The ritual of sitting next to a client and carrying out an face-to-face consultation is not an activity which lends itself very well to current salon health and safety protocols, DIrector at HOB Salons, Clive Collins, gives his advice on honing your skills in the art of the online consultation:
“As we reopen our businesses, our working day is going to be very different. At all our HOB Salons, the consultation has always been key but we are elevating our consultations to the next level. During lockdown we have been training our teams so that when they return to work they have the knowledge to discuss current and future trends with their clients, whilst feeling confident to give their client the change that we think everyone will be looking for.
“The original way of offering a consultation to our clients by sitting next to them and talking to them face to face won’t be possible, so our team members will stand behind their client and address them through the mirror.
“We won’t just be focusing on the initial colour or cut consultation when we reopen and will be looking at the longer-term picture. Our objective is ‘the returning client’ and the consultation with our clients is not just about that first hair cut or that first colour, but what their ultimate hair goals are and creating a plan of how to get there. We will be considering our client’s new lifestyle and how frequently they can return to the salon to maintain their cut and colour. Whilst there will be huge changes when we return to work, the changes we have designed to our consultation, we believe, are even better than before!
“We will be holding initial consultations over the phone and via zoom for all colour clients. These virtual consultations are a great way to break the ice and reconnect with our clients after months of not seeing one another. We will have time restrictions and limited availability so it is imperative for us to gain a strong understanding of how our clients have been managing their hair during lockdown so we can identify the correct service and length of time they need to be booked in for.
“The key questions we will be asking are: How are you feeling about your cut and colour? How would you like to feel about your hair when you leave the salon today? How have you been managing your hair during lockdown? What products are you using at home to ensure your hair remains beautiful and healthy after your appointment? How frequently are you able to visit the salon? Do you have a budget in mind? Are you aware in these unprecedented times that rebooking your next appointment is more essential now than ever before?”
Clive’s top tip for successful virtual consultations.
1 Encourage your team to use zoom, house party, Facetime consultations where possible as this really helps to reconnect with your clients and enables you to see the state of their hair, thus saving time when the client arrives into the salon.
2 Follow a consultation method that allows you to ask all the appropriate questions but that lasts no longer than 5-10 minutes.
3 Be honest, be confident and advise your client on what you think she/he needs as well as what they want. This is the time to make our clients feel the best they’ve ever looked and an average consultation versus a great one will be the difference in that first visit and that 100th visit! The opportunities are incredibly exciting.
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