The most important part of a customer’s experience when getting a haircut is the consultation. With my many years working with Great Clips, this step is one that we really focus on. Why? Because this is when you learn about your customer and what he or she needs. There is always that small percentage of customers who just tell me to do “whatever you want.” That’s when my magic comes out. POW! (Don’t you love those opportunities to “do your thing”?)
For the other large percentage, I listen carefully to their needs and wants. Many customers don’t know how to describe the hairstyle they’re looking for, so it often leaves the stylist confused or uncertain. When this happens to me, I jump in with my professional recommendations—this is my chance to educate them so that the next time, they feel more comfortable and confident telling me what they want. It’s a win-win!
How do you educate your client without sounding pushy or scaring them out of your chair? Here are some simple tips.
1. Ask a lot of questions. Get to know them and their concerns.
- “How much time do you have in the morning?”
- “Do you use styling tools?”
- “Do you use products?”
2. Point out your concerns—without making them feel bad! (These are not faults—simply things you as a professional stylist will take into consideration to give them the best haircut.)
- Consider hair quirks: “You have a cowlick that may affect your final style. We may need to do some minor tweaking so you can manage the style better.”
- Consider hair types: “You have nice thick, curly hair. I’m not sure a shoulder-length bob will work the way you want. What would you think about adding some layers to help reduce some of the extra weight in the hair?”
- Consider if the customer wears glasses or hearing aids: “Do you wear your glasses all the time?”
Once you have a better handle on the customer’s needs and concerns, begin by evaluating the current condition of the hair. If you think the current style the customer is wearing is wrong for them, try explaining the differences in face shapes and the best hairstyles for each shape. From the information gathered during the consultation, you can describe what would look best and work well with their needs. Use encouraging words to explain your suggestions, such as, “The style I’m suggesting would:
- open up the face.”
- draw attention to the eyes.”
- create lift and fullness.”
The more specific you can get about what might help enhance their features, the more likely they may be to take your advice. Use words such as, “I recommend” or “I would suggest.” This way, the customer has the chance to decline your suggestions instead of springing out of your chair!
Remember—educating your customer is a very important step during the hair cutting process. It’s your professional responsibility to share what you know—and your customers will love you for it!
Share some of the positive experiences you’ve had when educating your customers!