I have just returned from a wonderful week on the beautiful Fijian Island of Malolo where every passing Fijian greets you with “bula”.

It means hello and welcome and comes with a big genuine smile that always stretches from ear to ear.

Fijians know the secret.

Fiji is a beautiful part of the world and the idea of going there was definitely to have a relaxing week, sip cocktails by the pool and put all thought of work out of my mind. 

But there was something I just couldn’t ignore – the amazing customer service delivered by the Fijian people and the impact it had on those receiving it.

Before our boat had even arrived at the jetty, we were greeting by the sound of a small group of islanders singing a traditional welcoming song. 

It was sensational and certainly set the scene in terms of island atmosphere and what we could expect from the week ahead.

There is no doubt that the Fijian people are unbeatable when it comes to greeting their guests and making them feel welcome and it had me thinking about how important this is when clients arrive in your salon.


Three simple lessons

The first thing I learned is never miss the opportunity to make great eye contact with your customer. 

Fijians are fantastic at this and even though they are shy people, they never miss a chance to make someone feel special by truly seeing them.

The second thing learned is the importance of a face splitting smile that crinkles your eyes and makes your cheeks round and rosy.  With a few practices in the bathroom mirror, anyone can master this one.

The third thing learned is to say is “bula” and really mean it.  Every person on the receiving end of this kind of welcome gets a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that they are special and genuinely welcome.


Hello and goodbye

The welcome we received on our arrival was pretty awesome, but the really important lesson I learned not long after, was that as guests were leaving, they received the same amazing farewell – sometimes with even more Fijians to send them on their way.

What a great thing to remember as a guest leaves your salon. 

Everyone knows that it is how your customer feels when they leave your salon that will determine whether they return. 

Even the most sensational treatment will not overcome a poor customer service experience, so making your customer feel great as they walk out the door is a MUST.


An opportunity to say thank you.

After bula, vinaka is the Fijians next most popular word and it translates into “thank you”

As we were leaving our island retreat, we received a beautiful thank you for coming to stay with them and we were warmly invited to return soon.  It was a lovely way to finish our stay, and it certainly had us thinking about when we could come back again.

There you have it.  The secret to awesome customer service that keeps people coming back – Fijian style.

So simple, so effective and it won’t cost you a single cent.  Give it a go; I guarantee your customers will love it too.