The Golden Rule states, “treat others as you would want them to treat you”. An expression I’ve seen widely integrated into how beauty business owners and managers define their establishment’s service experience. And while I do believe the old adage bares some business merit, I don’t believe it adequate as a founding rule applicable to every customer, every service, every time.

To believe that every one of your customers is satisfied being treated exactly as you’d want to be treated is to say the world is void of diversity—everyone shares your likes and interests.

Don’t get me wrong, I strongly agree that the rule should govern your business conduct and client relationships (i.e. integrity, fairness, general mannerisms). Without good fundamental principles, you undoubtedly impede your business’s potential. But when you’re taking on the important task of distinguishing your quality of service experience from an establishment down the road, it’s a bad bet to skip the homework and assume the individuals in your market want to experience what you’d want to experience how you’d want to experience it.

Treat your clients the way your clients want to be treated. Ask questions, conduct surveys, and listen to what’s being said both online and offline to discover prevailing wants and interests and determine how your establishment can fulfill them—meeting your clients at their point of need. To thrive in any given market, you really need to be relevant to that market. If you’re not, you invite your competitor up the road to shine a spotlight on your irrelevance, decrease your market share, and help you shut your doors.

Grow past expecting your clients to be solely satisfied by the ‘buy two get one free’ specials or the mango margarita pedicures or the Lite FM radio station. I’m not making the claim that these things aren’t appreciated, but proactively discovering what your clients really want and giving that to them lends toward the forging of a meaningful, long-lasting and loyal client relationship. Of course, we cannot please everyone but I dare you to try and understand the needs of your existing clients; an absolute way to positively impact the way you operate your business and increase your potential for success.

My two-cent tip

Whether it is online or in print, a well-constructed client record card offers a great opportunity to ask questions, show interest, and record the answers that’ll get you closer to owning the keys to unlock the precious treasure of customer loyalty.

Can you think of other ways to find out what your customers really want?