A proper skin care consultation is invaluable for both the esthetician and the client. I remember being in esthetics school and listening to my instructor say, “Whatever you do, always ask, verify, and repeat back what the client tells you.” Little did I realize that those few words of wisdom would be the difference between an amazing customer experience and a bad one.
We’ve all made mistakes and learned quickly not to make them again. And maybe, just like me, some of you have experienced the dreadful words, “That’s not what I wanted.” These moments are when I say to myself, “What could I have done better? How could I have better understood what they really wanted?” This is when it hit me—I thought back to what my esthetics instructor said. It’s about the consultation and the continued communication throughout the service I was providing.
Sounds pretty easy if you think about it. Why wouldn’t we ask what the client wants? Why wouldn’t we confirm with them their desired brow shape or what their skin care goals are? Sometimes clients don’t go into detail, and we all know our idea of an arched brow and their idea of an arched brow can mean two completely different things.
Here are a few tips to help you on that journey of increasing your bottom line with a consultation that has worked for me.
Always ask open-ended questions
Whether a new client or a loyal, long-term client, I still take the time to ask them these questions before a treatment.
- What do you hope to accomplish with your visit today? Have your skin care goals changed? Results take time. You must understand the client’s goals and relay realistic expectations.
- Are you taking any new vitamins, supplements, or medications? Some clients may choose to not answer or be upfront about these questions because they either think it does not apply or because they feel it is too invasive. However, educating your clients on the effects medications and supplements can have on the skin may put their concerns at ease. Sensitivity, dryness, and even acne flares could be the result of changes in medications or supplementation. Additionally, it may also contraindicate them for some treatments.
- What is your current home care regimen? Skin issues can be the result of your client not using products correctly or frequently enough. Some clients may not even be washing their skin or applying moisturizer/SPF on a regular basis. Educating your client and suggesting small changes to their regimen could have big results in achieving their ultimate skin care goals.
- Has your diet or water intake changed? If your client’s diet has changed recently, this could have a big impact on the appearance of the skin and contribute to acne breakouts. Further, healthy, glowing skin can best be achieved when your client has adequate water intake.
- What products are you currently using? Are you happy with the results of these products? This can be an upsell or recommendation of different products to achieve the desired results.
Suggest an add-on
A simple suggestion to a repeat client can work wonders for their self-esteem, enhance the treatment they always get, and increase the overall ticket at check out.
For example, Suzy Q comes in every 8 weeks for her European facial. Suggest an add-on to the back of the hands and the arms. This will further her antiaging efforts and can introduce her to more advanced treatments like an enzyme mask or microdermabrasion that she may later consider for the face.
In any consultation, really listen to what the client is saying. Observe your client, and pay attention to cues they suggest about their lifestyle. Do they have kids? Do they work from home? Do they like to spend time with a full skin regimen? Are they always on the go?
Repeat it back to them
It is extremely important to repeat back what your client has stated to you. This is where both you and your client really come together. It is now your job as the skin care professional to share your ideas and educate them on how they can safely achieve their skin care goals while also making sure they have realistic expectations.
Give your expert advice
After all, you are the expert! Do not hesitate to give your professional feedback if your client is suggesting something that could compromise the integrity of their skin. It’s how you trust and create a repeat client. The last thing you want to do is proceed with a service you know will result in damage to their skin, irritation, or pigmentation.
Communicate at the end of the service
At the completion of the service, if your client has agreed to take home products, write down instructions on how to use them. After all, results are achieved best with proper home care. This will not only help with closing the sale, but also ensure that you have done your very best to help keep the trust between both you and your client.
Communicate after they leave
Did they purchase product from you that they will be using for the first time? Call them after a few days and follow up with them. A simple call, text, or email to say, “Just checking in to see how the new serum is working for you,” indicates that you not only care, but you listened to their needs during your consultation.
When your client moves past the new stage to a regular client, it’s important to continue having the consultations and communication to make sure you are both on the same page. Many times, our guests leave us because we have taken them for granted and assume we know what they want or need. We become comfortable and miss the cues of what they originally came to us for. Master the art of the consultation and you will see your income increase.