3 Tips for a Successful Haircut Consultation

Delivering a great haircut is about more than the hands that hold the shears. It starts with the ears. That's because listening to what customers want is central to giving them a great experience.

Enter the haircut consultation – the pre-service conversation between the customer and stylist. In a busy salon environment, it's common for consultations to be rushed, or treated as a formality. However, the consultation is crucial to ensuring a top-notch salon visit. When stylists take the time to ask the right questions, customers feel heard and understood, and stylists have the information they need to create the right cut. As a result, customer satisfaction grows.

Luckily, the haircut consultation process is simple. Just follow these three steps and you'll be on your way to consistently meeting – and exceeding – customer expectations:

1. Take charge
As the amazing professional you are, it’s important to take the lead on the haircut consultation. After your customer is seated in your chair, let them know that you care about their hair, and want to ask some specific questions to better understand what they want. Here are a few openers you could use to kick off the consultation:

  • “I want you to leave the salon feeling completely satisfied with your new style. I’m going to ask you a few questions so that I can find out exactly what you want – and what you don’t want!”
  • “I want to give you the exact haircut you want. Before we begin, I’m going to ask you a few questions.” 

2. Ask precise questions

“Just a trim” could mean a quarter inch off for one customer and a full inch off for another customer. The difference between the two is more than a month’s worth of hair growth! Another customer might say her bangs are too long and are driving her crazy, when they may have been the perfect length just one week ago.Understanding exactly what your customer means is critical to an effective consultation. Get more precise answers by asking questions that use facial or body parts as reference points. Here are two example questions:

  • “When your bangs are dry and styled, would you like them to land below your eyebrows, at your eyebrows, or above your eyebrows?”
  • “If we trim one inch off your length, your hair will still be touching your shoulders. Is that what you’d like, or would you like the length to sit slightly above your shoulders?”

3. Summarize your action plan
This is the easy part! Before you begin executing the haircut, summarize exactly what you’re going to do. For example: 

  • “Before we begin your haircut, I’m going to summarize our plan. We’re going to trim one half inch off your length. When your hair is dry and styled, it will fall just slightly above, but barely touching your shoulders.” (Don’t hesitate to use hand gestures to visually show the customer what you’re talking about.)
  • “Alright, I heard you say you’d like your bangs to fall right below your eyebrows with some softness at the edge. So, I’m going to trim a half inch and softly texturize the edges. When your bangs are dried with a round brush, they’ll be just the right length to fall just below your eyebrows. How does that sound?”  

When you approach the haircut consultation as an important part of your job, you will be equipped with the information you need to deliver the perfect haircut, and your customer will be treated to a salon experience so great, they can’t wait to come back.

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