Does a hairdressing consultation scare you?
When dealing with all the intricacies of being a stylist, effective communication is key. Without it, you will have a hard time fulfilling your client’s expectations. Terms like balayage, foilyage, and color melting can be a minefield of miscommunication.
The hair consultation is a perfect opportunity to understand the client’s goals and expectations. There, you can address any concerns the client has and set up a plan of action. This is great for not only the practical matters of the appointment but also to build rapport with your client.
Here, you will find a guide of tips and questions to make your hairdressing consultation a success.
What Is A Hairdressing Consultation?
This is a conversation between the stylist and the client. There you will find out exactly what your client needs.
In general, you will want to find out a history of their salon experiences and what their current hair goal is. Also, figure out all the technical details of their hair like texture, current levels, etc.
This is your chance to start a relationship between you and the client. You can show them how you will meet their expectations, but also keep them realistic. Here they can see how you will be as their stylist.
It is important that you understand how useful this consultation with your client is. This will be an excellent tool to create future business for your hair salon.
Not only will the hair consultation protect you from dissatisfied clients, but it will help you keep and create future clients. This can provide you a boost in online reviews and word-of-mouth referrals. It is also a great opportunity to upsell retail hair products.
Now, providing a quality hair consultation is not an easy task. The stylist needs to listen attentively, absorb a lot of information, and provide a detailed plan of what they will do.
Top Tips for A Great Hair Consultation
Start the Hairdressing Consultation on a Positive Note
To pave the way for good communication, a hairdressing consultation needs to start off on the right foot. From the moment the client walks in the door, make sure to acknowledge their presence. Smile and greet them by name to put them at ease and set a good tone for the consultation.
If this is the first time meeting, introduce yourself and ask their name. Make sure to remember their name for the future. If you are not able to attend to them right away, smile and greet them, state how long you will be, and show them where to wait.
Many people schedule a hair consultation to discuss a wedding hairdo or other important event. Make them feel like you are there for them to give them the best day ever.
Take Your Time
Leading the person straight to the styling chair might be taking them too far before they are ready. First, talk business. Talk in the lobby or at a table if one is available. This shows them that you want to listen to them before starting on their hair.
Take time to learn about the client and what they want to do with their hair. Listening to them will make them feel valued and understood. They will be pleased with the customer service you are providing.
If this is the first time meeting the client, you might consider scheduling a separate appointment for the consultation. Do not let a hair consultation be a one-time thing. Make sure to take time to discuss what the client wants before every hair appointment.
Maintain Eye Contact
Maintaining eye contact is a part of body language that builds trust with your client. Looking your client in the eye makes them feel that you are listening with attention. Also, make sure to avoid negative body language like looking away a lot or crossing your arms.
Be Quick to Listen
A stylist needs to ask the client questions, but more importantly, they need to listen to the answers. If a client feels heard and understood they will stay and make you their main hairstylist. One way to show that you are listening is by repeating in your own words what they have said to you. This will confirm that you understand and show the client you are paying attention.
Look at their clothes, shoes, handbag, etc to learn more about their personality and style. If you understand their style you will be able to find the best hairstyle for them.
Be Honest and Clear
Be honest about what is possible with the client’s hair. They might want something that is unrealistic with their hair type. Explain it upfront so as not to give them false hope. Discuss the options they have with their hair.
Give the client detailed information about the products you are selling. Or explain which products are good for their hair care. Explain the ingredients, how to use them, and how they benefit from them.
Before you start styling their hair, be clear about the price. You want to avoid any awkward situation that might arise when it is time to pay.
Introduce Other Salon Staff
If other members of the salon are going to interact with the client, make sure to introduce them. Or if an assistant will aid in the styling of their hair make sure they meet. Explain to the client the role the assistant will play.
Nobody has a perfect memory. After the client leaves, it is easy to forget what they said. To avoid an embarrassing mistake keep records. Taking notes and keeping records is also a great way to build a good relationship with the client.
With each visit of the client, jot down a brief description about what you did or the condition of their hair. Then with every appointment, you will gain a deeper understanding of the client and provide the best service. A record of the client also helps in the event that their regular hairstylist is unavailable and another stylist has to take over.
If the client has any special conditions, allergies, or requests write them down so you do not forget. Record keeping and note taking are also useful if ever a client has a complaint about your service. You can refer to your notes to show them the care that you gave their hair and refute any accusations.
Have you ever seen the Friends episode where Phoebe gives Monica a bad haircut because she misunderstood which Moore actor Monica referenced? This is the perfect example of why it is important to use pictures.
Clients often have a specific idea of what hairstyle they want but they might not always express it well. Or expressions like “over the ear” can have one person thinking one thing and another something else.
If the client does not bring a picture of what they want, use pictures in magazines or on the internet to confirm the style they are asking for. It is better to verify what style they want pictures of than to find out after it is too late to fix it.
Have a mini consultation with the aid of pictures every time a client asks for a new hairstyle.
Questions to Ask During a Hair Consultation
Here is a list of important questions to ask during a hairdressing consultation. Asking these questions will help you understand better both new and returning clients.
1. What made you book with me?
Asking how a new client found you is a good way to track what marketing channels are successful. Ask if there was something specific that made them want to book with you. Do they like your talent, experience, personality, or something else? This will give you insight into what your client likes and also how to better market yourself.
2. What can I do for you today?
It feels great when someone asks how they can serve you today. Often clients spend their days helping other people. It is nice for them to know that you are there to deliver a quality service to them. This question is also vital for you to cut their hair in the exact way they want it. Ask this question for every client, every time they come in.
3. Do you have any pictures?
As mentioned above, pictures are useful for you to understand what the client wants. Have them show you the pictures ahead of time. Then you can explain the work and maintenance that a certain cut brings and discuss with them how to style it.
4. Do you have any questions or need any advice?
Instead of guessing what a client needs to hear, ask them if they have any questions or concerns. That will help them open up to you about any topic on their mind. They might need help with styling their hair or knowing which products to use.
5. Is it a priority to maintain this length? What are your hair priorities?
A hairstylist needs to know what aspects are important to the client. Maybe they want long hair. Or they do not mind having short hair as long as they still have different styling options. Ask them what is most important to them and give them options. Understanding their priorities will help you align their current hairstyle with future goals.
6. What do you like and dislike about your hair?
Everybody has something that they like and dislike about their hair. A hairdresser needs to understand how the customer feels. Then they will be in a better position to give them useful advice about how to change what they dislike. Or they can offer a style that will highlight what they do like.
7. What is your daily hair care ritual? Are you looking for low maintenance or do you have a good hair routine?
Some people love spending time making their hair look exactly the way they want it. Others want to wake up and go without putting forth much effort into their look.
The amount of time that a client has to style their hair will determine what cut is better for their everyday life. A person with a lot of time is more suitable for complex styles. A person with little time needs a haircut that looks good with a simple brushing. Understanding which type of person your client is will affect the advice and cut that you give them.
8. How would you like to improve your hair? Is there something that you would like to change about it?
One difficult job that a hairdresser has is talking about the less desirable traits of hair. Many people have something that they dislike about their hair, but talking about it might be embarrassing.
Create a safe space so your client feels comfortable talking to you. Be gentle when offering any advice. Be honest and direct if your clients are damaging their hair somehow but do not use harsh words.
9. Do you spend a lot of time outside? What is your occupation? What are your hobbies?
The sun, dust, dirt, and many other things affect and damage hair. So it is important for hairdressers to know the occupation and hobbies of their clients. Discerning the conditions they face every day will help you determine the best way to combat them. Strategize ways to keep their hair healthy. Help them protect it from further damage.
10. Do you have any allergies?
One of the most important questions to ask your clients is if they have any allergies. A considerable amount of people are allergic to the ingredients and chemicals in hair products.
Make sure you do not cause a bad reaction by being aware of their allergies and treating them with the proper products. You want to give them a comfortable experience while in your salon.
11. What has been done on your hair in the past? Anything you do not want to repeat?
Understanding the styles, colors, and cuts a person has tried in the past will give you insight into how their hair has been treated through the years. Also, you will learn about cuts that the person dislikes and never wants to try again. Then both the client and hairdresser can be on the same page.
Also, you will learn what styles the client is familiar with. If they request a style that is different from anything they have had before, you can explain what they will need to do to maintain it.
12. What has been one of your favorite experiences at a salon and why?
Learning about the styles your client loved in the past will help you understand their personality better. You will get a better feel for what kind of styles they like and dislike. Also, you will learn what experiences they have enjoyed in the salon. Then you can provide a personalized experience that they will appreciate.
13. What products and styling tools do you use on your hair?
Find out how your client treats their hair. Do they use a lot of products and styling tools? Do they use heat? By asking these questions a hairdresser can look out for damage.
They can also provide tips and advice for the best hair care. They can recommend products and tools that are safe to use. This question and the advice that follows show that a hairdresser cares about their client and thus builds customer loyalty.
14. What is your schedule like? When would you like to come in again?
Booking the client and re-booking them is vital to sustaining a hairdresser’s business. You do not have to wait until after the hairdressing consultation to book them an appointment. Ask what their schedule is like and how often they would like to come in.
Confer with your schedule to find a good date and time to schedule an appointment. Ask if the same day every month (or however frequent) would work for them. If possible, keep this appointment consistent and on the same day. After every appointment, remind and confirm their upcoming appointment.
15. Do you have any important events coming up? Are you doing anything after this appointment?
This is a question you can ask at every appointment. If the client has an important event coming up, write it down. Remembering personal events will help you build a good hairdresser-client relationship. Bring it up at the next appointment to see how it went or if they want a special hairdo for the event.
Take this opportunity to show them styling tricks and tips. If they are doing something after the appointment, put in a couple of extra minutes to style their hair so they look great and feel confident. Clients appreciate this kind of personal attention.
Ending thoughts on the hairdressing consultation
A hairdressing consultation is valuable in many ways. Offering a free consultation is a great way to get more clients coming through the door. Having a consultation before starting a treatment or service will help you understand a client better. Then you can provide the type of salon experience that they are looking for and give them a great new look.
Do not forget to perform mini consultations with each client before every appointment. Then you will make sure you are on the same page and offer the best service each time. Offer consultations whenever a client is preparing for an important event like a wedding or graduation.
Practice a few hairstyles before the day in question. Then when the event arrives you will be prepared to give them a style that they love. They will appreciate your effort and personal interest in them.
Another benefit of a hair consultation is that the client can observe your salon, staff, personality, and vibe. The client will see that you are a confident and talented hairdresser who will take good care of them and their hair.
At the end of the hairdressing consultation, review the main topics you discussed and any decisions that were made.
This shows the client that you were paying attention. If you have additional questions, now is the time to ask. Also, ask if the client has any more questions for you. Book any future appointments and then it is time to start the hairdressing service.
This consultation method will no doubt attract new clients and give you success behind the chair.
If you enjoyed reading this article on hairdressing consultation tips, you should also check out this article about hair salon statistics.
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