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Salon clients look for excellent service and a pleasant ambiance. We have 6 tips for client communication for cosmetologists to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
A cosmetologist’s primary job is to make their clients look beautiful. However, making them also feel beautiful is no less important. You can do that by adjusting the way you communicate in your salon.
Working in the beauty industry is demanding because you’re in direct contact with a wide variety of clients, all of whom have different personalities. It’s up to you to tailor your communication style for each client.
Don’t let this intimidate you.
In spite of their different preferences, there are some universal truths that will always make your clients feel welcome and comfortable.
This post will walk you through 6 communication tips you can start applying today.
Greeting clients is Customer Relationship Management 101.
Experienced cosmetologists always teach apprentices how to greet the clients because this one simple act can set the tone for the whole appointment and further relationship.
Client communication is different for beauticians than for those working in financial services or law. Unlike the latter, in the beauty industry, you can and should be personal with your clients.
In fact, they expect that.
In light of this, more than a third of regular customers expect you to address them by their first name when they arrive at your establishment.
Personalized greetings and comments have an even more significant impact, with almost 50% of customers saying that these are contributors to an excellent customer experience.
The way you greet your clients also matters.
It is best to do so immediately upon arrival, making sure your tone is warm and welcoming.
Clients will definitely appreciate your effort. They may even mention it in their reviews, which will possibly attract some new clients to your salon.
The following picture shows the testimonies of satisfied clients of a nail salon who especially appreciated a warm welcome.
Of course, clients look for excellent service first and foremost, but supplementing that with a welcoming attitude towards your clients will make an even greater impression.
Some service providers object to the idea of warmly greeting all customers, claiming that some clients simply don’t want attention.
Luckily, that’s mostly a myth; almost everyone likes their presence acknowledged.
You don’t have to be pushy with the greetings; just use them for starting a conversation and making your clients feel comfortable.
Mindless chatter that serves simply to fill the silence is a regular occurrence in beauty salons.
But taking genuine interest in your clients is what does wonders for your relationship with them.
Some chatting is expected in beauty salons. If you already have a habit of talking to your clients, you can work on your listening skills and enhance their experience.
Take a look at the following picture to see the benefits of genuine listening in a salon:
You can do more than chit-chat about the weather to make your client relaxed.
Let them lead the conversation to the topics both you and they feel comfortable with, and do your best to listen to them with interest.
Other than relaxing your client, genuine conversation strengthens your relationship with them, which in turn improves their perception of you and your cosmetology skills.
However, it’s hard to listen actively if you’re focused solely on thinking of a response. Since your relationship with the client is at the heart of your business, rather focus on what they’re saying.
You don’t have to have an answer to all of life’s questions, and your clients (hopefully) don’t expect you to, either.
Still, what you can do is engage in a meaningful conversation when you sense it’s appropriate.
Remember, the quality of service a salon provides is not the sole determining factor of how clients choose where to go.
Clients want to feel comfortable while they’re receiving treatments, so, besides friendly conversations, they also appreciate a pleasant ambience.
To make sure you provide a great atmosphere in your salon, you could go for some non-traditional methods, such as offering drinks, as this nail salon does:
You can further upgrade the atmosphere in your salon by selecting furniture and light fixtures carefully, using the right colors and textures.
If you combine a nice ambience with taking interest in your client, the chance of that client returning will skyrocket.
As a cosmetologist, you are a professional in a salon setting.
This means it’s your responsibility to redirect the conversation if you notice it’s straying to inappropriate topics.
There is no universal formula for conversations with clients.
Not only does the etiquette depend on the industry, but it is also shaped by the preferences of individual clients.
Some clients feel comfortable sharing their entire medical history, while some are rather private and prefer talking about more general topics, unrelated to their lives.
You’ll likely meet both kinds of clients, so you have to use your own judgment to decide what’s appropriate.
Still, some topics are best avoided altogether, such as politics, religion, or finances.
Below is a cheat sheet of dos and don’ts for conversations in salons.
A quick list like this one can be helpful in moments when you have to come up with a new topic quickly, to keep the conversation flowing.
It’s worth noting that even if a client wants to discuss politics or religion, you have to be mindful of the other guests in the salon.
Some of them may be uncomfortable listening to such conversations, so you should consider steering the conversation away to something more neutral.
On the other hand, the items from our dos list are generally safe conversation starters.
Who doesn’t like at least a bit of celebrity gossip?
It’s also always a good idea to talk about the different nail, lash or brow upkeep techniques, depending on the treatment you’re providing at that moment.
All in all, with the exception of the three no-go areas we’ve mentioned above, a good rule of thumb is to go with the topics that the client initiates.
Let the client talk, but be there to moderate the conversation.
If you’re a detail-oriented cosmetologist, you’ll undoubtedly be able to apply the same principle to client communication and learn the little tidbits about the client that will let them know you care.
That individualized approach will make them feel special.
A customer likes it when you treat them as an individual rather than seeing them as just another face in the crowd.
A survey on retail personalization found that more than half of all customers will become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience.
Naturally, clients expect more familiarity when they visit beauty salons than they do in large department stores.
Salons operate on a one-on-one principle, so there are grounds for expecting higher levels of personalization.
As mentioned earlier, one thing you can do to provide that personal touch is remembering small details about your clients they don’t expect you to remember.
These details can be various, such as:
They would also probably be glad if you remembered unrelated details such as their pets’ names.
But if a dozen clients walk through your salon every day, the details about them will certainly get mixed up.
That doesn’t mean you should resort to looking your clients up on social media–that’s a no-go.
Yet, there is a way you can use technology to help you with client communication.
By choosing a good client management solution, you can create a client base where you can keep records of their preferences.
For instance, Zoyya, our booking app, has a field for writing down details about any client in the database.
Here’s what it looks like:
After the session with a client, you can write down anything that stands out, such as just started a small business or passionate about skydiving, and use them to enrich the conversation in the following sessions.
Zoyya also offers you an overview of the client’s previous appointments; that’s another treasure trove of conversation starters.
So, which aftercare steps did you take for the lash lift you got last month?
Personalized questions let your clients know you remember them.
Forget questions about the weather; use technology to aid you in client communication!
Speaking of a personalized approach in salons, you can learn how one of our clients makes an individual approach to each customer the cornerstone of her salon’s business philosophy here.
Knowing how to talk with your clients is as important as knowing when to talk.
To keep your clients comfortable, you also have to recognize it when they don’t feel like talking.
When clients book an appointment, they look forward to spending quality time being pampered.
For some, that may include catching up with their favorite cosmetologist while they’re getting their nails done, but some customers prefer being left with their own thoughts and enjoying the treatment.
Clients may like silence for various reasons. They may be too tired for conversation or may simply want to relax in silence. Some people just don’t like small talk.
We’ve listed some other reasons in the following picture:
One of the reasons we’ve mentioned in the picture was clients being shy or anxious. This is where you have to come through with your cosmetologist communication skills.
Observe your clients’ reactions and body language, and be empathetic.
If you notice they’re being terse with their answers or that they look tired, you should let them enjoy the treatment without talking.
The beauty industry is constantly evolving. Faced with an increasing number of clients expressing a preference for being left in peace, a London salon recently made news when they introduced the concept of the quiet chair.
The quiet chair is nothing more than a free, optional add-in that clients can select when making an appointment which means that, when they arrive at the salon, the staff only asks them questions necessary for the treatment.
Your clients can ask for a similar approach, even without an official quiet chair launch.
To make communication easier for clients, you should use a booking system that allows notes and comments in the booking process.
Take a look at how we do it:
Using our booking system, clients can easily state their preferences. This helps you create the most comfortable environment possible for each client.
Client communication for cosmetologists covers more than words. To achieve a good rapport with your clients, you should also be mindful of the non-verbal signals you send.
There was a myth stemming from a misinterpreted 1960s research stating that 93% of communication is non-verbal.
While such a high percentage has been debunked, it’s still true that non-verbal cues account for a significant part of communication.
So, what does non-verbal communication consist of?
Here are some commonly listed elements:
Let’s see how non-verbal communication works in practice, in a salon environment.
Non-verbal communication starts as soon as clients enter the salon, so you should stand up when greeting them.
Next, a frequent mistake is keeping barriers between you and your clients. That’s something you should avoid.
Of course, you need a workstation to hold all your equipment while doing nails. But when a client comes for a consultation, you should remove all obstacles between you and the client and give them your full, undivided attention.
This also means that you should avoid talking while making eye contact with them in the mirror.
Remember how we mentioned you should express interest in your clients?
Well, there are non-verbal ways to do that as well.
You can find a quick overview of non-verbal cues that convey interest in the following picture.
When your client is telling you a story, you can show you’re interested in it by tilting your head or leaning towards them to hear better.
Nodding is a way to show you’re following. And a smile is always a welcome tool to make clients feel comfortable.
Don’t forget about the rest of your body, either.
Avoid crossing your arms, legs, and feet, as this makes you seem closed-off and guarded. You want to appear more open, so your clients can feel relaxed with you.
It’s the little details that can transform a good salon experience into an excellent one. Client communication is one of the areas where details in approach can enhance clients’ experience and improve their perception of your salon.
Even small actions, such as greeting your customers or remembering details about their previous treatments can make them feel cared for.
We hope these 6 tips will find their way into your salon so you can have many satisfied returning clients.
And don’t forget to lead by example!
If you are an expert communicator, let your employees follow your lead so you can create an amazing atmosphere in the entire salon.