sitepage"width="1024" height="569" hspace="0" vspace="40" border="0" align="absmiddle" usemap="#Map" />

The Girl ...
Tigi girl, 21.
Dedicated to Andrew Kalapaca & Steve Tcherkezian

Andrew at Toni & Guy
180 Bloor Street West
Steve at Other sites

Monday, December 20, 2004

What Clients Look For In A Stylist....
Lately I have been reading so many posts about people looking for a stylist, and I started wondering why? What is it that makes clients leave a stylist, even if they have been with a particular stylist for many years? What do we as clients look for in a stylist? Well I dug and found some interesting answers, and thus I'm ready to share this information with the world...So to all the stylists out there listen up because here is what clients want from YOU! This post is for the stylists out there reading, this is addressed to you.
As a stylist do you ever wonder how you generate some of these new clients, do you ever wonder why some of them left their last stylist, well you should. There is always a reason as to why people leave their stylist and sometimes as a stylist you should know why, there is no harm in asking the new client why they chose you, or the salon. Ask them that or ask them how they found out about you and watch the conversation take off and the client will leave you hints as to why they left their previous stylist. Now we all know that sometimes clients leave their stylists because they (the client) has moved away or you (the stylist) have moved away. That is always a possibility but I know that you know that too, so I wanted to dig a bit deeper and find out more and now this client (me!) shares all the information that I got with you the stylist.
What is it that clients want out of you shall know. When the client walks in the door be it for a cut or consultation they want a warm welcome, seriously. This is achieved through the receptionist, so the receptionist is the first person the client sees each and every time they walk through the door, regardless of the amount of times they have been to the salon. It is the receptionist that can also make or break a possible client, here is what I mean. Imagine this, a potential client walks in the door, and the receptionist does not acknowledge the client quickly because she is occupied on the phone or with something else. By acknowledge I mean a smile or by saying "I'll be with you in a moment" Now if the potential client is not acknowledged even with a smile, the client will begin to feel unwelcome, and may take it as rude, seriously this is info I have gathered from real people. A simple smile will do in acknlowedging the client but a simple greeting will also make them feel appreciated. Also potential clients can be gotten through the phone, sometimes a client will call a salon asking for a price or for a consultation or appointment, always answer the phone with a pleasant tone and always try to accomidate the client as best as possible.
Next is the client consultation.....
When a new client comes in for a consultation with you, always welcome them with a smile, and introduce yourself to them and shake their hand if you like (honestly this is what I have noticed alot of hand shaking going on for first time meetings) Now whether you lead them to your chair or sit with them in the reception area make sure that you put your best face foreward with them. During the consultation really listen to the client, although they may suggest ideas which will not work for them, try to see why they are asking for that idea. For example the client shows you a picture, and you know that it does not suit the client, try to understand what aspect about the cut in the picture appeals to may be the length, the layers, they style, try to find out. Then once they have told you what they envision for themselves tell them your opinion, what you think about their ideas while incorporating your own. For instance..."you like the idea of layers, how about we do the layers like this, this way it compliments your face shape." You know what I mean something along those lines is good. Clients want to hear your opinion and they do value it. The consultation is also important for your clients that you may have known for some time, always consult with them before leading them to the shampoo bowl!

In the Chair
Now they are in your hands...during the process try to talk with your client, clients like to be acknowledged, seriously. For those that are shy or less talkative try to ask a simple question and then develop the conversation from there. I know you have some clients that love to talk to you and try to participate in the conversation with them. Clients do realize that sometimes it's hard to concentrate on the cut/colour/service when clients want you to engage in conversation with them, but do try to talk to them somewhat. Acknowledge the client in front of you, again a light conversation is great, but please do not have talk to another co-worker for the duration of the clients visit, this is sure to upset the client because they will feel ignored, unimportant and well unwelcome. Clients know sometimes it's necessary to talk to co-workers but do not forget your client, if you can you can involve the client in the conversation with the co-worker too, this way they are not feeling left out.
Never rush through a cut/colour/service/style, think about it, if it was you in their position would you want to be rushed? I knew you would not want to be rushed. Rushing through a service only makes the client feel unappreciated, honestly how great of a job can you do if you are rushing through things? Not a very good one. No one wants to be rushed, clients want the best that you can offer them, so give it to them, take your time creating that work of art! I remember one time while my stylist was cutting my hair, he told me that it was "not a haircut but a work of art" seriously it is. The man is so creative and the cuts really reflect the time and effort that went into creating it. So again take your time! This also brings me to another point there should be enough time to properly accomodate a client from start to finish, and 15 minutes will not do it! I know that most salons have a 30-60 minute time frame per client. I think 45-60 is significant enough because there you have time to do a great job start to finish. It's also a great time frame for those that take extra time, like those of clients that have thick curly hair that want you to straighten it.
Now here is the part many of you dread and rightfully so....what happens when the client does not like the cut or style or colour? This is something I know you all dread but how do you handle the is how clients want it handled....Never ever try to tell the client that a bad cut/style/colour looks good on them....this is sure to destroy the clients trust in you! If they do not like the result try to find out why, and then if possible correct it, so if it's the style they do not like offer to redo it for them...yes they may need to have their hair shampooed again and styled but they will remember this. The client will feel that you care about them and their feelings. If it is the cut/colour they do not like then you need to discuss these options with the client, what options do they have and whatever the option they choose do it for them free of charge, though it may take two or three visits to get it a certain way the cleint is sure to remember and respect you in a whole new level. Sometimes the client may not verbalize their feelings about the cut and it is up to you to try to read their reaction, if they are happy they will obviously smile and maybe you will get a tip. Just watch their body language and if it seems the client is unhappy do all you can to make it right!
When the client leaves....
When the client leaves do not forget to thank them and say goodbye to them, it's an excellent way to end the process, you make your money and possibly a tip and the client leaves happy and feeling cared about.
Why clients leave...leave out some of the things I mentioned above and they may leave but I'll put them in a top three list (now obviously again take into account moving, whether it be client or stylist. Most clients do not mind a price increment in terms of the price you charge them, as long as they are aware that this is how it works in the salon. It is wise to tell the client that the stylist price has increased when the client makes the appt)
1- dissatisfaction with the service (cut/colour)
2- dissatisfaction with the treatment(how you treated them)
3- doing something that the client did not authorize you to do and that you did not get the okay for.
Honestly this is the worst thing a stylist can do is start changing the plans without telling the client, though you may think the client will love it, the client may not, and some can get upset because they feel that you have taken matters into your own hands to do what you want and ignore what they have told you. DO NOT do this!!!!!! If you want to change the plan ask the client, this way both parties are safe, client is happy that you asked and either agrees or disagrees with the change and the stylist keeps the client and you get paid. Bad word of mouth travels a whole lot faster than a good word trust me!
So what do clients want again here is a list
1- Good service - great cut/colour etc
2- Respect from you...
3-They want you to welcome them when they come in,
4-Talk to them when they are in the chair
5-They want you to thank them when they leave...
6-They want you to listen to their ideas,
7-They want you to suggest some of your own.
8-They want you to make them gorgeous!
9- They want to trust you!
10-They want your advice and overall they want to have a great experience
So what are they asking of you....I thought it seemed interesting to say that clients want you to treat them as if they were your friend....alot of clients open up to you their stylists telling you intimate things about their life, asking for your advice, turning to you to make them look and feel good about themselves, is this not also what a friend does? Do client also not treat you as a friend? Sure they do, they take care of you by giving you a tip (if they can) they talk to you and ask about you and your life too, they spread the word about how great a stylist you are and they come back to you. Do not underestimate the relationship that can develop, this wonderful relationship can develop, the whole friendship thing. In my opinion this is what stylists who have had this cleint for years have...they have a trust and friendship. Suddenly to the client you are no longer just the stylist, you are the friend. (When we clients open up to you we do so like we would open up to a friend...the idea that you are soley stylist is gone)
Oh one more thing, there are some salons that serve drinks and food (I never thought food, I mean the drinks I can see...but doesn't it make it hard for the stylist to do their job if the client is drinking unless of course the clients hair is processing) just to let you know it's a kind gesture and all but do not forget to treat the client with respect. One person told me that they went to this salon where they served food and drinks, like champagne (wow!) but the service was not good, she was dissapointed with the cut and how the stylist had treated her, (the stylist did not really listen to what the clients wanted in terms of the cut) She told me all the fancy and free food and drink in the world would not make her go in the midst of trying to pamper the client with food and drink do not forget that the clients wants to be treated with the upmost respect and care, we could care less about the food and drinks! Also some salons do offer massages while you are at the shampoo bowl whether it's a scalp massage before the final rinse or a back massage throughout the whole wash (oh I'm loving the new salon Andrew..those chairs at the shampoo bowl with the built in massage feature spell heaven!) Again like the food and drinks they are wonderful but the respect and care you the stylist give to your client means so much more.
Also try to remember for some people going to the salon is like a treat or an escape, for some women I found that they go to the salon and that is the only time that they are away from their kids and their husbands and work, including housework. It's time for themselves, and for some it's the only time someone focuses on home it's take care of the kids, the husband, the house and work. Sometimes some women do not have time for themselves and the salon is the only time they get to be away from the chaos in their lives, a time to be pampered. For some it's just fun, a nice change and for everyone it's about being pampered, having someone pay attention to them(the client) it's having someone else do your hair for you (well that one is totally me, I love having my hair done...ah the joys of pure straight perfection with no bumps, sometimes on the back of my head I will have a bump because I cannot see to straighten it perfectly well) and they get it so perfect! So stylists keep in mind that the client is here not only for the service but for pampering, so try to make it as pleasant an experience as possible for the client. If you are not having a great day try to smile and trust me, when your client sees the wonderful job you have done on their hair they will smile and you too will be smiling, because smiles are contagious! Trust me this I know for sure.
Do your best in doing their hair, respect them and pamper them then watch them smile, now that is is a grand combination!
I do want to discuss the fine line stylists walk when suggesting change to clients, the fine line is suggesting change to a client without seeming that you want full control. This is going to be the next post!

Tigi Girl. e-mail me at Archives |

|6:55 PM|