The Perfect Salon Consultation

15 March 2016

Happy Customers and less Complaints with a Perfect Salon Consultation

A perfect salon consultation is not easy, the team member needs to analyze a lot of information quickly, they need to listen, they need to understand the requirements and they need to confirm back in detail what they are planning to do.  They need to use pictures.

Here are some top tips for a great salon consultation:

  • Eye level and eye contact – sit at the clients level and make good eye contact.
  • Use the clients name,  ask permission if you feel the need to touch the clients hair, this makes you look and sound professional.
  • Ask open questions about lifestyle, how much time the client spends on his/her hair and what the client wants to achieve with their look.
  • Ask about their best and worst haircuts, ask how brave they are feeling.
  • LISTEN – sounds obvious but too often the team member is so concerned about their next question, they can miss crucial information.
  • Use the clients history and technical notes on your salon software or Salon-iQ to provide background information.
  • Make suggestions, show pictures, try to avoid showing the client a colour chart, he /she does not understand it.
  • Explain the lifecycle of haircut, what products will be used and when the client will need to rebook. This effectively “prepares” the client to rebook and buy retail.
  • Confirm back what is decided and get clients agreement on what the end result will be.

Show pictures, this is worth mentioning again. Why? Because what a team member is visualizing is not necessarily what a client is visualizing, for  a simple example, take the phrase  “hair over the ear”, this can have two possible meanings which are totally opposite to each other. Colours have the same possibility for misinterpretation, after all what “a few foils” might mean to you could be completely different for the client. Hopefully by doing this you are on track to deliver what the client wants and expects, confirm again what is agreed (and why) before you start, if you wish, as well as during the service.

Finish with asking if the client is 100% happy with their service and whether there is anything they would like to change.

Great Salon Consultation Questions

  • How did you here about us?
  • What is your plan for your hair today?
  • How do you feel about the condition of your hair?
  • How would you describe your scalp?
  • What is your biggest challenge with your hair?
  • Look in  the mirror for me at your hair…do you like what you see?
  • How often do you shampoo your hair?
  • How much time do you spend on it?
  • What do you do with your hair  if you are going somewhere special?
  • What do you like about your hair?
  • Who’s hair do you admire?
  • How would you like your hair to make you feel?
  • Do you enjoy visiting a hair salon?
  • What was your best /worst ever hair cut/ colour…and why?
  • What products do you use on your hair at home?
  • Tell me what appliances you use on your hair?
  • What is the worst possible thing I could do to your hair today?
  • Are you feeling ready for a change?
  • Are you confident in what we have discussed?
  • Can I advise you with my recommendations on what you should use on your hair to maintain what I do today?
  • Have you notice your hair is …., we have a xyz treatment for that I recommend which will… Can I add that today?
  • If I gave you the scissors, what would you cut first?
  • Do you want your hair/colour to whisper shout or scream.

Get younger team member to keep a “book of phrases” and practice consultation role plays frequently in team meetings. Once you have asked your questions and understand the client, you can make your recommendations, be bold, be confident, if you are recommending a change say why, “to make you look younger/more modern/more fashionable. etc.

You have to really “read” your client. Most clients really want the stylist to be confident and make recommendations because after all the stylist is the professional and all the client  really wants is to leave the salon looking fabulous and for their friends to actually notice they have had their hair done and to compliment them.

So be brave and do great hairdressing and great consultations. The most successful salons I’ve seen are the ones where the team has a culture of “redesign” where it is recognised that one of the biggest reasons clients move salons is they wanted a change and did not feel their current stylist offered this.

Great salon consultations are the best way to avoid salon complaints. If you ask the right questions and get the client’s agreement, you will minimise misunderstandings. Most complaints are not because of bad technical ability, but are because of a mismatch between what the client expects and what they received.

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