The consultation process is one of the most important touch points for increasing the likelihood of a repeat guest. Simply listening to your guest’s requests, and not looking at their hair texture or hair history, can steer you in the wrong direction. What matters most is what you’re going to deliver, and displaying your expertise will win a client’s trust and lead to a long-term relationship.
Don’t Overpromise (honesty is the best policy)
A major mistake that stylists make is over-promising results; telling a dark haired client that they can go blonde in just one visit isn’t necessarily realistic. In order to maintain healthy hair for a guest like this, you may need to see them several times before you achieve a completely new look. In this case, you should focus on your client’s immediate needs to make their hair beautiful and healthy, but most importantly, vocalize what your client’s hair can actually handle at that particular moment, and explain the steps you will be taking to get them to their ideal look while keeping their hair healthy.
The Salon Experience (Make Introductions)
Treat your guest as if they are a guest in your home. Make it a habit for stylists to introduce their clients to the team and anyone they will be interacting with. This includes the stylist or colorist that is involved, any assistants that may be helping, and the front desk manager. If the salon manager or owner is available, make that introduction as well. Making the new client feel welcomed in your salon, through something as simple as making introductions, leaves them with a sense of ease that their hair needs will be properly tended to, and they will be more likely to return.
Discuss Budget and Give Updates
Knowing the exact price for your guest’s service is nearly impossible until you start. Guests appreciate when they have a ballpark figure, but remember to explain that you may need to add services, such as toners and conditioning treatments, or may use more color than expected, which would change costs. Make sure you update your guest and get their approval before applying any extra services, giving them time to understand why their service may cost more than initially stated.
It feels uncomfortable to ask for more money, but it’s important you charge for the work you do. Vish enables you to charge based on costs, rather than industry standards, which guests appreciate. They understand that they’ll be charged for their hair, and know that if their hair is long and thick, they will be charged more than someone with short, thin hair. Just remember that you are an expert, and you deserve to charge what you’re worth.
Know Your Technical Ability
Use images to clearly indicate the look you and your guest want to achieve. One of the biggest mistakes colorists can make is using images of work that is beyond their current skill level, and promising to achieve that look. Only show work that you can reproduce, so that you can achieve exactly that look, completely satisfying your guest. If there is someone more skilled at a certain technique in your salon, learn from them so that you can continue to achieve even more complex looks as you grow in the industry.
Using all of these techniques combined can make you an expert at the consultation, helping you keep all your clients happy and in your chair.