Testimony: Meeting with Xavier, manager of Xavier Thiollière's firm

Discover Xavier, manager of the firm Xavier Thiollière

Introduce yourself and your salon

My name is Xavier Thiollière and my concept is now becoming quite common. But, 16 years ago, it was a lounge without a window, in an inner courtyard, with access as if you were going to a doctor's office. And the concept is that we welcome our clients, we listen to them individually. That's really the basis.  

What actions have you put in place to get the eco-responsible label?

So, with the sustainable development label in Lyon, I must be among the first. I'm not saying I'm first! But I must be among the first, it's been 7 years now. The label is exactly 8 years old.  

Labelling is the concretisation, one might say of my thoughts, of my life. I live like this, I'm green even at home. So these are targeted actions, it's recycling and it's using non-harmful products. Who are we doing it for first? Me, I do it for me personally. I do it for my employees. So really, it's healthy living. Afterwards, it's not a philosophy, I live it every day. I do sports regularly at a high level.  

I need to take care of my health. And that goes through the products we use; we're careful.  

Today, there are simple things to really see if products are as good as some applications. In the beginning, we worked with Yuka. Now we're working with another application, Que Choisir, which is much more reliable. With Yuka, we've noticed some things that we didn't like. We prefer Que Choisir, which is an association with no lobby behind it. So it allows us to target our products.  

Anything CSR, the obligations of a salon, we have them. In fact, in the label, you have Ecocert, which passes and reminds you of all the points. There are strict specifications, which check that everything is in application, in terms of fire, electrical standards, waste standards, because when you have waste, you have to have traceability.  

So now the label is changing and evolving. We'd have a much more important set of specifications, there are no longer 1, 2, 3 stars. So we're labelled or not.

How do you manage your communication?

So what's important is to do it right, but it's good to let people know. So we communicate on social networks. We are present on all networks. We have a website that relays everything, and regularly, when we make a publication, we put the link to the website for people to go and see.  

Today, a lot of people find us mostly on Google, where we have our form which is completely filled out, where you can see that we have the appointment booking online, where you can see that we have the website. And compared to these relays, people register online and they make appointments.

That's how we make our actions known. I mean, Mother's Day entertainment, etc. It's the social networks that will relay and people see the life of the show because we publish a lot.  

Each collaborator must publish once a day. There are 5 of us, so that's a lot of publications. People take what they want. They're taking it. It's a tool. There are people who will like the Ombré Hair, people who will like men's haircuts, beards and so on. Seeing visuals is much more meaningful than text. We limit the text to the minimum and it's really just a picture. When we work on text, it's really 4 - 5 lines, that's the main thing.

All of this accounts for 30% of my business. Because nowadays, we systematically ask customers how they got to know us. I would even say it's more than 30. But there's always word-of-mouth and so on. But really, social networks are something not to be neglected.  

What do you think about online booking?

I put it in place this year, absolutely. I put it in just before the Christmas holidays, because I love a challenge! I'm not someone who waits, so I said, "Banco, we got it." So my people, I'm not saying they didn't have "the lollipops"... But they had the lollipops! And in fact, it went really well, I'm really happy and the customers think it's really good. We can make appointments whenever we want.  

Anyway, it's a dream! We see it more and more...

The advantage is that with Wavy you can see who has made an appointment online, because it's different than when we make appointments. There's a little @ that is displayed, so automatically, we know it's an online appointment booking. Today, we are much less bothered by the telephone.  

I see on Facebook, on the hairdresser groups, many are reluctant. Well, too bad for them, because it makes us work. So often they're alone too, but I don't excuse them. There are five of us, so we really need to be resupplied. That's what allows us, the online meeting, to really drink. And it's true that when I often hear about groups of hairdressers who are alone and who make appointments really, properly, lined up and bitching about a client who doesn't come. Well, we don't, we don't bitch. Because we have so many people that we don't have to worry about that. We don't question it.  

What are your plans for the future?

So now the big project coming up is the expansion of the living room. The living room is too small. We don't have enough room for people. Now we're going to gain two seats, we're looking forward to it. The whole team is looking forward to it! We want to change the tool. Everything is going to be changed. We have an interior designer working on it, we've already seen it in 3D. It's going to be a nice gift for the clients, in 2020, it's going to be nice.  

What's your entrepreneurial advice?

If you want to get started, you have to go! We have to go for it! Don't listen. You have to go, anyway, even if you make mistakes, it makes you grow. So the person who always has reservations, always fears, etc., is always afraid. He will never be able to move forward. We must go without fear.

Written by
Aurélie Pauker
Always attracted by the world of hairdressing and beauty, today I answer the problems you may have.

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