Preparing the ideal treatment room
Put yourself into the client’s shoes and look at it from their perspective; would you be happy about walking into this room to start your treatment? It’s important the client feels comfortable; treatments can sometimes be a bit intimate and clients often have to partially undress so they might feel nervous as it is. Creating the right environment for their treatment will help put them at ease so they can relax and enjoy it.
Does everything look clean?
I think this is one of the most important factors in your treatment room. Your client is about to partially undress in this room, put their belongings away and lay/stand on the couch/equipment. They need to feel confident in your hygiene standards and comfortable; if they don’t they will immediately feel uneasy and tense throughout their treatment. Whether it is a relaxing treatment or not, you don’t want the client to feel tense and uneasy. Everything should be cleaned and sterilised between treatments, even if you know this has been done you still need to check that everything looks clean. Perhaps it is a freshly laundered towel but if there is a bleach stain on it it may look as if it’s not been changed, or you may have disinfected your trolley but if there are tint marks on it won’t look as though it’s been cleaned. It’s important to check the look of everything even if you know it is clean.
Is the room tidy?
The client wants to walk into a calming space not a chaotic mess, this is probably what they’re trying to get away from at home! Make sure your room looks tidy, towels are folded, products are lined up neatly and the laundry bin or waste bin isn’t full and overflowing. If you’ve got lots of different treatments in that day it’s good to be prepared but make sure you haven’t got everything out for the whole day all at once. Keep some of it hidden away so your room isn't overflowing with products and equipment making it look cluttered. Also make sure there isn’t anything there that isn’t supposed to be, for example your latest delivery stacked up in boxes in a corner.
If the room looks clean, tidy and lovely but there is an awful waft in the air this can make the client feel just as uneasy. If you have sinks or showers in the room make sure they are not blocked. If you have had a client previously in the room who has left a lingering smell of smoke or body odour then make sure you get rid of this before inviting your client in. Also if you have just cleaned the room you don’t want it smelling too clinical. Most salons have a naturally nice aroma from the products but if there is a bit of a problem then you may want to light a scented candle or spritz some room fragrance to give a more pleasant aroma; nothing too overpowering just something nice and delicate.
Have you created a calm and relaxing atmosphere for your client? When you client walks into their treatment room it should be like stepping into a cocoon, away from loud noise and hassles of everyday life. Make sure there is relaxing music playing, dim lighting and calm colours. You don’t want anything too in your face, such as bright lights or bold brash colours. If there are others clients in the salon discourage them from using mobiles as annoying ring tones or loud conversations can be very disruptive for other clients.
The temperature of the room should be just right for your client; they will not want to get undressed in a cold room and it will make them tense up. Equally some clients get just as uncomfortable in very warm rooms. If the client is having a treatment where they are lying still on the bed they will get colder compared to you, as the Therapist moving around, so when you feel warm this doesn’t necessarily mean that the client will. You’ll need to check with the client how they are feeling and how warm they like it. Blankets, duvets and heated blankets on the couch all help to keep the client cosy and these can be adjusted or removed for those clients who don’t like feeling too warm and actually prefer it a bit cooler.
All these things are key in creating the ideal treatment room for your clients and can be checked and changed throughout the day. To help yourself out I always think it’s a good idea to prepare well at the start of the day to get ahead of yourself a bit. At my salon we start half an hour before we open to clean the salon and set up for the day so that there is a bit less to do in between clients.
The client journey
On a long term basis it’s also good to take a little review every now and again and go on a client journey. Act as if you were a client and go and sit in the lounge; really look around making lots of observations. Then go through to the room and put your things where the client would, lie on the bed (something which we don’t often do but it gives a totally different view of the room and you’ll find yourself noticing all sorts of things you hadn’t before!).
Make a list of anything that’s looking a bit grubby or needs fixing; maybe there’s some wax on the walls that you hadn’t noticed before or the paint could do with freshening up or a shelf has become a bit wobbly. There might a few things missing; maybe you don’t have anywhere appropriate for the clients to put their belongings so you may want to invest in a wicker basket or coat stand. If things are looking a bit bare you might want to add a poster or picture or maybe a few nice touches such as nice vintage style mirrors or whatever fits in with your salon theme. Check the décor is still looking relevant and not out dated; is it still reflective of your salon’s brand, is the colour scheme working well? If you find you don’t like it as much as you used to maybe it’s time for a makeover.
Taking time to think like your client will help you understand what it’s like from their point of view and if there’s anything that needs improving you can do this to hopefully make your clients happier and ensure that they come back for me!