Getting good reviews for your salon (and why it matters)

Customer matters

7 September 2022

Reviews have become an extremely important part of business in every industry, but especially for those that provide a service. As a hairdresser, you may find that a lot of your business comes to you via word of mouth recommendations from existing customers. If prospective new clients don’t have someone they know personally to ask, they’ll often look for reviews before hiring you.

For people who have received substandard service or disappointing cut and colours in the past, they’ll be looking for bona fide reviews when choosing a new salon in the future. That means it’s important for you to have a system in place that encourages reviews, a trusted place to display those reviews, an idea of how to manage negatives ones.

Why reviews are important

The research around reviews unanimously shows how important they are. For example, Search Engine Land found that close to 90% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations while Bright Local found that positive customer reviews make 73% of customers trust a business more, and HubSpot reports that 57% of customers visit a company's website after reading positive reviews.

Positive reviews are effective because they create social proof for your business. By showing that other people have used and enjoyed the services you provide, it makes your business seem more credible and desirable. Reviews are considered to be extremely trustworthy and unbiased as well with over 79% of consumers trusting online reviews and considering overall star ratings to be the most important factor.

Considering that most consumers read at least 7 reviews before trusting a business, you’ll need to work hard to build up a good portfolio of positive reviews.

Common reasons hairdressers get bad reviews

Of course, not all reviews are positive. As long as the majority of your reviews are positive, this shouldn’t be a major concern, but here’s a few of the top reasons your salon might get bad reviews and how you can try to avoid them:

Messy salon/hygiene concerns

First impressions count and the number one thing people will notice when they walk into your salon is how it looks. If there’s a lot of hair left on the floor between clients or the space feels unkempt, your clients may not fully trust the hygiene practices there. Keeping the salon looking fresh goes a long way to building up customer trust that you’re cleaning and hygiene is up to the correct standard.

Being late

Bookings running over into your next customer slot can be unavoidable sometimes, but if it becomes a habit it can really put people off of your salon. Having to wait for too long after an appointment was supposed to start can lead to frustrated customers and bad reviews. Similarly, late replies to booking calls and appointment requests can leave potential clients feeling discouraged.

Inconsistent quality

Whether it’s inconsistency with the products or the service, having an experiences that varies from appointment to appointment can break customer confidence in your salon. Consistency and continuity keep customers happy, while work that varies in quality will leave them frustrated.

Divided attention

It’s hard balancing everything as a salon owner but you might want to think twice about answering that call while you’ve got a client in the chair. Customers who feel like your attention is divided between them and other tasks may feel like they’re not getting the right value for money at your salon.

Unclear communication

In the service industry, good communication is probably the most important part of providing a good customer service. As a hairdresser, you should always be looking to communicate with your clients – having good chat is a big part of the role! Whether it’s getting clarity on the hairstyle they’re looking for, finding out if the water is too hot or too cold, or letting customers know about any additional charges for service add-ons, it’s important that you keep the lines of communication open.

What to do if you get a bad review

The first thing is not to panic. Bad reviews can be useful as long as there’s not too many of them. According to Spiegel Research Centre’s 2017 Power Reviews Research, more than 80% of shoppers specifically seek out negative reviews. In fact, if a business has nothing but excellent reviews, it tends to lead to suspicion and the positive reviews seeming less credible.

A 2021 Spiegel research report shows that the likelihood of purchase hits its peak when a company’s star rating is between 4.0 and 4.7, and that after a 4.7 rating the likelihood of purchase actually decreases as the rating gets closer to a 5.0.

So, a less than stellar review, on occasion, isn’t the end of the world. It also provides you with a great opportunity to win over the unhappy customer and show other prospective customers that you’re attentive to their needs. One of the best things that you can do when you see a negative review is to respond to it in an empathetic and customer service orientated way.

Almost 80% of consumers feel that a business cares about their consumers more if they respond to online reviews than if they do not and a similar amount said that they would use a retailer again if they responded to a negative review by addressing their concerns.

Wondering what to say in your responses to negative reviews? 70% of customers said retailers could win them back with the offer of a refund, discount or freebie.

How to get a good review for your hairdressing salon

Communicate clearly

You and the client may not have the exact same vision for their hairstyle but it’s important that you’re on the same page. When the client tells you what they want done, try to repeat their request back to them as you understand it, that way it’s clear that you both have the same idea before that first cut is made!

It’s especially important to be clear about your pricing structures and the costs of any additional services you’re offering that weren’t included in their initial cost. This avoids any frustration at the end of your appointment from surprise expenses!

Build cleaning time into your schedule

While it may be tempting to cram as many customers into a day as possible, this can leave you feeling frantic and may mean that certain things fall through the cracks – such as clean up between clients. Giving yourself just 15 minutes between appointments can allow you the necessary time to sweep and reset before someone else walks through the door.

Refresh the décor

The ambience is important for salons and can create a wow factor for new clients. Consider updating the décor to improve the look and feel of your salon. Though it may seem superficial compared to the products you use and the service you provide, clients do notice the difference!

Have quality assurance days with your employees

If you are worried about inconsistent service quality, have training time with your staff on a slower day of the week so that you can ensure they’re all approaching services in the same way. It doesn’t just need to cover hard skills such as cuts, colours, and putting in extensions but can also cover soft skills such as interacting with clients.

Ask for a review!

One of the best ways to get a good review is to simply ask for it. While it may feel awkward to do, if a client is happy with your work and knows that they can help you and your business out, they’ll likely do it. In fact, only about 74% of customers are asked to provide feedback to a company, but out of those customers 68% were willing to do it.

Managing your positive reviews

While you now know that negative reviews need to be managed and responded to, what you might not realise is that positive reviews need to be managed too! Getting a positive review is a great thing because customers tend to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.

Your challenge as a business owner is making sure that potential customers see those reviews! If you have time to respond to positive reviews and thank the reviewer you should absolutely do that. Other steps you can take to showcase those positive reviews are to share them on your company website or social media channels, include them in any newsletters or email, and generally just try to promote them where possible.

Don’t be afraid to brag. You’ve earned those positive reviews, so share them with the world.

Where to aggregate reviews

Some review sites are geared more towards travel industry or the hospitality industry or companies that sell products instead of services, so be sure to check the focus of a review site before listing your business on it.

This list won’t cover every review service out there, but it’ll showcase a few options that may be good to use as someone that provides hairdressing services.

Google My Business

Having a verified Google My Business profile will ensure that you show up in localised searches but it also allows you to respond to any reviews you’re given directly on Google’s own platforms. Given that nearly 10% of Google's search algorithm is influenced by Google Reviews, it’s a good idea to start collecting some positive feedback so that you appear higher in the search results.


If you have a Facebook page for your business (and you should) people can leave reviews on your page. Facebook has 2.89 billion active users each month and about 2/3 of users visit a business page each week, so it’s important that you’re active on this site. Customers can leave just a rating or a rating and a review when they leave you feedback on a Facebook page.


This site is also free for businesses to list themselves, for customers to rank you on a 5-stair scale and for you to respond to reviews. There’s about 184 million monthly users worldwide and a good rating on Yelp can increase revenue by 5% - 9%.


This website has a free version which allows you to create a profile and start collecting reviews. It’s one of the well-known review sites and it has over 500,000 businesses on it. Trustpilot also has paid versions where you can integrate it with your website or your MailChimp accounts.