Client consultations are one of our most powerful resources. We can gather information for making today’s service extraordinary, see hints on lifestyle and health that could affect retention and collect client details for future marketing. That initial consultation can be a key to client retention.
I’m going to talk about a few components that you can include to make your services run smoother and help you troubleshoot issues before they even start.
The Written Consult
At minimum you should be having clients fill out their full contact information, how they heard about you, consent to be photographed, allergy and medications or medical conditions (depending on personal info gathering restrictions in your area), consent to service and their signature.
Here are a few additions that help me quite a bit!
- Daily activity level – Are they a student, a chef, an office gnome, a yoga instructor? Knowing how they spend their days can help you determine how their lashes will last and if you need to adjust which products you’ll use on them.
- Previous Lash Experience – Have they worn lash extensions before? This gives you the ability to ask questions. Did they like them? Did they have any adverse reactions? How often did they go in for fills? What cleanser were they using? Gathering this information gives you an idea of how they feel about extensions and how they care for them.
- What’s your favorite sleeping position? Rather than ask them which side they sleep on, I ask their favorite because it’s lighthearted and having it on your consult, before an issue arises, gives you something to refer back to if you need to troubleshoot.
- Any recent cosmetic procedures? Someone who came straight from a Botox appointment should not be laying flat! Someone who had micro needling or a peel last week should not have eye pad or products on their not yet healed skin. An open wound from permanent makeup application should not have pressure on it. Knowing these things before you get started can save you some grief.
- How many coats of mascara do you wear? Yeah, I know, the idea of mascara makes me cringe, too. But it’s a helpful question! Knowing how dramatic they wear their mascara can help when you get to your styling conversation.
- Describe the style you’d like today – Here’s where your styling consult begins! Sometimes it’s easier for a client to write it out on a sheet of paper than to look you in the eye and try to tell you what they want. This also gives you a spot to jot down alterations and have them initial changes before you begin.
Once they’ve filled out the form, you can look over it and ask those follow up questions to prep before you start talking styling.
I also include aftercare and policies as part of my consultation. I require my clients to initial their understanding of what wearing, and caring for, lash extensions is. Going through aftercare also helps clients understand the process of natural lash shedding and maintenance before they have to deal with it. Saving both of us time when that first fill comes around.
Having them initial policies as part of the consultation also makes them aware of how fixes and fills work.
I can explain my refund policies, consent to service waiver and what their consent to pictures being taken means, too. Nipping the future “I didn’t know that” argument in the bud, before it can happen.
Time to Chat
If you do nothing else once you’re finished with paperwork, please take the time to talk to your client about the styling they are anticipating.
Managing client expectations is a huge part of keeping them coming back week after week…
…and telling their friends why you’re the best lash artist in town. That doesn’t mean just “giving the client what they want”. If you haven’t realized this by now, I’m gonna spell it out…The Customer Is NOT Always Right!
A client who doesn’t know anything about lash extensions does not know what is safe, healthy or complimentary to their face. They may know what looks amazing on their best friend, but that doesn’t mean it will suit them, too. A long time lash wearer may need to hear that what they’ve done in the past has caused damage.
Here are some basic questions to keep in the back of your head.
- Do they know what they want? Most clients come in with some idea, but you will occasionally get clients who just say “do whatever you want”. TRY to get these clients to give you a few hints.
- Do they have reference photos? A great way to get an idea of what their expectations are and to discuss eye shapes.
- Does the style they “love” suit their eye shape and face? Be willing to offer alternatives and explain why a cat eye will make this client look perpetually sad.
- Can their natural lashes support what they want? A client with 7mm natural lashes likely can’t wear 16mm lengths. You have to be able to say “No!” to some requests.
- Have you both agreed on styling before they lay down? If a client isn’t happy with the decision before they lay down, there’s a 50/50 chance they won’t be happy when they look into the mirror at the end of their appointment.
We all want every client to be thrilled with their lashes when they look into the mirror. If we don’t do a thorough consultation, we run a higher risk of them not being thrilled. Take the extra few minutes to have yourself and the client on the same page before they relax into their lash nap and you’ll have much happier clients week after week.
What is your “must have” in a consultation?
I’d love to hear from you! Comment, reach out on social media or email me below!