Building my business

Removing the filter: Managing guest expectations

Caitlin Adamson Apr / 17 / 2019
Removing the filter salon software blog

The story goes like this: Your client walks in and sits down in the chair you’ve prepped for them. You make causal chit-chat as you cape them up. Then, they whip out their phone. You brace yourself as they bring up a photo they found on the ‘Gram or Pinterest and you feel your heart instantly sink.

A photo Hailey Bieber leaps out from their phone screen and in your mind, you’re thinking, “This is not possible, honey.” Yep, the old reality versus expectations. But breaking the fact to them that what they’re asking for just isn’t doable is easier said than done.

It’s no secret that as a salon, spa or barber professional that you have to manoeuvre your way through some tricky consultations to ensure you deliver a result your client is happy with, while making sure it’s, you know… possible. Taking a client from blue-black to blonde in one session is hair-havoc and yet clients ask for these extreme transformations all the time #NewYearNewMe.

So, what can you do to help a client see past the Instagram filters and manage their expectations, while still giving them an amazing cut and colour that will make them feel as fierce as JVN?

Rose coloured glasses

Filters, Facetune, fame and fillers have all played a role in creating images of perfection that look freaking amazing but aren’t exactly real-life… and yet it’s not always easy for your clients to remember that when faced with flawless images day-to-day.

Social media can be your worst nightmare when it comes to working your magical services on your clients. They follow Insta-famous influencers and celebrities whose job it is to invest in their appearance. With everyone striving for social media-fueled perfection, it’s so hard to decipher what is real and what is not, and your clients are often ensnared by aesthetically perfect Instagram accounts.

As a stylist or therapist, one of your biggest challenges is breaking down social media expectations and steering your clients back to reality. It’s all about communicating with your clients to find something that will suit them, and make them feel like their fabulously unique self, rather than a cut-copy of an Insta-star.

Major communication

The first step to wrangling client expectations is kicking off a conversation. Ask lots of questions and try and get to the crux of what the client loves about the photo. Chances are they will see it very differently to you, and like certain aspects that don’t immediately jump out to you. You may also need to explain the photo may very well have been filtered, Facetuned and Photoshopped.

They may also not be super self-aware enough to focus on the smaller details that make all the impact. They may have chosen a cut that won’t best flatter their face shape, or a shade of blonde that will make them look more like Casper the Friendly Ghost than Daenerys Targaryen.

Removing the filter by taking the time to have a thorough consultation, and suss out your client’s expectations so you can work your magic and deliver something they actually want, not what they think they want.

Helping hand from tech tools

Enhance the consultation and guest experience by embracing some nifty tech tools, like the Shortcuts Cloud Appointment Book. With the Cloud Appointment Book you can provide the best experience for your client without ever leaving their side. You can use it to enhance your consultation by entering visit notes from any device from behind the chair. You can also brush up on all the important details about your guest, such as how they like their coffee or tea. You don’t mess with someone’s order!

While you’re there, you can also continue the amazing guest experience by recommending additional products and services to your client to help give them the result they truly desire. Within the Cloud Appointment Book, you can upsell services or products to a client and add them to the appointment directly from your mobile device thanks to the power of cloud technology. It gives them a much more seamless experience – they won’t be able to resist coming back to see you again.

P.S. don’t forget to book in their next appointment while they finish off their cuppa!


Caitlin Adamson
Caitlin Adamson
Caitlin Adamson is a passionate creative and analytical thinker who brings her love for the written word to the marketing world. She brings her fresh outlook to the Shortcuts team and strives to create strategic and engaging collateral to help salons, spas, clinics and barbers to tackle their business endeavours with confidence.

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