Relationships with clients are very important in any business, but in the beauty industry, a quality relationship with your client plays a key role in the business’s overall success. There are very few industries in which this relationship is unimportant, where someone would pick you specifically, regardless of your attitude, your approachability and the way you treat them.
To clients, the relationship and experience they get is often more important than the cost of a product or service. People are willing to pay more where they feel appreciated and respected, understood and accepted. This is human nature and applies to all meridians, all countries, languages and all people, regardless of age and financial status.
Imagine you decide to go shopping for a shower cabin? There are a bunch to choose from, all varying in the way they look and cost but you don’t see the point of paying three times more when you can buy the same thing at a fraction of the price. The first shop you enter, you look for the sales rep and ask him what the difference is, and he answers: basically, there is no difference, this one was made in Italy, this one in China, the first one is slightly better quality but this other one is also good. Would this type of response confuse you? What would you do? How would you base your decision? You walk out of the shop with more questions than you had going in.
You walk into the second shop. You’re greeted by the sales rep who says hello, welcoming you to the shop. Again, you look at both shower cabins. The sales rep is somewhere nearby, he sees that you are confused and he starts talking to you: you’re interested in buying a shower cabin? What type of bathroom will it be installed in? Is the apartment for you or are you planning to rent it out? You begin a conversation and you start telling him about the troubles you’re having trying to decide on a new shower cabin and you admit that you’re confused. The rep starts explaining the differences between the Italian and the Chinese cabins in detail, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each. He provides you with facts – what you get if you pay three times more, and what you will get if you decide to purchase the less expensive cabin. After this discussion, you have a clear picture of the differences and which cabin is best for you, given the cost and quality. If the cost of the cabin in the first and the second shop differed, so that the cabin cost slightly more in the second shop, where would you buy the shower cabin? Would you go back to the first, uninterested sales rep or would you pay slightly more in the second shop, the shop you have trust in and where you feel safe making a purchase?
The beauty industry is particularly sensitive when it comes to client relationships. You are entrusting your face and body to someone, and this is a much more sensitive thing than buying any product in the world and is the highest act of trust. Services provided by beauty artists help clients adapt to society, increase feelings of security and help clients relax, boost their self-confidence and improve the way they see themselves. Therefore, the client/beauty artist relationship is of key importance, as much so as the treatment itself, as well as to post-treatment satisfaction. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.“ – Maya Angelou
When you are just starting your business, you are the one selling yourself, because you are the one that the client will entrust their face or body to. For this reason, it is very important that you invest in your attitude as much as you do in the techniques you offer. No one wants a frowning beauty artist, who doesn’t communicate and explains nothing, or an artist who reminds you more of a neighbor who likes to gossip all day long than of a dedicated professional, and expert and caring person.
To survive and thrive in the beauty business it is key that you develop quality relationships with your clients and pay full attention to their needs and wants, constantly communicating with them, because, success means creating a loyal client base. The importance of this is also defined by Pareto’s rule, according to which 20% of clients generate 80% of income/profits.
How To Make Your Client Feel Welcome?
I’m sure most of you have heard the statistic that it takes 3 seconds for people to form a first impression of someone. This is why you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Here are a few key factors that are responsible for the first impression of a potential client:
The entrance to your studio is your calling card from which the client will ‘read’ basic information about you from which they will generate feelings of professionalism and trust. This part of the salon is not the space where people eat, get ready, chat or the space in which private conversations are held in front of clients, rather, it is the first welcoming step toward client satisfaction.
When a client comes to you, the first thing they should see is a pleasant, clean space that smells good, and your smiling face. You should always greet your client and pay attention to them, regardless of how busy you are. Your client is never interrupting your work, your client is your work. Smile at your client, and if you are on the telephone, use your eyes and gesticulation to indicate that you have seen them and will get to them shortly. The client is your guest, treat them with respect, be subtle in your approach and act naturally, without overemphasizing or caricaturing manners.
An important study conducted in the beauty industry on the topic of why clients abandon their beauty artists has generated the following, unexpected but interesting results:
- More than half abandon their beauty artist because they feel undervalued or disrespected
- Almost half of clients leave because of unfriendly staff who just seem to want to “be rid of them”
- A third (despite this being very important) leave because their beauty expert is underskilled
A person would think that in the beauty industry, most complaints are related to topics directly linked to the way the client looks (after treatment) and the beauty artist’s work. However, it seems that most complaints are related to poor quality relationships with clients.
All clients, regardless of their level of education and financial status, feel the level of interest you have in them, if, at the end of the day, you really care and whether or not you will be able to meet their desires, resolve their dilemmas or any possible issues. This is the point at which top level professionals, whose businesses are striving and amateurs part ways.
Bearing this in mind, give your client a warm w elcome and time to get comfortable in your space. Always remember that in the PMU industry, clients always feel a bit nervous when they come to us, no matter how much they may want the treatment. We are the ones who are there to put them at ease and instill confidence in them that everything will go as smoothly as possible and that their needs will be perfectly met. There isn’t a single person who will forget when someone has been nice (or rude) to them. If the first impression is a positive one, both on the conscious and more so on the subconscious level, the client will come to associate you and your salon with pleasant feelings, a place where both their beauty and health are taken care of. Is there any better place than a place where a person is treated in a gentle, friendly and respectful manner?
Getting to know your client better
Once you have greeted your client with a smile and asked how they are, it’s time to ask a few spontaneous open-ended questions so that you can find out as much as possible about the client’s expectations of the treatment they are about to undergo. Open-ended questions are questions that can’t be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. For example: what type of work do you like best? What do you expect from the treatment? How much do you know about the actual procedure? Be patient, some people need a little more time to open up and start talking, and it is important that you find out what the client is thinking regarding the treatment so that you can be sure that it is the right treatment for this particular client and that they are the right client for you.
Repeat back what you have discovered to the client and ask for them to confirm that you have understood them correctly. Slowly and thoroughly explain the treatment to the client, then the healing process. It is vital that the client is familiar with all the phases so that they do not become unnecessarily alarmed, thinking that something has gone wrong during any of the phases.
Each client should be approached subtly, and you should not impose a solution, but patiently present your recommendations and give suggestions. Your task is to increase their self-confidence and help them form and present their desires, so that the decision they make will be one they are happy with.
How to build Trust with a Client during treatment?
When you first become part of the PMU industry and you yourself have ‘stage fright’ concerning how your work will look after treatment, you realize that you need quiet, concentration and peace while you work. Make sure that you secure a place to work in that has all of the tools you will need, play pleasant music and encourage your client not to worry.
Let them know just before you begin the treatment, so that they too are ready to begin. Feel free to tell the client that they need to close their eyes and that you will be unable to chat during the treatment, so that your work is a precise as possible and so that facial mimics will not impact the final results. If chatting during the treatment will not impact your work, you can chat with your client, but follow their line of discussion. This will further cement your relationship with your client. They did not come to listen to you talk about your problems, but to relax and to enjoy the experience.
The entire visit should be one that is pleasant, this also applies to your conversation. Assess and respect each client’s personality and their need to talk or to relax in silence. Be an interesting person to talk to and an attentive listener. Choose interesting, optimistic topics for discussion, avoid difficult or overly serious topics (political topics, especially). Be a person who will use conversation as a means to fill your client with positive energy and optimism.
Also, let your client know as you begin a new phase of the treatment and what is coming next. We all like to know what to expect and feel most frustrated when, for example, we go to the doctor and they say nothing to us while we’re on the examining table. Remember how you felt in these moments and all the things that went through your mind: is something wrong? What did they see? Why did they sigh? Does the look they just gave me mean something? It’s similar in the PMU industry – the client is lying on the table and has no idea what’s going on. Be supportive in all phases of the process, not just at the beginning when you are selling the treatment. This is how you will build trust in you and your work, even if it isn’t perfect.
The client is there for a treatment, and they should leave your salon enriched, not just in the esthetic sense, but in terms of their overall experience. This all turns us into companions in quality time spent with our clients and the satisfaction we derive when we achieve the desired results.
Stay in touch! Develop long-term relationships with your clients
The relationship you have with your client is not over when the treatment is over and when your client leaves the salon. The way you treat your client post-treatment is exceptionally important. It is in this phase that you have the chance to improve your client’s experience, to show them how much they mean to you, to create a strong bond that further sets you apart from the competition.
When you finish the treatment, explain the after care procedure in detail and try to elicit confirmation that they have understood. Feel free to give a few examples of good vs. bad after care and explain several times how important it is, in order to ensure that they have understood. Once again, go over the healing procedure and phases they may go through during this period. If the client is unsure of the work itself, explain the phases they are going through once again, the healing process and the time they will need to give themselves and their new look. Encourage your client to contact you if they need anything, indicating that you are available to them. If the client is unsure of their new look, contact them a few days after treatment to ask how they are and encourage them once again during this conversation. In order for the follow-up phase to go well, it is important that you remember the details of each client’s case, how things went during treatment and what the results were immediately after treatment.
This approach shows that you care about your client’s satisfaction, that you aren’t there just to take their money, and that you stand behind your work. Be sure that this approach will ensure recommendations from satisfied clients that will help you grow your business.
Client care is part of the overall treatment, and not a bonus service. This is how we let the client know that we are there for the client, to answer all of their questions and concerns regarding post-treatment after care. This is also a sign that you don’t take your clients for granted. The client gains the (accurate) impression that they are in the hands of a professional who cares about them and who they can trust. This is the right path to establishing long-term trust. This is also the way to ensure that the next time the client wants to have something done or to repeat a treatment they’ve already had, you will be first on their list.
Never comment about the work or technique of another artist in front of a client, only comment on your own work. Never talk about someone else behind their back in front of a client – this includes people you work with, other clients or the competition. Do not make promises you can’t keep and do not pretend to know it all.
Do not initiate topics of discussion which may be uncomfortable for the client and don’t be overly inquisitive.
Do not let a client see that you are having a bad day. They are not there to make you feel better, they are there to resolve their own issues and to feel better and this is how you should act. Do not bring your private matters to work with you. Never get involved in a confrontation of any kind, with the client or your staff (misunderstandings at work are resolved when there are no clients present).
Recently I heard of a situation where the owner of a salon answered the phone with the sentence: “Here I am, in the trenches”. With this attitude she has determined how long her salon will remain open, or its ‘shelf-life’. Why? Because these types of comments send a clear message to our clients that we don’t want to be working, that we find it difficult to do and that we will most likely do a poor job. This is the beauty industry, clients come to us to feel better, to feel more beautiful, not to feel even more frustrated and upset. Mind the way you act at all times when you have clients in your salon. If you are having a private conversation, make sure your clients can’t hear you or postpone the conversation entirely until later. Show that you are a professional from the moment your client enters the salon, until the moment they leave. With this approach, all of your clients will return and they will recommend you to others.
If you can prevent 5% of your customers from leaving you can increase your bottom line profit by 25-95%. – Harvard Business Review
Your attitude toward your clients means that you understand the following important factors: the specifics of courteous behavior (proper etiquette), you care about others, you respect others, you have empathy, you are responsible, you conduct yourself in a professional manner and of course – you really want to and are enthusiastic about helping your clients, to make the improvements that are important to them.
If we know that client loss is the greatest issue concerning work stability, then we understand that investing time in activities that will increase client satisfaction always pays off. They say the best client is – an old client.
In order for someone to literally put their face in your hands, they must have complete faith in both you and your work. Always be transparent with your clients, explain the entire process before you start the treatment. If the client lacks faith in you or you in the client, that is, you don’t believe the client will be satisfied, then it is best not to start with the work. Even this client will be more likely to recommend you to others than a client that you intentionally did not tell the entire story to.
In short – earn and retain your clients’ trust and never do anything to betray it. If you make a promise – fulfill it, if you make a mistake – own up to it, if you can’t do something – don’t do it. There is one thing you can never go wrong with – and that is to always provide your clients with more than they expect.
True loyalty and sincere gratitude can only be bought with good deeds. This is when clients will want to share the positive experiences they had in your salon with others and will become the most hardworking members of your marketing team, your ambassadors who will spread the word about you and your salon. In the work that we do, a good recommendation is worth more than any type of expensive ad campaign.
Professionalism, expertise, friendliness and approachability is something expected of us in the beauty industry, and working with people in itself requires a bit of psychology.Do your best to feel what kind of person the client is, what he/she likes, so that you can approach them in such a way that they will be able to follow your lead, and if you can do this, your clients will gladly follow you.