While previously over-looked, the consultation has become a crucial tool for retaining clients on their first visit. It goes beyond the service, as it is the first step to fostering a long-term relationship as well as developing trust with clients. Effective consultations set expectations for the service, and prepare your client for his or her experience in your chair. Here’s everything to keep in mind during your next consultation.
Get to Know Your Client
The Client’s Personality. Is your client an introvert or an extrovert? This will help you choose the right words when describing a style (bold vs. chic) but also how outspoken the client will be about their ideal look.
The Client’s Personal Style. How would your client describe their personal style? Casual? Preppy? Glamourous? This will help you finalize the look to match their style, as well as how they will wear and accessorize it.
Maintaining the Look. What is your client’s getting ready routine? How long are they willing to spend styling their hair? Keep in mind, when your client looks his or her best, they are not only a walking advertisement for your work but also more likely to refer others to you.
Discussing Budget. How much is your client comfortable spending? Are they willing to invest in reoccurring appointments to maintain the look?
Give a Survey. Have clients fill out a survey before the consultation begins. This gives them more time to think about their responses and helps you create a successful experience. Surveys also provide a tangible way to take notes, allowing you to enter information into your software to refer to at their next visit. Some questions you may ask:
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you with your current look?
- What do you like about your hair? Is length important?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how open are you to change?
- What magazines and blogs do you read?
- How would you describe your style?
- How much time are you willing to spend on your hair each day?
- Walk me through your current hair ritual.
- How often can you visit the salon to maintain your look? Every four weeks? Six? Eight? 12 or more?
- What have you had done to your hair in the past that you liked?
- What have you had done to your hair in the past that you disliked?
Discuss the Service
Ask questions. Questions help build trust. Be sure to avoid asking broad yes-or-no questions. Alternatively, ask open-ended questions about their hair history and goals that expand upon their survey answers.
Use visual aids. Visual examples are extremely useful to ensure the stylist and clients are on the same page. If clients bring photos of what they like, take the extra step and find examples of what they don’t like, too. If they come in empty-handed, be sure to provide your own visual aids.
Discuss at-home care. Educate your clients on protecting their investment at home with products and tools. Expert recommendations build trust as well as increase your average ticket and retail sales if they can purchase the item in-house.
Be transparent and set clear expectations. Under promise and over deliver is the best customer service you can offer your business! Consider it your job to educate them on why you want to care for their hair, why staging these processes will offer more long-term benefits and longer lasting results.