Your client consultation is one of the most important tools you will ever use! For the hair and beauty industry the consultation is essential to achieving a positive and memorable visit with a client. It sets the tone for the client’s entire experience and helps to determine the trust level your client will have with you.
But what elements create the perfect client consultation? This guide covers how to deliver the perfect client consultation in five simple steps.
1. The meet and greet
First impressions matter, and whether your client is a regular, or it’s their first time visiting your business, the way you greet them is incredibly important.
There are a few things to think about to ensure your meet and greet is perfect every time, including:
It’s important to create an instant positive connection with your client as this will assist in building trust and creating a great relationship with them. To achieve this, make sure your greeting is warm and happy, and make them feel comfortable by asking friendly questions to break the ice, like how their day is going.
Be mindful of your body language. Always sit down for the consultation so you’re on the same level as your client, and pull out their chair so you’re sitting face to face. This gives the impression that you care and you’re really listening to them. The mirror is a helpful tool, but don’t use it throughout the entire consultation as it creates a sense of distance between you and your client.
Remember the little things
Using the client’s name, smiling and maintaining eye contact are tiny details, but they can have a big impact. Repeating what the client has said to reassure them that you understand them will help them to feel comfortable and like they’re in the right hands.
2. Ask all the right questions
The most important part of executing the perfect consultation is gathering information from your client about what they really want and need.
By asking the right questions to collect the right information, you’ll be able to understand what they’re wanting to achieve so you can provide the right recommendations, resulting in the best possible outcome – they leave happy.
So, what kinds of questions should you be asking during a consultation?
Learn about your client
Ask general questions to help you learn more about your client. Understanding their job and lifestyle are particularly vital to understanding their needs. Remember to ask open questions to encourage your clients to open up to you and check for understanding if there’s anything you’re unsure of.
Understand what your client wants
- What relevant services and styles has your client had in the past?
- What have they liked and disliked?
- What do they want to achieve?
By finding out your client’s history, it’ll help you determine the journey you need to take them on. Really dive into what exactly they’re wanting to achieve by asking what their desired outcome would look like.
Get to know the specifics
You really need to learn as much as you can in order to determine exactly what your recommendations will be. Don’t forget to ask your client what their morning hair ritual is or what their night-time skin care regime consists of. Do they use any styling tools or products and do they use a particular range of skincare? It’s the details that really matter!
3. Use photos
In the hair and beauty industry you’re working on your client’s appearance, so using visual aids to assist with your client consultations is only natural. A great way to do this is by using photo examples of what your client wants and likes.
Your client may show you an image on their phone, or if you use a specialised online booking software like Kitomba your clients can upload a photo of what they’d like to achieve when they book their appointment online, which gives you a helpful tool to assist with your consultation process. You can easily see what your client wants and figure out what’s possible before taking them through your recommendations.
Photos can also be used to document your client’s progress and journey. Take photos and save them to their client card so you can easily recall what they’ve had in the past. Review them together, see if you’ve achieved what they were asking for or track how they’re progressing towards their goal.
And, when a client asks for “the same as last time” you can easily replicate it by using their photo as a guide.
4. Use and update client records
Remembering client details is an important part of executing the perfect client consultation. If they’re a first time client, you’ll learn a lot about them during your first appointment so it’s important to note it all down so you have their history for their next visit.
If they’re a regular client it’s impossible to remember their full history, so use specialised software for salons, spas and clinics to keep track of your client’s history and have easy access to the information you need.
For example, being able to easily access details like allergies, drink preferences and where your client just went on holiday all adds up to create a positive and memorable experience for your client.
And when it comes to getting great results, client notes like colour history and products or treatments used will ensure you’re able to provide a consistently great service resulting in a happy client leaving your salon or spa.
5. Remember, you’re the expert!
The client consultation process provides a great opportunity for you to use your knowledge and experience to understand your clients and provide the best recommendation to meet their goals.
Remember, as the expert you should be a useful resource for your clients and the person they can obtain advice from, so be helpful and make suggestions you think your clients will appreciate. Managing your client’s expectations is an important part of the consultation process, and if their desired result is unrealistic it’s your job to communicate that effectively and make your recommendations for adjustments.
If you put time and focus into achieving the perfect client consultation, the benefits for your clients, as well as your salon, spa or clinic, can be significant! Not only will you earn the trust and loyalty of your clients, but they’ll spread the word and keep coming back time and time again.
If you want the best tools for executing the perfect client consultation time after time, Kitomba Salon and Spa Software has the features you need to create an exceptional experience for every client. Find out how Kitomba can help you grow your salon, spa or clinic.
For more detailed information on how to create the best possible client experience in your salon, spa or clinic, read our comprehensive Client Experience Guide.
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 6 Oct 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.