"Next" is a word most often heard at an armed forces hair cutting station. While quantity above quality may work at the station, assuming this attitude is a sure-fire way to lose customers and eventually lose your career. A hair salon is a business, and, like all businesses, great customer service assures repeat customers, keeping the business alive.
A hair salon will die without customers. The only way to assure that customers come in is with great customer service. You must convey an affable atmosphere and make the customer feel at home. Furthermore, the customer has to feel you are a trusted friend. Word of mouth also travels far, with either positive or negative implications for your salon.
Two chief benefits result from great customer service: repeat business and new business. When a customer feels like you are a trusted friend, she will come back, even if she just needs a slight trim. As a marketing tool, give the customer a refrigerator magnet with your (or your salon's) name and phone number on it. When a customer's friend asks if she knows a good salon, your magnet is right there in front of her, and you are assured new business.
According to the City University of New York, salon customers establish loyalty to the hairdresser, not to the salon. Loyal customers will ask for you by name. This is a powerful tool to your advantage. By building a loyal customer base, you are assured earnings. If you are an independent contractor renting the salon space, you can assure yourself repeat business. Some day, you may even open up your own shop.
Building up a loyal customer base does not happen overnight. A solid base is built up over time, servicing many customers. In this case, the importance of good customer service becomes apparent. Little by little, a loyal customer base will be built up.
Great customer service does not mean becoming a slave to the customer, or becoming a yes-man. If the customer suggests a hair style that will clash with her facial features, and you give it to her, the results will look terrible. The customer will not blame herself; she will blame you. Avoid this is by using tact and being honest. The old adage "the customer is always right" may not be applicable in a hair salon.