The Importance of Atmosphere, Part 2: 5 Essentials to Keep Your Clients Coming Back

What makes a client come back to your salon or spa? One way to help ensure repeat business is to give your guests a positive experience. You can leave a lasting impression by paying special attention to the atmosphere and cleanliness of your business.

In part one of this series, we talked about why setting the right atmosphere is so important. In this post, we’ll walk through five aspects of your spa or salon that are important for creating a positive atmosphere.

Reception/Lobby Area

Often your clients’ first impression of your business takes place in the reception or lobby area. So what do your clients experience when they walk through the door? An organized reception desk and comfortable seating where guests can wait are a good start. Be sure to keep magazines or style books in order and pick up any trash throughout the day. If you have a retail display, that should also be neat and organized. 

Staff Attitude

Your staff plays a major role in the atmosphere of your business. Friendly and knowledgeable employees can have a positive impact on both current and potential clientele. Conversations between staff members in the salon or spa should always be appropriate, and it should go without saying that staff should never discuss other clients in front of a guest. 

Every guest should be greeted when they arrive. Whether a longtime client or a first-time visitor, everyone likes to feel acknowledged. It takes a few seconds to say, “I’ll be right with you,” while on a phone call or with another client, but it leaves a lasting impression when a guest feels ignored, standing awkwardly while the receptionist finishes other business.


As we discussed in part one of this series, cleanliness is a non-negotiable when it comes to creating a pleasant atmosphere in your salon or spa. Not only are you obligated to obey industry and licensing regulations, a clean space makes your clients feel more comfortable.

Individual treatment areas should be cleaned and organized between guests, but don’t forget the reception and waiting areas should also be free of clutter and garbage. Keep a close eye on the restroom throughout the day and stock supplies regularly. Be careful not to neglect retail spaces where shelves can get dusty or disorganized. 

Sounds & Smells

Both the sounds and smells present in your salon or spa can have a positive effect on the overall atmosphere. While you’re free to tailor these elements to the style of your business, remember that you can have too much of a good thing.

Stick to scents that are pleasant, but not overpowering, especially if you’re going for a soothing vibe. Be careful about the smells of food coming from the breakroom as well. Music shouldn’t be so loud that it makes it hard for your clients and staff to easily communicate. 

Going the Extra Mile

In any business, it’s often the small ways you show an extra effort that clients remember. Offering refreshments like tea, coffee, or even wine or champagne adds to the feeling of being pampered. A hand massage during hair-washing is an unexpected treat. There are so many easy ways you can go the extra mile and really elevate your clients’ experience.

The Bottom Line

There are a lot of aspects involved when it comes to setting the right atmosphere for your spa or salon. While it’s easy to focus on decor or paint colors, don’t forget important elements like the way you train your staff to treat clients. Cleanliness is a priority no matter what vibe you want your business to have. When you create a positive atmosphere, you greatly increase the chance your clients will want to come back.