Want To Remove 90% Of Your Client Based Problems?…Do this one thing.

Remove 90% of your Client based problems with this one thing…

I had a client come to see me yesterday. She asked to have a word, which nice of her. While I was racking my mind to what she could be wanting – or what was wrong – I did realise I hadn’t seen her for a couple of months. Hmm…?

She’s a lovely lady; memorable not only for her sunny personality but for her crowning head of very long, curly, dry and grey, colour covered hair. It’s a tricky head of hair to deal with, but it looks good. She was a great client to have.

What she told me, really hurt.

She wanted to tell me that she had gone elsewhere for her colour.

She wasn’t happy with the last result we got for her, she felt the condition was very poor and she was horrified at the bill she was presented with. Wow, clearly we had seriously messed up. On first thoughts, it sounded a complete disaster.

But her hair looked fantastic. Apart from the roots lacking a little coverage – a result of the ‘elsewhere’ colour, the colour was natural, matched her skin tones and was in very decent ‘nick’ considering all the things I mentioned.

The young stylist who looked after this client, although only 4 years into her career had done an awesome technical job – this was clear.

But still, the client had felt disappointed enough to go elsewhere. There had to be more to it…

Here were the facts;

Our client had been having a darker full head colour to cover 100% grey. Between the stylist and the client, they’d decided that a lighter tone would be more natural, less obvious when grey came through and perhaps would need refreshing less frequently. The stylist suggested a cleanse to remove some of the depth of colour, then go in with a lighter base. The client liked the idea and it was all booked.

The results were exactly as was agreed upon.

So what’s the problem?

  • The colour was lightened as expected.
  • There were 2 processes so the client was charged for the services
  • The ends were dry and needed moisture – but as expected in a service like this.

All as it should have been. So surely there’s no reason for the client to be unhappy?

Well, there’s plenty to be unhappy about. The stylist got ONE THING very wrong. And it wasn’t with the hair.

The stylist did NOT manage the clients’ expectations. Simple as that. Her fault.

The consequences of the process should have been made clear – good and bad.

So simple, so easy. But not done. It would have saved money, reputation, the loss of a client and most importantly – how the client felt about her hair.

Here’s how it should have gone when discussing the new idea/service;

‘Yes, it will lighten nicely, but inevitably there will be a compromise in the condition. Some treatments will be needed here, and also ideally at home. These will cost…£???.Are you happy with this?”

‘This is going to be time consuming second process, so in addition to the colour process there will be an additional investment/cost – of £??? – are you completely happy with this?’

‘So just to be clear… in total you’ll need another 1-1.5 hours and the total cost will be £000.s, with monthly treatments in-salon.”

Well, you get the picture…

You see, to us it’s obvious, there’ll be condition issues, time and cost issues. To a client, only interested in the upside – it’s not obvious. You have to make it C.L.E.A.R.

Don’t be afraid of speaking the truth. You are just doing the right thing. You are doing your job.

To maintain a client’s trust and levels of satisfaction, we as the professionals must manage our clients’ expectations to be successful. No matter how good a technical or creative service is, if the client experiences negative outcomes – no matter how obvious to you – that they were not expecting, they’re going to feel disappointed. This reflects on your skill as a hairdresser and will damage your business.

The checklist to manage expectations when considering a new style/service;

  • Time?
  • Cost?
  • After care?
  • Further apts/maintenance ?
  • Consequences to condition/other?

Etc. Etc. (I’m looking at how we can write this down to share with our clients)

The more and more I am developing as a business owner, the more I am realising that success comes down much more to the right communication via the consultation process than it does to technical excellence. (This is true in all aspects of management BTW)

It’s about doing simple things to make sure that things don’t go wrong in the first place. It’s really very simple to reduce your ‘client problems’ by 90% – train your team in this way of thinking and watch average hairdressers become excellent, and excellent hairdressers become awesome. The same will happen to your business.

Success in this business really isn’t all about the hair – but it is all about delighting one client at a time.

Adam X

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