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Hairbrained – Develop a Checklist to Keep Clientsby Beauty Expert, Gina Rivera

Sherrie Wilson

So, you suddenly realize that a client who always schedules failed to book this month. Or, a regular client cancels and never rebooks again. You’re stunned, maybe hurt, upset, or in shock. This has happened to all of us at one time or another and it’s undoubtedly painful.

Even if you’re talented, there can be many reasons that a client may leave. I am not discrediting talent as it plays a big role in success. However, there are other important factors as well. Growing up in the salon industry and being behind the chair for many years, I have experienced the good times and the bad times. Unfortunately, one thing that stings the most in this industry is when you lose a client.

Becoming seasoned in your career can sometimes lead to going with the flow. It’s easy to get super comfortable. After-all, we are booked out for weeks on end. We know a lot about our clients and they know a lot about us. It definitely becomes a relationship and, we are friends. This makes it easy to get spoiled by the fact that you believe the client will always rebook. I am guilty of this first hand!

It can be a serious wake-up call, and very humbling, the first time you run into a long-term client with a new style that someone else gave them. It has happened to me. I use to get upset. I would blame it on everything that I could think of. Ironically, it was never my fault; LOL.

Realistically, sometimes it probably had nothing to do with me. But, as I matured in my career, I started to take a hard look at myself. Then, I began going through a self-check list that I still do today.

I asked myself things like: Am I dependable? Do I stay on schedule? Do I give my full attention to my client during their appointment? Do I provide Five Star service from the moment my client arrives? Do I allow the appointment to be about my client rather than myself? Do I consistently give 100% to every client and every technique? Or, are my actions comfortable and robotic? Do I offer new ideas each time a client walks in my door? Do I continue to offer new ideas even though a regular client has the same style request each time they visit? Do I make sure that my clients leave with the best products for their home hair care regimen? Do I place professionalism over friendship? Is my environment clean? Does the client believe they can count on me? Do I move locations too frequently? Am I communicating with my client and really listening to their needs?

I admit that sometimes I was just as comfortable as my clients were when providing the exact same hairstyle as they have had at previous visits. And, maybe the client is ok with this. Just remember, you mustn’t assume anything. Sometimes it’s important to be proactive by suggesting something new and refreshing. Often clients will find a new Salon Professional because they are looking for something different and they may be getting bored.

While you never know what is going on in some one’s life, you can be more certain that a client’s departure is not about you or your service by developing a checklist. A checklist will help you to remain on track by assuring that you are striving for great service and continuing to grow. It will force you to improve at what you are already good at. Know that taking responsibility can sometimes be challenging, however, it can also serve to make you mature and grow.