The beauty business is a people’s business. The success of the business depends on client satisfaction. This not only depends on the actual solutions to beauty problems, but the extent to which you can develop an ideal relationship of confidence with the client. The relationship should be a blend of a professional attitude and genuine human interest in the client. Client handling involves several aspects, like client reception, attitude and behaviour towards the client, professional ethics and of course, hygiene and cleanliness.
The first impression that the client gets will be partly based on the visual appreciation of the clinic and partly the manner in which she is received. Calm efficiency and an organised method of reception should be apparent to the client. She should get the feeling that the beauty therapist, or receptionist, is interested in her presence and she should be given a knowledgeable response to her enquiry. If there are any leaflets or brochures about the treatments, offer them to the client. Offer tea or coffee, if available and make the client feel relaxed. If you can afford it, offer a free pedicure or manicure, during the wait. This goes a long way in building up your clientele.
The attitude and behaviour of the beauty therapist is important. After all, the client has come to the clinic with a problem, or expecting good service. Show genuine interest, understanding and a sympathetic attitude. At the same time, your attitude should be professional. Your behaviour should be such that the client acquires confidence about your abilities. Use gentle persuasion, rather than hard salesmanship. Each client should be treated with equal importance. One client’s problems should not be discussed in the presence of another client. Work quietly during treatments. Exchanging news or chatter with your colleagues while carrying out treatments will hardly help the client to relax. Clients should be treated as individuals, with their own likes and dislikes. Never get into an argument with the client. Explain gently and politely.
Apart from personal behaviour, your own appearance is of great importance. Your appearance must be clean and tidy at all times. Your uniform or overall should be clean and neatly pressed. Mend tears and replace buttons in good time. Cut down on jewellery during work. Fancy bracelets, bangles, rings and chains will only interfere with your work and may even be the cause of discomfort to the client. The hair should be clean and neat and away from the face. Never touch your hair while you are attending to the client.
Hygiene is of extreme importance, both in the clinic and in your appearance. The hands and nails should be clean. Keep the nails trimmed short. Wear a mild deodorant if you wish, but no heavy, overpowering perfumes. Wash your hands before and after a treatment. Personal freshness is a matter of courtesy to your clients in a profession which brings you into such close proximity with them.
The beauty therapist needs to follow a code of ethics while dealing with colleagues, employer and clients. The word ethics means a code of professional behaviour, which involves proper conduct and business dealings. Whatever your personal feelings may be, you and your co-workers should present a united front. The client should not feel any tension and hostility among the therapists. Never discuss colleagues or employees with the client. Do not criticize or run down another clinic. These are a part of professional ethics.
If you work on an appointment basis, keep to it without making any exceptions. Do not make a client who has an appointment wait, in preference to another client who may be a personal friend.
It will be of great help in client handling if you can cultivate charm, pleasant manners and confidence. Courtesy pays. So, handle your clients with tact and develop an even temperament. Respect their privacy. Apart from your professional skill and dedication, your tood conduct and a human outlook will help to build up client and brand loyalty.
About the author: Shahnaz Husain is the Chairperson and Managing Director of Shahnaz Husain Group of Companies.