Typically, when an Esthetician's otherwise loyal client suddenly stops making regular appointments, there is an obvious reason. Perhaps the client expressed dissatisfaction with a service, or maybe the client is moving out of the area. In other words, some sort of communication takes place that lets the Esthetician know why the client will not be returning.
However, when that type of client disappears for no apparent reason, it is often because the issue is a sensitive one and the client does not want to hurt the Esthetician's feelings. This issue happens often but it is rare that an Esthetician (or spa owner) would ever figure this one out. And by the way, this doesn't just happen with facial clients. It also happens frequently with massage clients.
The answer to the question "M.I.A. Clients: What happened?" is simply...too much talking. Below is an excerpt from my new book "The Heart of Esthetics: Creating Loyal Clients & Achieving Financial Success."
The Heart of Esthetics: Chapter 3 - "The Professional Esthetician (Obstacles)"
This is a tricky one, but it is something we must consider because it is very common. Oftentimes when a client mysteriously disappears, it could very well be because there was too much talking going on during the facial. The issue typically is that the client would prefer to have quiet during the facial, but in our effort to be friendly or helpful, we miss the client’s cues. In some cases, we have become friends with our clients, so we are excited to see them and we have a lot to chat about.
This is not entirely the fault of the Esthetician because our clients are willing participants. Not only will they happily talk back to us, but oftentimes they are the ones who initiate the conversation. But truth be told, once the service has begun what they really want is peace and quiet.
I will share with you the way I navigated this obstacle. But first let me stop and say that this does not apply to new clients because at a first-time appointment, we have a lot of essential information that we must extract and impart. And for that reason, it’s a good idea to tell new clients up front: “Because this is your first appointment with me, I’m going to give you a lot of information…but in subsequent facials, that won’t be necessary.” Which translates to: “There will be a lot of conversation this time but after that, the amount of conversation is up to you (the client).”
After I have said whatever it is I need to say to the new client and I have asked whatever questions I need to ask, then I will say: I have given you the information you need to know at this point…now, I’m just going to be quiet and let you relax and enjoy your facial. However, if you have any questions for me, please feel free to ask and I will be happy to answer.”
And then just see how it goes. If they continue to talk, then you know quiet is not a priority for this client. But if they go silent and remain silent, then you’ll know that they prefer quiet. Be sure to make a note somewhere in their file so that you can always provide the personalized experience that each client prefers.
Follow me on Facebook @ Happy Esthetician