Patience is one of the most vital customer service skills you can master. Whether you have a nervous client who’s delaying their treatment or a client who’s asking dozens of questions, it is vital that you avoid getting frustrated or restless. Of course, you may know the service you offer inside out, but it’s important to remember that for others, certain procedures or products can seem new and intimidating. So even though it may feel a little tedious, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and take time to make them feel comfortable and at ease.
Be well presented
It almost goes without saying that in the beauty industry, you ought to be well presented, but if you have been in the job for a while or other life commitments have got in the way, it can be easy to let your personal standards slide. However, it’s important to remember that you are the best advert for your services and therefore, you should look your best. Set some time aside every week, such as a few hours on a Sunday evening for personal grooming. Keep your nails neat, moisturize, pluck stray hairs – do whatever beauty rituals you need to do to look well-groomed. Take stock of your looks and personal care – do you need a haircut? When was the last time you went to the dentist? It can be easy to get swept up in the beauty needs of others, while forgetting to look after yourself.
Knowledge of products
Don’t assume that simply by stocking reputable products, you will automatically impress your customer. Having in depth knowledge of product ingredients and ensuring that you accommodate for clients who may have sensitive skin or allergies will set you apart. Take the time to read up on the products you stock. Ensure you understand each product’s benefits and try to memorize their key ingredients. It may seem dull, but this extra research will help you develop a reputation as someone who is professional and knowledgeable.
Use ‘positive language’
Using ‘positive language’ may sound like little more than corporate jargon but making slight changes in the way you shape your communication style can have a dramatic effect on your relationship with clients.
If you need to convey some bad news, the way you ‘spin’ your answer can have a powerful impact. For example, if you are in a situation in which you need to inform a client that the regular clinician they see is unavailable, you can answer in two ways, both negative and positive, with the answers striking very different notes.
Using negative language, you might say: “Sorry, they’re away on holiday. They’re not back for two weeks. They won’t be unavailable until then.”
But answering with positive language, you might say: “They are available in two weeks, we can book you in then or in the meantime, we can offer you appointments with other members of staff.”
Although the first response may well be stating honest facts, the way it is delivered may come across as unhelpful and unconstructive. On the other hand, the second response strikes a completely different tone, coming across as supportive and welcoming.
Ask for feedback
When you carry out treatments on a regular basis, it can be easy to assume that all customers will be satisfied with the same style of service. But it is important to remember that each individual may have different tastes. For example, when carrying out a massage, the tranquil rainforest music that relaxes nine out of ten of your clients, might really grate on the nerves of a small minority. Some customers may feel uncomfortable about piping up to complain, but by checking in with them and asking questions to ensure they are happy, you will be able to give them the best possible service.
Whichever area of the beauty industry you work in, it is vital that you make an effort to ask your clients about their concerns, whether that relates to their skin condition, hair, muscle tensions or something else entirely. Listening carefully can help you adapt your service accordingly and may affect the products you may choose to use or recommend. As well as improving your customer service, such an approach can also provide you with opportunities to upsell products or services. For example, a client who comes into a hair salon for a trim may reveal concerns about their hair thickness when asked. This may provide an ideal opportunity to upsell services such as treatments or extensions, which will not only satisfy the customer but also help grow your business.
Read your customers
You may be in a great mood but that doesn’t necessarily mean your client feels like chatting. Make an effort to read your customer’s mood. Even the most bubbly client might have off-days when they are feeling subdued or out of sorts and the last thing they may want is to chit chat. Pay attention to the kind of mood your customer is in and adapt your service accordingly. If a client seems to be in a low mood, it may help if you are more attentive and patient than usual. Or, if a normally quiet patient seems to be in a positive mood, why not bring them out of their shell with a bit of conversation?
It may sound odd but developing your acting skills can prove one of the most valuable skills to master as a beauty professional. There will always be difficult customers who for whatever reason cannot be placated. In such situations, the ability to appear calm and pleasant even of you feel the opposite inside will help you excel and provide superior customer service. Don't overdo it though. If you come across as insincere, it my prove just as irritating to your customers as you being outright rude.