Expert Advice

Where Did That Client Go?

Carlos Valenzuela | August 18, 2014 | 11:46 AM
Carlos Valenzuela

Customer service is about getting the client where they want to go. In a day’s work you might have a client on a first date, another applying for a job, and the other down in the dumps needing a pat on the back. I don’t suggest you meddle in your client’s lives, for me, the less I know, the better, however, the big tip for worry-free relationships appears to be practicing the golden rule of understanding what someone wants to play at, and not necessarily going along, but certainly not be a major force of resistance—this is paramount in the salon. I have stories.

If you are a salon professional, or a full-time educator teaching basic, advanced, or product knowledge, I ask you add one concept to your arsenal: only deliver topics that get your listener to where they want to go. Imagine yourself an airplane, transporting people from one place to another--you pack only the essentials you will use at your destination--no winter parka for Hawaii, skinny tees for Alaska.

 What to do? Review your professional communication strategy from a clear-road-to-success perspective, not just because you are a professional, but because you lose a client or learner’s respect and trust when you lack a connection with the immediacy of your client’s needs.

 How do I do this on a daily basis? Ask yourself, is this, what I am about to do or say, something my client or learner can use to get where they want to go? Is this comment or technique a winner, in my client’s view? If you can’t remember, try this, “Is this going to make me more or less money?” If not, and you were working in my salon or school, I would ask that you pass on it.

 This single strategy justifies practicing listening skills. Yes, you are going to have to speak less/ listen more in order to line up with client needs. Just last night someone said to me, “I ask my stylist not to cut the top and, at each visit, he cuts the top. I am going somewhere else”

 Here is where the rubber hits the road: it has been my experience that when professionals fail to connect with client goals, they sense the client losing interest, and this is when the professional works on befriending the client--which brings about the total breakdown of service and profitability. You can’t effectively sell to friends; you sell to clients who pay your bills.



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