There are tried and true methods of practice that, when executed proficiently, will result in a healthy revenue stream that any professional can grow exponentially. This article will explain core qualities that can help build the foundation of a business and help with regaining focus when times inevitably arrive that can cause sidetracks from the efforts necessary to run a thriving business.
A great foundation requires a dedication to three primary categories: professionalism, quality of service, and follow through.
Professionalism starts with a client’s very first impression. When professionals come to work well rested, well dressed, and prepared for the day, they exude a level of confidence that is felt by the client. When the day is started in this manner, clients will know they are in good hands. When you are feeling confident in your own work, clients will feel confident in the services they receive.
All businesses are people businesses. Unless robots start to run the show, businesses center on humans dealing with other humans. It is fairly obvious that kindness and communication deserve merit. Where the focus can get lost is when professionals forget why the client initially came to them in the first place. Clients come to the spa to receive a professional service, not to make a new friend. It is important to remember that it is entirely possible to build an interpersonal relationship with a client while staying the consummate professional. Those that can relate to the person they are providing a service for while continually having the stature of being the professional will grow the strongest bookings and will garner high levels of loyalty from their clients. Customers will both care for the professional as a person and know the service they are receiving is always performed with dedication to professionalism.
Many clients have left a professional who they felt had gotten lazy with their service or blurred the line of professional and friend, which inevitably resulted in the client feeling as though they were not valued as a paying customer.
QUALITY OF SERVICE
In order to satisfy clients’ needs, professionals need to have built a skillset that allows them to perform an elevated level of service. Out of school, a professional knows the basics. It is up to them to keep evolving in their abilities through continued education, as well as a mindset of the importance of giving their undivided attention to the client during the allotted appointment time. In this modern day, this means tucking technology away in a break room and knowing that any life stressors can typically wait until the professional leaves work.
In today’s society, multitasking has become something that almost everyone is already used to doing much of the time. Skin care professionals must remember they are in a feel-good business. Clients come to have a momentary reprieve from the everyday stressors in their own lives, so let’s not bring ours to work. Not only is it good for business, but it is also healthy for the skin care professional to do so in their own lives.
A quality service always begins with a thorough consultation. It is important to remember that a consultation begins not only with the first service, but with every service. After the initial service, the consultation does not need to be lengthy in duration. Subsequent visits may include just touching base with the client at the onset of the appointment.
At the end of the service, it is important to make sure the client had their needs met. If there is anything that can be done differently to enhance the next service, this can be discussed at this time. If there is a correction that can be made prior to the client’s departure, do so at this time.
People like to anticipate something new in their future. Give them something to think about prior to their next visit. Suggest something new to enhance their follow up visit, explaining why it will be a positive additional experience for them. This gives them something to look forward to and a reason to come back.
Make suggestions for what they can do at home to continue the improvements with products or other tools, in order to improve whatever it is they came for. Always explain the rationale and give specific details on how to manage their needs at home. When writing these instructions down, make it easy for them, so they will have a visual at home that keeps you on the forefront of their mind.
Always explain when a client should be coming back in relation to how many weeks and walk them to the front desk or pre-book them. Clients want to know when they should come back. When you pre-book them with each visit, you are actually taking care of the client’s needs, and the client will feel organized and prepared. They can always say no. But, if you do not offer to pre-book, you are doing them a disservice and reducing your annual income at the same time.
Finally, it always feels great to be thanked for one’s patronage. Send clients a note to let them know they are appreciated in choosing you and the spa. This helps the client feel valued and know you respect that they can choose to go anywhere and instead have chosen you. This is not something to do every time, but on the first visit it is a wise investment of time. It is also something to do when you have not seen a client in three months, as a method of checking in. A phone call can work, as well, but a handwritten note is always an option. Choose whatever follow up technique feels right and go with it.
These three core qualities when used continuously are a way of elongating the lifespan of a client’s commitment to returning for services year after year. These three traits should be cycled through with each visit.
When these traits are performed consistently, they will consequently become a habit. When performance efforts become habits, you will gain momentum and the work will no longer be work. It does not take effort to gain and keep clients.
At the end of the day, when the professional follows through with the mindset that they care to perform well and improve the day-to-day for clients, with no expectations, they will always receive good things in return. It is often likely for the good return to end up being client retention and referrals because the professional is performing well. Happy clients lead to returning clients.
CLIENTS WHO HAVE NOT VISITED IN A WHILE
Every professional, no matter their skillset and dedication to the foundation of their business, will lose clients over the years and for many reasons. Some may move, some may tighten their budgets, and some will just move on because things are no longer jiving for one reason or another. Expect this to be the case and do not take it personally when this happens. It is always important to make the client feel like they can communicate their needs and feel valued whether they are able to make it in every month or once a year.
What can be done when a client has not visited in a while? The more organized a skin care professional is with a client’s history, the more effective they can be with recovering lost business.
Have a system in place so that on the first week of each quarter you sort through a list of clients that have not been seen for three months and give those people a call. Let them know they have been missed and you would love to get them back in. Ask for any feedback they have that would help improve their service needs. By offering a 10% to 20% discount, you will increase the potential for recapturing that client. By giving that discount a two- to four-week deadline with a specific date attached to it, you are more likely to get the client back in the spa.
In conclusion, it is completely feasible to have fun with work while taking it seriously. The two not only can be accomplished together but can benefit one another. Be serious about your business and find joy in it. Laugh a lot. Relate to the clients while being their professional service provider. Life is meant to be enjoyed, after all.
Leah Simon-Clarke is a licensed aesthetician and consultant. In the 20 years Simon-Clarke has spent in the industry, her success has been driven by honing her skills in customer service, service innovation, marketing, and public relations. Like a painter or sculptor, Simon-Clarke sees the masterpiece ready to take shape within everyone and, through the tools of her craft and the wisdom that she shares, she brings this vision forward in a way that no one else can. The same is true with her approach to life, business, and personal transformation. Find Simon-Clarke through Twitter @LeahSimonClarke or Linkedin by name.