Rockstar hairstylists are known to provide much more than just a trim or a color retouch, sometimes it’s the therapy session you never knew you needed! Hairstylists have become trusted confidants because of their empathetic nature, engaging personalities, and closeness to their clients. When it comes to setting the stage for a client appointment, how well do you listen? Active listening is a key part of creating an unforgettable client experience that will keep them coming back for more. Here are five techniques that can help focus your attention and give clients the presence they deserve, both during consultations and in the middle of a multi-hour service.
- Put down distractions. Hit the pause button on cleaning your tools, plugging in your phone, or fixing your own hair! Better listening occurs when you focus on a single task and direct your attention to the person speaking.
- Maintain eye contact. Eye contact is shown to improve connection during conversations. Aim for making eye contact 70% of the time to improve your connection with your client and demonstrate that you’re listening.
- Wait to respond. Self-improvement master Stephen R. Covey famously said, “most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Instead of jumping to your response before your client has finished speaking, slow down and wait to respond until they have finished their thought completely.
- Repeat what you heard. Part of being a better listener is confirming that you’ve understood the other person correctly! Practice repeating to your client what you heard them say, so you can make sure that you’re both on the same page. This helps avoid confusion and misinterpretation.
- Ask follow-up questions. Do you need more information before you can get to work? Does your client seem nervous? Asking follow-up questions is a great way to get the full picture of a client’s vision and can help make them feel more comfortable in the chair. Encourage conversation by asking general questions about their day and any personal stories that they share.
What practices have you found to make listening easier in the salon?