Are we seeing a changing face to the consultation process? During Lockdown, you were no doubt forced to interact with clients virtually, giving them 1:1 attention to discuss their needs. Anne Veck for one has recognised the benefits of virtual consultations and has decided to make this lockdown element a permanent feature in her business model.
Having conducted hundreds of virtual consultations, Anne is reflecting on this becoming a fixed part of her offering now that her salon has reopened. She explains: “It’s been fairly stressful doing such a great number of consultations like this, but I can see that this is going to be important for us once we get into a more usual level of operating and the virtual consultations are a really good way of making the consultation a standalone conversation, a really important focus on the client’s concerns and needs and a chance to assess the needs for the appointment”. Anne feels that this added service and contact with the clients not only improves understanding of what is ahead but also ensures that the business allows enough time to deliver. These consultations are, she says, particularly important for major colour work, but also for transformational new looks of any nature.
British Hairdresser of the Year, Rob Eaton, has followed suit launching a virtual consultation service, so that clients can be prepared for their first appointment post-lockdown.“By booking in for a virtual consultation, clients will be able to get ahead so that when they come in for their first appointment we’re both prepared for what we need to do.”
From covering extreme regrowth to correcting any DIY home cuts or colours, post-lockdown appointments could be longer and more complicated than a standard monthly retouch or trim. By undertaking an in-depth virtual consultation in advance, both clients and the Russell Eaton team will be ready to go as soon as possible. The virtual consultation service is also perfect for those planning a new look, or for those who have used their time in lockdown to reassess their style.
“Clients may come out of lockdown deciding to grow out their grey gracefully, or transition from highlights to something more low-maintenance like a balayage service,” says Rob. “Or they might have used the time at home to get inspired to try something completely new. Whatever they’re dreaming of for their first appointment, we want to ensure we’re primed and ready to go so that we can get as many clients looking and feeling fabulous as soon as we can.”
“Zoom has been a communication silver lining, so making the step into having a pre-salon visit consultation is something we shall definitely continue for the next quarter and potentially permanently,” adds Barrie Stephen. “What we find is that we give hugely detailed and focussed time to the client and the consultation process, which probably lasts for 15 minutes. It also includes a conversation about aftercare and because the client is sitting at home, it doesn’t feel like a ‘sales’ call it just feels like care, which is what we are after. We make a note of any retail conversations as well as all of the salon care that will be needed for the appointment and that is a perfect way for the stylists to pick up on and continue the love.”
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