Six ways to make online consultations a big success
It’s not as hard as you may think! Plus you can do things online that you cannot do at your salon. If anything, you should keep this service on-going even when things get back to “normal.”
Here are six ways to make online consultations a new part of your business.
It’s exciting, and it’s the future.
1. Choose the app
Decide which app you will use for your consultations. In my experience, Zoom is the best option. Facetime is excellent too, but your client(s) needs to have an iPhone. Do you know who has or hasn’t got an iPhone?
Zoom is free if your consultation is under 45 minutes. However, if you want to have longer consultations, you will need to pay a subscription fee of $21/month. What I prefer about Zoom, is that you can record your consultation and then send it to your client to watch again, you can also share your screen, and like Facetime, it can be operated from a phone (any phone). There are lots of Youtube videos that show how easy it is to operate. It is a much more professional tool. Otherwise, there are many other video chat apps available. The important thing is that you pick one and get started. Try it out with family or friends first, until you feel comfortable. Vital Plus offers free online training on how to use Zoom or Facetime to its clients.
2. Update your consultation form
Take a look at your current consultation form and expand it. It needs to be more in-depth so that you have a clear idea of your client’s skin needs in lieu of being able to actually touch the skin yourself. Find out about their lifestyle, their health, both physically and emotionally, products they currently use, skincare goals, and specific concerns.
When performing the consultation, you can ask your client to show you her beauty cabinet, to show you all the products she’s using. There could be products way past their use-by date, there could be artificial make-up that is toxic for the skin, there could be gaps, she may not have a mask, or there may be too many products.
Set up your consultation form using a format that allows you to fill out the data you’re getting from your client easily. If you’re using a Word document, ensure there is sufficient space below each line to write.
3. The how-to
Organise a suitable time for the appointment, with a prescribed amount of time and stick to it. We recommend that you start by asking your client to show you how they cleanse, how they apply creams or lotions or masks on their skin. You will learn a lot about their homecare skills. As you analyse the skin, we recommend you use a technique whereby you view your client’s face as a clock face. If you use this methodology, explain it to the client. This way, you can examine small sections of the face at a time, and the client can focus the camera closely onto the area. Ask your client to explain how her skin feels when she touches it. Your questioning technique will need to be centred on getting the best possible outcome. Use the acronym T.E.D – Tell me, Explain to me or Describe for me. This helps the client to open up and allows the conversation to flow.
4. Special treatment
For your VIP clients, you can organise a unique concierge service just for them. Consultations that are more personal and in-depth will keep your clients motivated and connected to you. As we mentioned before, exploring your client’s bathroom cabinet, going through all the products they currently use and showing them how to cleanse properly is an important aspect. You can further explore their moods, state of mind and sleeping patterns. You can also ask about their diet and suggest some basic recommendations – How much water/day do they drink? What kind of cold-pressed oils do they use? Are they taking any supplements? If you feel your client needs more support and guidance in the field of nutrition, you may like to team-up with a naturopath or nutritionist. We recommend that you seek this alliance anyway as both the therapist and the naturopath/nutritionist will benefit from such a mutual affiliation.
5. A good consult looks like…
A great consultation will allow you to gather information from your client, understand their goals and recommend targeted at-home solutions. Ultimately you want to take this time to connect and build the therapist-client relationship, and it shouldn’t focus on selling but on helping. Your client will want to keep their skin radiant and healthy while they are home. Sales of products come naturally through the course of a proper consultation. You might like to prepare special DIY facial treatment packs with a bonus or added benefit.
6. Let clients know
Stay connected with your clients through social media, text and phone calls. Straight after the consultation, send a quick text message to express how you enjoyed the process. Follow-up with a text message, within the next day or two, to ask how they are going with something that you specifically discussed during the consultation. If you’ve recorded the consultation, send your client the recording. Also, email a copy of the notes you filled out during the consultation.
Emailing is good, but shouldn’t be your only avenue of connecting with your clients as inboxes are bombarded, and can be missed altogether. Make sure to let all your clients know that you are now offering virtual consultations to help them keep their skin looking great. And if you have a good client who is willing to record a testimonial, you could share their opinion and perspective with your other clients.
Regarding Consultation Cost
We believe you should charge for your consultations – your time and professional expertise are valuable. It also signals to your client that you are conducting something of value.
We know some therapists who charge as much as $300. You don’t need to take it to that extreme, but you can charge anything from $50 redeemable on skincare or a treatment voucher, for example. Ultimately, it is up to you.
If you’re not already doing it, virtual consultations need to become part of your service offering. If you want to keep your client base strong and remain connected to your clients, this type of service is essential. You are providing true value to your clients, and it is something you can continue to offer in the future when life goes back to normal. Practise with friends so you can get confident with the app and the way you go about the consultation. It will also help you to see how you’re keeping within the time frame you are suggesting.
Genuine contact is what people are craving, so let your consultations come from the heart, and you will be on the right track.
I’d love to hear your ideas on this subject. Let me know your experiences, your thoughts and suggestions, and I’ll make sure to share as many of these with our followers.
We love sharing our passion for the beauty industry with our clients and love seeing their successes. That’s what inspires us daily.
Supporting you in running a successful beauty business is our purpose.
Call us for more online consultation ideas: 1300 437 638
Q: How can I ensure a smooth and professional setup for my online consultations?
A: To ensure a smooth and professional setup for your online consultations, follow these steps:
a. Choose the Right Platform: Select a reliable and user-friendly video conferencing platform that suits your needs and is easy for your clients to access.
b. Test Your Equipment: Check your internet connection, webcam, and microphone to avoid technical issues during the consultation.
c. Create a Professional Background: Set up a clutter-free, well-lit space with a professional background to maintain a positive impression.
d. Practice Beforehand: Familiarize yourself with the platform and practice using it to become comfortable with its features.
Q: How can I engage and build rapport with clients during online consultations?
A: Engaging and building rapport with clients during online consultations is essential for a successful session. Here’s how:
a. Active Listening: Show genuine interest in your clients’ concerns and actively listen to what they have to say.
b. Maintain Eye Contact: Look directly into the camera when speaking to simulate eye contact and establish a stronger connection.
c. Be Empathetic: Show empathy towards your clients’ situations and acknowledge their emotions.
d. Use Visual Aids: Utilize visual aids like slides, images, or diagrams to enhance communication and understanding.
Q: How can I effectively communicate complex information during online consultations?
A: Communicating complex information effectively can be challenging in a virtual setting. Follow these guidelines:
a. Simplify Language: Use clear and concise language, avoiding jargon or technical terms whenever possible.
b. Provide Examples: Use real-life examples or case studies to illustrate complex concepts and make them more relatable.
c. Break Down Information: Divide complex topics into smaller, manageable chunks to prevent overwhelming your clients.
d. Encourage Questions: Be open to questions and encourage clients to seek clarification if they don’t understand something.
Q: What steps can I take to ensure the security and confidentiality of online consultations?
A: Maintaining security and confidentiality during online consultations is crucial. Here’s how to do it:
a. Use Secure Platforms: Opt for reputable video conferencing platforms with built-in security features and end-to-end encryption.
b. Password Protection: Set up password-protected meetings to prevent unauthorized access.
c. Share Files Securely: Use encrypted file-sharing services to protect sensitive information.
d. Confidentiality Agreement: Have clients sign a confidentiality agreement to establish trust and protect their privacy.
Q: How can I handle technical issues that may arise during online consultations?
A: Technical issues are common in online consultations, but you can handle them smoothly:
a. Have Backup Plans: Prepare backup devices and an alternative internet connection in case of technical failures.
b. Stay Calm and Professional: If an issue arises, stay composed, and calmly guide the client on how to troubleshoot the problem.
c. Reschedule if Necessary: If the technical problem persists, offer to reschedule the consultation to avoid frustration.
d. Provide Follow-up Support: Offer additional support after the consultation to address any lingering technical concerns.
By following these tips and being prepared, you can make your online consultations a big success and provide a positive experience for your clients.