The Détente is in the Details

As myself and Kiki begin to vet Montreal salons for ILUK’s initial launch, I’ve been thinking more and more about how to ensure our users trust ILUK for a best-in-class experience at every salon at which they book.

This is tricky. The moment our users arrive for an appointment, we are effectively handing them off and putting our trust in salons’ ability to delight each user, who at that point become their customers. In order for us to feature salons on our app that users can trust, we’ve had to think more about what makes a salon experience exceptional.

What I’ve realized is that beyond providing an amazing treatment (that’s a given!), exceptional salons pay attention to the small and secondary details that create a special #MeTime experience for the customer and truly make that salon stand out. Whenever I’ve gone to a salon that offers one or more of the following perks, I remember that experience and walk out feeling like I really got value for my money,

So without further ado, here is my personal list of Détente Detail Favourites:

The Welcome Bevy

When I arrive at a salon and am ushered aside to wait a moment while my stylist finishes up with their previous appointment, or while equipment is prepped, nothing makes me happier than a welcome beverage!

At my old hair salon in Toronto, clients had a choice between an espresso-based drink from their gorgeous espresso machine that also was part of the decor, or a refreshing glass of bubbly. I absolutely loved going there, knowing that even before my appointment began I could sit down and relax with a drink in hand. For me, Me-Time begins the moment I walk through the door!

The Personalized Appointment

People are different and no two bodies are the same. Salons who tailor appointments to the needs of each individual’s hair type, skin type, or personal preferences give me confidence in that they are knowledgeable and that they care about making me feel great. This can be anything from asking me how I wash and style my hair to learn about which shampoo to use, or probing to understand how sensitive my skin is in order to provide a painless wax that doesn’t irritate the skin. Bonus points for salons that record all this info in customer profiles so that they know exactly what products to use and what difficulties clients face ahead of their next appointment. It really creates a “Wow” moment for me!

The Me-Time Moment

When salons make appointments a truly personal and relaxing experience, it doesn’t go unnoticed. In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, our appointment at the salon is often the only time we take for ourselves all day. As such, I like my Me-Time to be more than simply functional/transactional: I want it to feel like it’s a moment for myself and no one else. Salons who recognize this by creating a special Me-Time moment for their customers truly sets them apart for me. Whether it’s having scented candles and relaxing music during a wax, providing a 5 minute scalp massage when having my hair shampooed, or having a long hand massage at the end of a mani, salons that create a Me-Time moment reign supreme in my book.

The High-End Product

For me, one of the perks of going to a salon is receiving product that I otherwise wouldn’t purchase for myself: high-end shampoos and creams, luxe shades of polish, expensive serums, etc. When I’m taking time for myself, I want to feel taken care of and pampered. I also notice how much better some of these products work. (Side note: I can NEVER replicate the texture and sheen my hair has when I leave a salon. Never. My conclusion is that the stylists are wizards and the products magic potions). When a salon makes an effort to use high-end or luxury products as their baseline, customers walk away feeling like royalty. Or at the very least, better cared-for!

The Goodie Bag

Just like kids leaving a birthday party with a bag full of loot, I love leaving a salon with a bag filled with goodies: shampoo samples, hair masks, mini bottles of nail polish, a small exfoliator. Salons often rely on revenue from products they sell in-house to drive revenue, and these products can be sold at high price tags and generate high margins. Giving clients a bag of product samples is a way to have them test out many of these products so that they’ll be likelier to purchase them on their next visit. Customers walk away loving their free bag of goodies. Win-win!

So there you have it! My list of salon perk faves. And you? What are your favourite Detente Details? If you own a salon, what small details do you pay attention to?

Happy Me-Time,

Stace

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