How do you turn a casual enquiry into a customer for life?
By Professor Des Fernandes and Dr Ernst Eiselen and Jennifer Munro.
When a new client first contacts an esthetician, it’s usually because he or she has a problem they wish to resolve. As the caring therapist you really are, it’s very easy to take your new client at their word and simply treat them for the thing they told you about. But this is never going to give you or them the best results. Every esthetician can go from being ‘An esthetician’ to being ‘My esthetician’ by taking extra care and time in that very first meeting.
So, what do you really need to know?
Start using the four tools of skin analysis: eyes, ears, touch and machines.
Personal details: Even in this seemingly innocuous area, there may be some hidden clues. One of the most obvious ones is stress.
The main area of concern: This is the reason the client came to see you; the thing that bothers them the most.
Hereditary history: Skin cancer is an obvious choice here, but it’s handy to know if there is a family history of Acne, Rosacea or Eczema. A skin type can also be inherited and not caused by any external or environmental factor.
Lifestyle: Does your client eat a lot of sugar, giving acne a better chance to occur? Is their diet lacking in protein causing wrinkling or grey hair? This is especially relevant if your client is a strict vegan. Are there any other possible vitamin or mineral deficiencies? Do they use tanning beds?
Current skincare: Not all skincare products are created equal. Some may not contain any ingredients that actually help the skin or that can be absorbed into the skin. It’s important to study the ingredients to know what’s happened so far. These questions should also show you how much time and effort your client is prepared to put into their skin on a daily basis.
Medications: A professional therapist will want to know if the client is using hormone treatments as that will have a definite effect on the skin. The medications for blood pressure, epilepsy and diabetes are all entirely relevant to skin condition.
Medical Conditions: Each medical condition will indicate something that you need to be aware of when you treat this client or recommend something for them. You also need this information for safety reasons. For example: Claustrophobia may mean that your client will not enjoy a mask over the face. Epilepsy may mean that they should not have electrical treatments, and you should know what to do if they have a seizure while you’re treating them. Allergies will mean that you must check your ingredients carefully and eczema will allow ingredients to be more efficiently absorbed through the skin, increasing the risk of an adverse reaction.information for safety reasons.
What are you going to do with all this knowledge?
Once you’re in possession of as much information as possible, it’s time to go through the Skin Analysis Funnel, as designed by Dr Des Fernandes and Jennifer Munro in The Skin Science Authority’s Skin Analysis System.
At the top of the funnel we have Skin Groups –By analysing the level of melanin in the skin you can understand how susceptible the skin is to photo damage. This will help to determine how to protect it and to understand how any damage has happened in the past.
The next level is Skin Type. This affects the way the skin should be maintained on a daily basis. it is important to understand the basic skin type because it will direct you to any possible causes of existing or future problems, or modification of how one will eventually modify the treatment or things one has to keep in mind.
The final level is Skin Conditions. This is probably the hardest area to be completely accurate and the place where you really need all your tools the most. Once you have this though, it’s easy to create an Action Plan that will work.
Simple is better
Skin Analysis does not have to be complicated. The system described above is comprehensive enough to allow you to arrive at a good action plan, which is the ultimate goal of a customer consultation. There have been some very complex books written and systems designed for skin analysis, but it seems they can intimidate everyone and waste a lot of time without improving the results.
Talking about time
The initial consultation is the point at which you start to build a relationship with the client. This is where they decide if they trust you and whether they want to embark on a skin improvement journey with you, so it’s worth taking time to get as much information as possible. If you really want to excel here, perhaps you should charge for the service and off-set that charge against product sales (or not). Paid advice and services are always more valued than those perceived as free.
If you don’t know where your journey began, how will you know when you’ve arrived? Good before and after photographs are like gold in the hands of skin professionals. They’re marketing tools and proof that you have done your job well. Learn how to do a good job without spending a fortune on equipment.
Speaking of photographs
You also have to ensure data protection; storing data in the cloud is far safer than storing pieces of paper in a filing cabinet where they are subject to fire, flood and theft.
When you and your client set out together on a skin improvement journey, if the skin analysis has been done carefully and accurately, the chances of being able to reach the destination for both parties are greatly increased. Click here if you'd like to see the digital client consultation system and have a free trial.
Can a machine replace a human?
“No! I firmly believe that while machines can help diagnosis and can confirm your thoughts, they cannot replace you. The complex computer in your head, working with the data from your experience and your training will always be far more accurate than any machine. If you’ve done your detective work well, there is no machine on earth that can see, hear, touch and think the way you do.”
Dr Des Fernandes
"The availability of skin care products, which address the physiological needs of skin, coupled to therapies and treatment techniques, can now create a significant difference in the quality and health of skin. The initial consultation is where you begin this process of truly making a difference to your clients' skin."
Dr Ernst Eiselen
"The Skin Analysis is the point at which you start to bond with your new client and make them feel they are listened to and that they have your complete attention. LISTEN AS CAREFULLY AS YOU CAN; YOUR CLIENT IS GIVING YOU THE DIAGNOSIS. Skin analysis builds loyalty and trust as the Action Plan is carried out."
Dr Des Fernandes