3. Client Consultation With Active Listening Skills
(Click here to read the other parts of this series).
Exceptional customer service is one that is fundamentally based on listening to clients and helping them with what their foot care needs. However, instead of listening, hearing has becoming increasingly prevalent. You might be wondering what difference there is between the two.
Don’t Just Hear… Listen!
Listening to customers isn't just hearing about their problems. Listening to customers is about connecting with them. It involves paying close attention to their needs and understanding how you can help them achieve their goals.
The best foot care professionals are excellent listeners. They can recall relevant details that were mentioned earlier in the case and are consistently in-tune with the client's emotions. This saves customers from having to repeat information which adds friction to the service experience.
This may be the most important advice for a successful pedicure consultation. Hearing is simply perceiving sound and requires no conscious effort. However, listening is an active, conscious, and voluntary action. Listening means you are processing what the client is saying and formulating a professional recommendation in response. If you’ve listened to (not just heard!) your client, confirm you understand what they’ve said by repeating the message in your own words and asking appropriate follow-up questions.
An Example of Active Listening During a Foot Care Consultation
A client who comes to you for a foot care service, says that the skin on the feet is cracked. That isn’t enough information to make a product recommendation. Instead, advanced foot care professionals get curious! Ask skillful questions to reveal the true situation, such as:
- Is the crack deep enough that it bleeds? Has it bled in the past or is it painful?
- Can a foot care service remove most of the crack?
- Is the skin dry, rough and sandpaper like?
In this example, a deep split, painful crack is best treated by the Footlogix® Cracked Heel Formula. However, a crack that can be resolved with a service and is accompanied by rough, sandpaper-like skin is better treated by the Footlogix® Rough Skin Formula. While someone who suffers from all of the above, may benefit from a regimen of Footlogix® Cracked Heel Formula in the morning and Rough Skin Formula in the evenings.
Careful listening of the client’s needs will help you target the root of any issues and that means foot problems can be solved, not just masked, through proper treatment.
Advantages of Actively Listening to Your Client
- Improves Customer Loyalty: Active listening promotes trust and respect, and keeps you on your A-game to ensure customers remain happy and loyal to your business. Recommending the right Footlogix products for your client’s foot care concern, also helps build your reputation, and it increases your credibility through word of mouth. Listening to client feedback is the best way to keep pace with customer demand and to fulfill their short- and long-term expectations.
- Increases Customer Retention: When your client is convinced that you are genuinely concerned in improving their foot health, the customer will feel valued, which will make them open up to you further and bring them back for the next appointment, trusting that their feet are in good hands.
- Helps you identify opportunities to upsell or cross-sell – gathering critical facts from your client will help you uncover underlying issues and aid in making the right home care recommendations.
Confirm You Understand…!
- ‘Good’ communication vs ‘Great’ communication. Know your client better. Engage with him/her intellectually and empathetically. Demonstrate in your communication that you can relate to their foot concerns.
- Passive hearing vs. active listening. Don’t be afraid to show compassion. Pay close attention to your clients’ needs and understand how you can help them overcome their foot issues.
- Get curious! Ask questions! Recognize the issue correctly! Be sure to ask probing questions to get at the root of any issues. Details some clients may find insignificant may provide good clues into his or her current foot health.
- Recommend the correct ‘pediceutical’ home care. Your clients may not be aware of the range of services and home care treatments available for foot conditions seen every day by nail technicians. As a professional, you understand which Footlogix® products are most effective in every situation.
- Refer to a medical professional if necessary. As a foot care professional, it is important for you to know and understand under what conditions to service a client according to your scope of practice, and under what conditions you should refer the client to a medical professional instead.
Leverage Footlogix® Product Resources
The better informed you are on Footlogix® products and treatments, the better your chances of a successful service outcome. Footlogix® offers a variety of free resources designed to easily provide professional nail technicians with comprehensive information on every Footlogix® offering, including:
- Digital Educational materials in the VIP Education Hub
- Feature/benefit sheets for every product in the Footlogix® foot care line
- Informative YouTube videos for Footlogix® products and services
Reference these resources frequently and be sure to reach out to Footlogix® if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for.
Also read: How to consult with your client during a foot care service