Going to the Nail Salon for the First Time...What to Expect
When you walk into your favourite coffee shop and ask for a skinny latte, extra hot, no foam (what's foam?) with a caramel shot, you wait at the counter and a magician hands you a cup of excellence. But how they worked that coffee machine...you'll never know. For people who have never been to a nail salon before, there's going to be some confusion or missing knowledge and it's your job to make sure you make them feel welcome. They don't ask you in Starbucks to learn the history of the coffee bean before you get a drink, do they?
If you greet every customer who walks through the door with a smile and a cheery 'hello' then you're halfway there despite that only being possible before 10am due to the aforementioned coffee. Knowing that it's a friendly environment lets people feel like they can ask questions, which gives you an opportunity to show them what's available and let them know that their time in the nail salon is just as much about the experience of being there as much as it is having the nails to show for it.
You could even take the opportunity to show them things they haven't asked for so they have inspiration for next time and that's the point, you want them to feel like they want to come back.
So what should people expect going into the nail salon for the first time? They can expect friendly staff who look after them; advice and guidance on what they want (they may not even know what they want); the desire to come back; and a good reason to talk to their friends about their experience. A first-time visitor is probably more likely to talk about their nail salon experience more readily than somebody who visits regularly, which gives you an opportunity to impress more than one person.
Be prepared to answer questions that may have obvious answers as those answers are perhaps only obvious to you because you're part of the nail world. Gel vs acrylic is something you speak about with your colleagues probably once a day but you all have the luxury of knowing the terminology and have the experience of working with both whereas you may need to share some wisdom with somebody who is less familiar to have the same conversation. Of course, it's a learning curve, but being part of that gives you a unique opportunity to engage and earn yourself a customer for life.
- Ben Young