User Experience (UX) Ideas From My Beauty Salon for Your Medical Practice


User Experience in the SalonThe User Experience, according to ISO Standards is defined as “a person’s perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service.” I recently had a User Experience  at a new hair salon. I left my previous hair salon because I did not have a good experience there.

My new hair salon appears to be actively competing for my business (I show up for appointments, pay my bill and tip the stylists – what’s not to like?) and seems to have designed my salon experience to keep me coming back.

My Customer Experience at the New Salon:

  • Was able to get me in within the week as a new client.
  • While scheduling the appointment, asked me questions about my hair: color, length, treatment.
  • Texted me to remind me of my appointment and asked me to confirm that I was coming by texting back a “C”.
  • When I arrived, I was asked to complete a client profile asking what products I use and what problems I was having. Paperwork included their policy on missed appointments, which they also told me about over the phone.
  • I was offered drinks at check-in and when my stylist came to greet me. Coffee, tea or water?
  • There was a hook for me to hang my purse near my chair. (This is a nice feature…Ladies, am I wrong?)
  • Once in the chair, the stylist reviewed my paperwork on a computer (wow!) and we had a solid 15-minute evaluation of my hair and what I wanted done today and what my hair goal was for us to work toward. I was introduced to her assistant and told what part of the process he would be doing.
  • Before starting on the color, the stylist oriented me to the salon, explaining where the bathrooms were and where to find magazines and to be sure and ask for a drink if I needed it.
  • Once done, I received a new client gift bag with coupons for future visits and was given my coat which was hung up behind the check-out desk.
  • While at the check-out desk, I realized there was a purse shelf below the counter where I could rest my purse while paying for my service.

A few days later I got this email:

Dear Mary Pat,
My name is XXXXXXXX.  My wife, XXXXXX, and I own XXXXXXXXX Salon.  We wanted to take a moment to thank you for choosing our salon.  We hope that we achieved our goal of giving you the best salon experience imaginable.  We constantly strive to bring the very best in hair and customer service to the Triangle.  We invite you to review your experience at XXXXXX.
If there was any aspect of your visit that fell short of ideal or if you have and questions, comments or suggestions of any kind, then please don’t hesitate to contact us at XXXXXXXX or email us at XXXXXX . We sincerely ask for the opportunity to correct any problems for you.  We want to ensure that XXXXXXXX Salon is your preferred salon in the Triangle and we look forward to serving you in the future. 
Warmest regards,
The Salon

How Is Your Patient Experience?

  1. How long does it take to get a new patient into your practice – when they’re ready to see you, are you able to see them?
  2. Do you ask enough questions to know what the patient is coming in for and how much time it will take?
  3. Do you ask patients if they want appointment reminders via text, email or phone?
  4. Do you tell patients ahead of time what your financial policy is?
  5. Do you have drinks, minimally water, for patients?
  6. Are patients introduced to new staff they encounter?
  7. Is pertinent patient information in the computer and available to staff so they do not need to ask the same questions repeatedly?
  8. Is an orientation to the practice provided?
  9. Do you provide places in the exam room for coats, purses, and clothing to be hung up? One of our clients has a shelf in each exam room for purses, phones or keys.
  10. Do you call your patients after their first to make sure they had a good experience at your practice?

Yes, I know that a beauty salon and a medical practice are not the same kinds of businesses, and maybe you can’t compare them. Today, maybe you can’t compare them. But in the future, they might be more comparable than you’d expect. As more patients are paying out of pocket via high deductible health plans, at which practice will they spend their money?

Posted in: Amazing Customer Service, Day-to-Day Operations, Innovation, Memes

Leave a Comment (6) ↓


  1. Tom Childrey February 12, 2013

    Very good information for men and women. It is very interesting the level of service and follow through the salon provided. Considering that the majority of hair stylists are 100% commission, they realize that they are 100% responsible for the customers experience. An understanding that is often lost in the hustle and bustle at the medical practice front desk.

    • Mary Pat Whaley February 12, 2013

      I agree, Tom!

      Best wishes,

      Mary Pat

  2. Paula Hall February 12, 2013

    This is a great story, I plan to take some of these ideas and implement into my practice..

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Mary Pat Whaley February 12, 2013

      Thanks, Paula!

      Best wishes,

      Mary Pat

  3. Jo Ann Shipman February 28, 2013

    Once again you have given us great information that we can use to make our practices better. Perhaps we can’t compare a salon with a medical practice, but we can certainly offer the same attention and care for our patients whether new or existing.

    I love my salon, but the one you mentioned makes me green with envy!

    • Mary Pat Whaley March 3, 2013

      Thanks, Jo Ann.

      I went to the salon again last week and had the same great experience! Let me know if you are in Raleigh, NC area some time and I’ll get you connected.

      Best wishes,

      Mary Pat