Odors Offend
  • NAILS Magazine
  • March 7, 2011
We only have 10 seconds to make a first impression — what will we do to make it a lasting impression? We’ve already discussed how significant it is to look like we’re a part of this industry. We learned we have to make an investment in our appearance. But do we pay attention to the little things? Have we ever thought about our aroma and our breath? These two things can be a major distraction to our client.
 
I recently went to the dentist and had my teeth cleaned by a hygienist who smoked. Even though she was wearing gloves and a mask, I could smell smoke the whole time. Her hands were in my mouth and we were in close proximity. It ruined my experience. When asked, ”Would you like to book your next appointment in six months with the same hygienist?” I replied “No, I want a hygienist who doesn’t smoke. I smelled smoke throughout my entire appointment.” Now going to the dentist is not a relaxing and wonderful experience that I paid for (my insurance picked up the tab), but it still made me want to get through the appointment and get it over with. I couldn’t wait to get out of her chair.
 
How different would that appointment be for a client who is paying for a relaxing experience? Think about how we associate things like ambiance, smell, feel, emotions, sights, and sounds with an experience? Consider the close proximity of you and your client. We sit less than two feet apart from our client holding hands. This immediately makes it a close and intimate experience. (This is why they tell us everything.) Things like our aroma and breath have become something we need to pay attention to.
 
Now let’s talk about our aroma. Do we wear a deodorant that works? Do we bathe in our perfume? Do we use a strong detergent to clean our clothes? Do we smoke and then try to cover it up with another aroma? Do we wear a lot of scented products?  There are many products that we use daily that have a scent to them. Did we even consider what all of those scents smell like together?
 
Today, more and more people are really sensitive to smells and have allergies. We’ve begun to associate a smell with an experience. Recall going to your Grandma’s house and the scent of cinnamon rolls baking — it brings back warm happy memories. That scent takes you back to her home in an instant. See how easily that works? Our sense of smell can really trigger a memory or experience. Do we want our client to remember us for our hand massage and customer service or do we want them to recall we had bad body odor or perfume that our knocked them over?
 
Try to tone down all of the scented products you use. Wear a light clean scent, if you must wear a perfume. Sometimes spiced and floral scents can be overwhelming. Purchase unscented products when possible to avoid overlapping scents. If you smoke, please consider quitting. It’s not only killing you, it’s killing your business. The most common scent people are disgusted with is cigarette smoke. Many techs assume that by spraying on perfume or body splash their clients won’t smell it.  I got news for you: Your clients can smell right through it. If you can’t quit smoking, then limit it. Try to not smoke during the hours you’re in the salon. Your clients will appreciate it.
 
Our breath can also be another distraction.  Are we aware of the foods we’re eating and drinking while we’re working? Did we have a cup of coffee and an hour later have coffee breath? Did we have onions on our salad or sandwich at lunch? Did we have garlic bread with our meal? Did we eat Doritos or Corn Nuts as a snack? Did we just have a cigarette break? We know how we react when we sit down at our manicure table with a client who has coffee or onion breath. We’re taken aback and keep our distance. Because, with every word they speak we get a whiff of their bad breath.
 
Imagine how close we’re sitting to our client and how something like bad breath can ruin their experience. Consider having mints at your station. I pop a Tic Tac as I sit down with each client. It’s small, doesn’t affect my ability to talk, and is easily concealed. Refrain from chewing gum or sucking on large pieces of candy; it’s not professional. Consider brushing your teeth or using mouthwash after eating. It doesn’t matter which method you choose, just have a plan for fresh breath.
 
Remember our aroma and oral hygiene is important and can change our client’s experience. This is just one more business practice by top nail techs to make you stand out above the rest and become the BEST!
 
— Jill

Keywords:   customer service     Jill Wilson     professionalism  



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