Written for Scratch Magazine
Crack the consultation Step
Salon owner, educator, former Scratch columnist and award-winning nail stylist, Katie Barnes, shares her nail tales and tips…
Hands up how many of you have not received a consultation when you have visited a fellow salon or maybe even forgotten this procedure in your own business?
What can sometimes be considered an inconvenient task to some clients and techs is one of the most compulsory elements of your nail or beauty service. A consultation is the first step in building a professional relationship and creates a rapport with clients to help you select the most appropriate treatment for each individual. Not only does it cover you with your insurance policy but also it ensures that you are acting as a responsible nail professional by establishing that your client is able to have the treatment. The idea is to gather information that will help your business deliver exceptional service safely and professionally.
How would you feel if you went to see your website designer and they didn’t ask a few questions about your requirements and preferences? What about a builder who didn’t find out what exactly what you wanted creating? And would you trust a doctor who didn’t ask about the symptoms you were experiencing? While these industries are vastly different, there is one characteristic all of these service industries share — the importance of attending to client needs as an individual.
It is concerning how many businesses do not carry out consultations and I think it is necessary to go through the importance and reasoning behind a consultation with your client. It is imperative to not only get the form completed and then fling it down without a second glance, you should also verbally question the client regarding anything on the form or regarding their preferences. I always verbally check for allergies again, even if they haven’t been reported. It is better to be safe than sorry.
If a client has a contra-indication, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are unable to have the treatment. It means that you may need to amend that treatment or even offer them an alternative treatment. Take time to look closely at your client’s hands, nails or feet before you begin a service. Clients may have no idea that something isn’t right. If you notice anything unusual, politely bring it to the client’s attention and make the decision if treatments can be provided at this time. If they cannot or you have any concerns, guide them to the appropriate professional to make a diagnosis.
I invite first time customers to arrive 10 minutes prior to their appointment time to complete their consultation form with a complimentary beverage. Some computerised booking systems also have the facility to email the consultation to your client upon booking, which saves time and makes the tech aware of any contraindications or requests prior to the appointment.
As well as collecting this pre-treatment information, it is essential to record all services you perform on that client including details of the treatment, any issues and aftercare advice provided. It is also good practice to note which products have been used so if the client requests the colour they had on a certain date, you look efficient and professional by being able to check this for them.
Clients come to you because you are the professional. If they wanted an amateur they could self-serve at home. It is a small investment of time and well worth the effort, in getting to know and guide your clients as a nail professional.
Love Katie B x
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