Throughout the beauty industry, consultation forms are part of a standard legal operating procedure and are drilled into beauty professionals from day one. Although there are still many salons that often overlook the importance of getting a client to fill out a consultation form!

Do you get every client to complete a form?

We aren’t all 100% perfect, and there can be times when we forgot or overlook something. Many a time it won’t matter, as the client will have no allergies or health complications. However, what we must remember is that it that there is always a possibility that the unexpected can happen, and we can be caught off guard.

It has happened in my salon once, when one of my therapists didn’t realise her client hadn’t completed a form and proceeded with the treatment. It soon come to light that her client was allergic to perfumed products. Thankfully this time the implications were not as serious as they could have been-this type of error can cause your business HUGE issues. This is a very rare instance, but what do you do if you find yourself in this position? How do you deal with this situation?

1. Respect the clients situation

The client is annoyed, as if they had been taken through the correct process this would not have happened. This could have happened in preparation of an important event such as a wedding, and they may be very upset. Firstly, you must apologise to the client and be understanding of their situation.

2. Refund

Give the client a full refund for their treatment, as this was not the experience/service they paid for.

3. Don’t tell them what you normally do

Telling the client you always usually complete forms is irrelevant. What happens to everyone else doesn’t apply in this case. You didn’t with them and you must be responsible for your actions, or those of your team.

4. Apologise

You haven’t ensured your client’s safety and they know it. Acknowledge that there has been an error and accept the mistake, after all honest is the best policy.

5. Listen

You must listen carefully to what the client has to say, even if they are angry/upset- stay calm and understanding. It is better that they vent their feelings to you and don’t head straight to Facebook or Twitter slating your business. You need to try and resolve the situation as quickly and calmly as possible, giving them the best possible service as your reputation is on the line.

6. Keep notes

Keep a record of all conversations between you and the client. Print any emails and correspondence and file them away in case you ever need to refer back to this. It pays to be organised.

7. Invite the client back in

If the client leaves your salon angry and feels their issue hasn’t been sorted, they will not return and will spread negative comments. Offer them a complimentary treatment, with a senior therapist to keep them calm. You want them to think – “I had a problem; they listened to me, resolved the issue and reassured me with a great alternative treatment free of charge. I am satisfied with their response.”

You may find that in some cases, after providing excellent customer service, the client could become loyal and leave thinking highly of your business after the resolution and service you delivered.

8. Refer to the insurance experts

If the client wants to seek compensation, refer them to your insurance provider who will take care of the issue for you.

9. Don’t Panic

It’s scary when you’re faced with a situation like this, but follow the steps, deal with the issue, learn from your mistakes and move forward. Keep your forms up to date and relevant and seek advice if you need it. But also remember that people generally will accept that we are humans and occasionally mistakes can happen. It is how you deal with it afterwards which is key!

by Hollie Power

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