculating payroll taxes and deductions, that’s all done and submitted for you through the app.
You can also stop worrying about whether you’re paying the right amount of taxes and make more accurate predictions for your business’s future by automating payroll with Homebase.
Build team spirit through communication with Homebase
Good communication in your hair salon will help you earn your clients’ trust. They’ll feel comfortable, heard, and respected whether they’re describing the look they want or just chatting with their hairstylist.
Effective communication also makes sure team members know exactly what’s expected of them. It results in fewer misunderstandings because everything’s out in the open, and there’s a strong team spirit and sense that everyone’s working towards the same goal — a successful salon business.
Homebase can help you achieve this by making team communication easy and transparent. Our solution gives you the control you need as a manager but also the ability to step back and let the tool (and your employees) handle things like scheduling and shift changes.
Salon communication FAQs
How do you teach employees good communication skills?
To teach employees to communicate well, you have to lead by example. Don’t do things that go against your own rules, like talking about work matters in front of clients or using offensive language.
Make sure you have written communication guidelines and that everyone understands and agrees to follow them.
How do you improve client communication with salon employees?
Ensure that clients feel comfortable as soon as they walk into your salon. Ask plenty of questions and make sure to reassure them if they have doubts.
Your employees should initiate conversations with clients and be prepared to listen without talking too much about themselves.
Does Homebase have a team communication app?
Yes. With Homebase, you can manage your whole team’s communication, including individual and group messaging, and send automated messages any time there are schedule changes.
Homebase helps keep your team in sync and up-to-date with everything that’s going on and helps bring employees together and make them feel part of a valued team.
Ready to make client and staff communication a breeze? Try Homebase for free.