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Hows the 'new normal'?

How's the 'new normal'?

How's the 'new normal'?  So, now many of us are back open for business, how are you finding it?  How are you finding your clients feel to this 'new normal'?  Is the response good?

Many clients are going to ask themselves ‘Can I trust my therapist/stylist to keep me safe?’

It’s a big question and we cannot blame them for feeling this way.  I know you will have invested so much money into PPE and set up strict COVID-19 salon systems in order to just be able to open.  We have to do what we have to do, right?

How do your clients feel about the 'new normal'?

Have you stopped to think how client's feel about it all?  Of course so many will be ecstatic to get rid of those DIY disasters fixed or get their eyebrows done. But what then?  Things are not like they were...

If a client starts to feel unsafe during their beauty or hair appointment this can quickly lead to high levels of anger and frustration.

Building trust is vital if clients are to feel comfortable with your new procedures.  Above anything we need to make sure we are getting clients to rebook before they leave.  But little ‘moments’ in their visit can build or destroy trust.  How do we do this I hear you ask...

Don't make promises you can't keep.

It’s easy to make promises such as: ‘Your safety is our top priority’ or ‘Social distancing is in place throughout the clinic.’

But are you and your team keeping and delivering them at every client appointment?

Failing to deliver on safety or hygiene promises you made is the #1 way to break trust.

Are you being consistent?

On their first appointment since lockdown.  I have no doubt you did everything correctly and your client was impressed with your systems and processes.  You got 10/10 and a happy, reassured client.  Is it still continuing now we have been open for a month or so?  This pandemic is not going anywhere...  Trust is built with consistent experiences and we need to make sure we are sticking to the procedures at all times.

The last thing we want is for a client to share a negative experience on social and with friends as a ‘warning’ that your salon isn’t safe.  Could you imagine?

Things are not as easy...

PPE sure is making things difficult when it comes to chatting to your client or giving them the service they are used to.  No drinks, no magazines, the masks and visors are making it harder to chat.  But, also, your body language isn’t as visible.  Are you smiling, or pursing your lips, behind that mask?

Given you may also look a tad scary in your PPE kit, building that crucial rapport and empathy with clients becomes that much harder.  Pay attention to clients non-verbal communications (body language).

This is one of the best ways to build rapport and make clients feel less anxious is by showing you’re really listening to them.  When you listen, people feel that you’re interested in them, and value them.

Show you're listening:

  • Try to look at your client 65-85% of the time, especially if client is trying to chat.
  • Show interest by leaning in slightly towards them when they are speaking.
  • Nod your head in agreement to show empathy and agreement.
  • Smile more than normal, and if you’re wearing a mask rather than a visor make sure that smile shows in your eyes.

We need to look for clues as to how our clients are feeling, pay attention to little things such as:

  • Fiddling a lot.
  • Avoiding eye contact.
  • A wrinkled forehead suggests worry, anxiety, or annoyance.
  • Clenched fists can indicate anger or frustration.
  • Anxious people often have quick, shallow, short breaths so look out for these too.

By watching their body language you can read their mood and offer calm, soothing reassurance to calm nerves and anxiety.  Pay attention to your client and try and think outside the box on how you can make a customer feel a little bit more special.

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