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Posted By:keiferkat on: 9/27/2009 8:03:29 AM

Author: Thread: Clients who want cheap cuts
Posts: 262
Bronze Member

Clients who want cheap cuts
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2009 8:03:29 AM

We have had 2 chain salons move in our city charging cut rate prices. $4.99-$14.99 for haircuts.

We are established with a good reputation. Our city is growing very fast and we have new clients  come in our Salon daily. We give clients a choice of a haircut with or without a shampoo.  We don't discount children.  Lately clients will ask for a shampoo and in the middle of the shampoo will ask how much will this cost? Or in the middle of the haircut. Clients expect half price for their kids also. They don't ask how much until we are done. Then act upset because we don't give a child's discount. Do we announce the price when they come in. We are not cheap. We dress professional and keep our education current. Our waiting area is in the back. We have a price list there. If the client does not sit in the waiting area she does not see the posted prices. They shop our store or get their hair done without going to the back sometimes. Any advice? Does anyone else have this problem?

Posts: 1196
Platinum Member

Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2009 8:32:26 AM

where do the clients pay? is there a check out desk? if it is in the front of the salon, you can place price brochures there, so that walk ins can see what the prices are before services begin.

the stylist needs to consult with the client before service, to ask if they want a wash cut and blowdry, or a cut without those add- ons, and quote the prices, and let the client make an informed decision prior to the cape going on.

you should tell people what your prices are at the onset-they shouldn't have to ask-whether you post the prices on a wall, place brochures at the front, or consult each client. this will eliminate any trouble at check out.

don't go into it trying to compete with a shop that is in a different market demographic, there are enough heads to go around.eventually, people will see that you get what you pay for.

Posts: 24

You see the problem. Time to make an adjustment.
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2009 10:21:36 AM

This reminds me of gas stations that have self-serve pumps and full service pumps. At my local gas station, numerous times per day, people pull up to the full serve pump and go about pumping the gas. It costs about 70 cents more per gallon. Yes, the people are careless not to look closely to confirm the price. But it really seems to be a bit of a scam. Even when they want full serve. sometimes the gas pumper just pumps the gas for them. The oil isn't checked. The air pressure isn't checked. The windows aren't cleaned. And the pumper is not eager to be away from the cash register inside.

For those people that unknowingly pull up to full serve, I think a lot of them are not local. They are just passing through. So maybe the ill-will that 70 cents more per gallon creates doesn't really matter to this gas station. But with a hair salon, I think a new prospect walking through the door has much more value. Possibly they are future lifetime customers. So what is the best way to kick off this new salon/customer relationship? By surprising them with the price after the service has been rendered, or by being upfront and providing full disclosure about the menu of services offered and the cost involved? Hmm...

If they show resistance to the price, that is the time to deal with it. How do you deal with it? By justifyting value.

What makes you different from the 2 budget places? Why should they spend more at your place? One reason might be because you have x years of experience, have been to this school and that school, and have cut 14,309 heads of hair in your career -- or something like that. Experience and training counts. And it's worth more. Plus, you salon has the dazzling personalities (throw in some humor). Price showdown is over. Time to get to work and proceed with bonding this new customer to you.


Posts: 24

The ripple effect of an unhappy customer...
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2009 10:36:23 AM

If price is all that matters to that customer, then your salon and that customer just is not a good match. It's better to let them go on their way before you pick up the scissors. Because if you do their hair and then they act surprised with the price, things can become confrontational and in the end that new person will walk away unhappy. What do unhappy purchasers of services do? They complain to all who will listen! They will tell their friends, relatives, co-workers, the person standing next to them in the supermarket line, etc. And then the ripple effects continue... because some of those people will mention the negative news they heard about your salon to others when the topic of hair comes up... and the information they spread might not even be accurate! Because stories have a tendency to morph and change as they pass from one person to another.

In the end, one unhappy customer who feels they got taken at your salon can do a lot of unseen damage to your business. So you see --right now-- you have an operational problem when it comes to new customers and a clear understanding of your pricing structure. You should take steps to fix that.

Posts: 262
Bronze Member

So I announce...
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009 10:04:47 AM

Clients come in and say I need 2 boys haircuts age 5 and 8. I say yes bring them in. They come in and sit in our chairs. When do I say that it is $20 each? My check out is in the back of the store. There are 2 signs with prices. They ignore them or don't see them. None of the salons here have prices posted except the cheapie chains. No where I have worked did either. Personally if I were worried about price I would ask. I would go to the known cheap chains with the big banners. We do mostly adults. A lot of people think we do this because we are not smart enough to do anything else. A client asks us if they can get a shampoo also then I shampoo them. Lately we have had newbies ask during the shampoo how much is this anyway. If they are worried about price then why don't they ask before?

Posts: 1196
Platinum Member

Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009 12:00:00 PM

so when the client comes in and says 'i need 2 boys haircuts', you say 'our haircuts are $20, and i can accomodate both children right now with our stylists'. i definitely don't think you should have a big poster with your price on it, but you can have a menu of services placed where the client would first encounter you to make said appointment. in the back where nobody ever goes isn't exactly convenient. you will avoid the bargaining after the fact if you are proactive and inform people of your policy before the services are rendered. most service based businesses do that to protect themselves from having customers stiff them after the work is done.

if that many people need to ask, then you need to address that by making that information more readily available.put the price list where they come in to ask for the appointment. then there are no surprises.

our price list is a card that we hand new clients that informs them of all of the services we do, and the prices are _and up .the stylist decides during the course of the session how much they are going to charge, based on what needs to be done.this is discussed prior to the service with the client,so they know how much their tab will be at the end.nobody questions their tab at the desk.all cuts include shampoo and styling, but deep conditioners and longer hair,flat ironing etc will bump up the price.we don't do that without telling the client it will cost more.it makes for a happier end result.

Posts: 262
Bronze Member

So I announce it.
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009 5:31:00 PM
My appointment desk is in the back. My store is in the front. My waiting area is in the back by the desk. We have no receptionist. When you walk in the door we are working right there. The store starts there and moves to the right. If you have ever been to  a beauty first store it is similat to that. There is no where to put a sign in the front. Unless we put it on our mirror. If we have an opening I don't walk them to the back first. I walk them over to my chair. If they have to wait then they shop or go to the reception area in the back. I don't want them to think that I think that they can't afford it. So I was trying to be tactful. I did not have this problem until lately. I have been here since '95.

Posts: 88

Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009 6:11:51 PM
At our salon, we have a rough menu out. Our kids cuts start at $25. This includes shampoo, cut, & blowdry. If a parent was to complain about the price after i've performed the service, i would say, "I'm sorry you feel this way." If you stay calm, most people will get aggravated with you because you are not upset, then pay and leave.

Think of it this way: if someone feels that your work is too expensive or that it's not worth that much, they weren't meant to be your clients. Your clients will love you for your service, not your prices.

Salon at Ulta
Baton Rouge, LA

Posts: 17

Simply Fix
Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 4:57:04 AM
I understand your waiting area is in the back and you dont have a receptionist at the time.

If that is the case than it is the stylists responsibility to determine the level of service before even the consultation is started.

I would suggest to have a menu with all services and prices listed on every chair of every station. On one side of the menu have pictures of all services offered, on the other side list every service and price. keep the picture side up and since the menu will be on the chair (not on the station) the stylist will be forced to pick it up and show the client every time.

You can show the client the menu and what you offer, at that point if the client is unsure of prices they are available and right in front of them. After the service is determined that is when you can get into your consultation with open ended questions and find out what products they are currently using.

There should be no bargaining done in the chair EVER. If someone does not feel that your prices are fair it is better to find out before you start your service rather than after.

good luck =)