For most of last year, when travelling and teaching one thing came up over and over gain, and that was managing the clients expectation, it didn’t matter the class or the level it was as if this was the biggest thing in the room. Last year I did write about the consultation you can read that here, but I do think this is something worth touching on so we can split clients into a few different groups, but before we do that, its important that we as an industry stand tall and proud, we are the ones who have the knowledge, been on the courses, up skilling all the time and we shouldn’t be afraid of a colour change or the word NO, if we feel its applicable.
To manage any clients expectation on her color, the consultation has to be right.I feel that if we nail that then the client is going to be happy and trust us. It really changed for me, when i finally decided that all new clients would need to come and have a consult before booking, and that i was going to charge for it, and then offset that cost against a future booking. A talented receptionist is looking after so many columns that i can’t expect her to know what i’m going to do, so this is a win win for reception and me.
The consultation itself has to be thorough fiddling around direct to the point and engaging.
1 – The do anything you want client –We don’t often see this type of client anymore and i’m not so keen on that response from a client, I always feel the need to dig a little deeper, after all i’m sure she wouldn’t want jet black, This type of client always makes me think twice, so its back to the question of how she feels about her hair and start to listening to what are her likes and dislikes. This type of client should have done some homework before her appointment in terms of what she’d like to look like, with this information we can easily move forward.Thank goodness we have instagram and Pintrest at our finger tips.
2 – The slightly neurotic client – I love these ladies, they are usually only neurotic because they have had a bad experience with a colorist and are now very keen to manage the situation and not have another fiasco. So I like to get down to the bottom of whats gone on in the past and work with them to gain my trust. I know that we might not be able to do all I want the first time round, and am okay with that, but she might not, this is where the conversation about colour journey comes in. The colour journey is really a commercial haircolorists problem, when the average booking is say 45 mins there is only so much we can do, but by committing to the consultation appointment system you suddenly can offer a detailed game plan, of what you can do on the next and future appointments.
3 – The this is what I want client, or i’ve seen this on Instagram client. Social media, love it or hate it, has produced a world of filtered hair dreams, overly lit, overly filtered, face tuned, slimmed, you name it its been done, and trying to convey that to a client is probably the biggest hurdle for commercial haircolorists. The instagram famous hairdressers who do one client a day , obviously can do more than we can and for us we might need to break it down into visits, if the work is actually possible, black to blonde will not happen in a day! This is where we have to stand our ground and explain why somethings just cant be done in a day. A level 3 client who wants level 22 balayage ends and has been colouring it dark isn’t really going to happen, without some serious breakage. Many clients don’t understand that the look might have taken a few days or that wefts, filters and a ring light have been used. It is up to us to take them through the journey of what it would entail, or even if that could happen for them, how long the journey could be and how must it will cost, this is managing a clients expectation. If they say no to all that advice you have given, let them go to another salon.
4 – The regular client – Often the client who has been loyal and with a colourist for sometime. These are the clients we should always be checking in with, always asking how they feel about their colour, never having their formula mixed up before they arrive, always offering a tweak of their formula even if they don’t want it.These ladies make us successful and should not be forgotten. Quite often a few pieces here, a lighter hairline or a refresh glaze can make the world of difference, and a happy client.
Knowledge is power, and so keep updating your skills and keep refreshing your clients and make it happen
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