A Cut Above: How Good Communication Can Set You Apart in a Salon A Cut Above: How Good Communication Can Set You Apart in a Salon
Translate Your People Skills Into a New Career When You Attend Cosmetology School in Kansas
Do people ever tell you that you’re a good listener? Are you great at getting your point across, but also understanding the person you’re talking to? Do you make people feel heard and cared for? Then you’re the type of communicator who could thrive working in a salon environment!
Newly-minted cosmetologists who get a salon job often land their roles because of how well they present themselves in the interview, and because they’ve assembled a stellar portfolio of work. Salon owners and managers love finding cosmetologists who are already successful communicators because of how important the skill is in a salon.
As a cosmetologist, you’ll need to listen and speak to your clients to ensure they love their new haircut, nails, or makeup. Not only that, but you need to understand what they’re looking for when they come to you for help. You also need to convey what can be done with their hair style and color in a way that helps the client figure out the look they’re going for at their appointment with you.
Misunderstandings are always the result of poor communication, and both lead to unhappy salon clients and bad reviews, both online and via word-of-mouth. So while being up-to-date on the latest style trends is important, constantly improving your communication skills is just as valuable in today’s salon.
Practice yours with these tips from the experts.
Ask the Important Questions
Your clients don’t know what, exactly, they should be telling you about their hair care routine, nor do they always know the proper names of a type of cut or technique.
If they request a bob, but then you later find out that they meant an asymmetrical one, you’re going to be spending a lot of time fixing the mistake, when you could have asked clarifying questions to begin with.
If a client you know to be a low-maintenance type of person with an active lifestyle comes in and requests a cut that requires hours of styling every day, then you might want to verify with your client that this is what she really wants.
Asking clarifying questions and offering additional information can help your clients make decisions about their hair that they’ll be happy with after they leave the salon.
Hone Your Active Listening Skills
Sure, you may have heard what the client said, but are you listening actively? You can demonstrate that you’re using your active listening skills by reiterating what your client is saying to you.
Like with asking the right questions, active listening ensures that you know what your client is requesting in terms of cut, style, or hair care treatment, especially if they haven’t brought in a photo of what they’re looking to get.
Bolster the information you’ve reiterated by showing them a photo in a hair magazine or in a web search. The client can use these visual examples to point out what they like and what they don’t like. You also can use this time to reference how they should care for their hair between visits, and which types of products they should use to achieve the style.
Be Patient with Your Clients
Remember how we said most clients don’t necessarily know the proper names for techniques or styles they’re looking for? And how you might need to ask lots of clarifying questions to understand what they’re requesting? That takes patience!
Being patient with your client will result in a rewarding job well done, when they are happy with their new look at the end of your service. Being patient means:
- Not getting visibly frustrated if a client isn’t understanding what you’re asking
- Not getting frustrated when your client isn’t being forthcoming with specific information about what they want
- Being gentle and friendly during your conversations with clients, even in difficult situations
Your patience will come across as caring and kindness, which is ultimately what people long for when interacting with others.
As a cosmetologist in a hair salon, you’ll meet clients who have come to you to rescue their tresses from the brink of disaster. These clients perhaps took a chance on a new stylist who did not work out. Maybe they attempted to use box dye and made an error in the process. Or they might be facing health issues with side effects of damaged, brittle hair and need your help and reassurance that they still look beautiful.
If they feel like you’re criticizing them for the choices they made with DIY haircuts and coloring, for example, they may not want to share with you the other things they’ve tried with their hair – things you could help remedy if you knew about them! When clients feel judged, they also may not return to your chair in the future, and client retention is a hair stylist’s best friend.
Instead, offer some empathy for their situation, and reassure them that you can help them restore their hair to its former glory. Provide the best service possible, and make recommendations for what your client can do between salon visits to help get their hair looking and feeling healthy again.
Looking and acting the part of a beauty industry pro will keep your clients coming back to you again and again. As a professional, you should:
- Know how to answer your client’s questions in a way they can understand, with factually accurate information.
- Staying up-to-date on beauty trends and techniques, which your clients may request!
- Dressing appropriately for work in attire suited to the culture of your salon.
- Being on time to all your scheduled appointments, and being prepared for each client.
- Avoiding conversation that may seem controversial or rude. Being slick about changing a subject is a special skill cosmetologists should polish up!
Transfer Client Communication Skills to Your Coworkers
Teamwork in a salon setting is important, and you can’t achieve it if you don’t communicate with your coworkers.
You can take the skills you’ve been practicing in cosmetology school and apply it to interactions with your coworkers, too. They’re people who love to be listened to, understood, and clearly informed of what’s happening.
What Is a Cosmetologist, If Not a Good Communicator?
Before you can show off your stellar communication skills in a salon, you first need to complete your education at a cosmetology school. Eric Fisher Academy, located in Wichita, Kansas, is one of the top cosmetology schools you could ever choose to attend.
Students at Eric Fisher Academy learn to become cosmetologists through expert instruction and hands-on practice with real clients in our modern school and student salon. Students at Eric Fisher Academy also receive specialized training in business development, finance, marketing, and more, so they’re prepared to succeed in their salon jobs upon graduation and earning their license.
Small class sizes, rolling start dates, and the option to attend full time and part time mean even the busiest career-changer can find time for classes and graduate in as little as 10 months.
Find out if cosmetology school in Kansas is right for you by calling our Admissions team at 316-440-4782, and learning more about what an Eric Fisher Academy education can do for your cosmetology career.