âEverything was from the heart,â says 22-year-old salon owner NiÃ Pettitt, on the learning process of starting a business at a young age. âAnd in business, itâs a bit difficult to always work from the heart, because not everyone will understand or reciprocate that.â
Fortunately, NiÃ has who gets it.
Despite opening her dream-come-true natural hair salon mere months before the pandemic struck London, NiÃ âs business is thriving. In , NiÃ shared her top tips for building an engaged community and business.
âCreate the business that you would visit,â says NiÃ .
In fact, the value of creating a memorable in-person customer experience is one of her key takeaways: âEven though social media is a really powerful tool, word of mouth is way more powerful.â
âThe best thing you can do for your customer is make them feel like itâs just you and them in that shop,â shares NiÃ . âMake them feel relaxed and present with you. Empower them, attend to their needs, ask if they are comfortable. Those small details mean so much.â
At NiÃ âs salon, each customer concludes her hair experience by putting an instant photo of themselves on the wall of the salon. âThis is such a sentimental moment,â NiÃ says, âas they really get to be a part of the Curl Bar London family.â
NiÃ âs passion for natural hair care is rivaled only by her passion for this type of authentic customer experience. When she was ready to re-open her natural hair salon post-quarantine, she gave customers the VIP experience: She reached out to customers whoâd needed to cancel bookings at the beginning of quarantine, then offered priority appointment slots to them before anyone else could book.
Her number one tool for making sure customers are going to have the best salon experience?
âSomething as simple as a questionnaire shows how powerful tools are, and how you need to use them in the best way that you can,â NiÃ says.
The Curl Bar London intake form (seen below) even went viral on social media. It gained recognition due to how inclusive it is of not only natural hair, but of women with sensitive scalps and women who wear hijabs.
When NiÃ was working on opening her salon, many people asked if she attended to the specific needs of women who wear hijabs. âI bought a divider for this reason,â NiÃ told us. âI have friends who wear hijabs, so I just thought of them and what they would need.â Now, because a screenshot of her inclusive intake form went viral, âthere is a beautiful community of hijabi women who support us and encourage usâ at The Curl Bar London.
Acuity intake forms are crucial to how NiÃ creates memorable experiences for her customers. One of NiÃ âs favorite ways to prepare for the week ahead is to sit down with the coming weekâs intake forms, so she can learn about her customersâ hair. Their insights help her to learn what sheâll need to do to prepare for each of her customerâs particular needs, including if sheâll need to reach out to them about anything before their appointments.
Learn more from NiÃ in her webinar with Acuity, including tips on building your community, finding sponsors, and so much more thatâll help you grow your business. NiÃ âs passion for her craft and her customers shines through in every moment of this conversationâcheck it out for yourself.
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