Understanding Your Clients' True Needs

by Holly Schippers | September 8, 2011

Note from Holly: Here’s a guest blog from Tanya Sisson. Tanya is an experienced professional in the nail industry. Licensed since 1989, she has been involved in education from the start of her career. Tanya enjoyed the distinction of one of OPI’s top 10 educators in 1991 and 1992, and she recently returned to education with the CND family as an Education Ambassador. Tanya enjoys helping other nail professionals find their niche and improve their skills. She has won several competitions both locally and internationally. She owns Nail Girl Salon in Aloha, Oregon. She is a diver and loves spending time with her Ohana in Hawaii whenever possible.

Sitting here, waiting to board a plane bound for home and several things are swirling through my mind — a fascinating two weeks diving in a country I’ve never been to, the interesting people we got to know, the delicious cuisine we feasted on daily, the photos we have yet to finish sorting through and surprisingly, my nails. 

Why on earth would I be thinking of my nails now? I cannot escape the irony of how meticulously I worked to ensure my clients’ nails were well taken care of to survive my absence. I did my best to plan for my clients’ needs, knowing their activities, wearability and preferences. In contrast, I left my own nails to the last minute, patching them together, not thinking of the demands I was about to put them through. Forty one dives later and speaking from the stance of a client, I must say I am dissatisfied with my service.    

As nail professionals we should take the time to understand a client’s preference of style as well as her lifestyle demands and personal goals. Then follow that up with the appropriate recommended services that align with those needs and desires. Had I given that courtesy to myself it would have been clear, a patch and cover job would not create a satisfied client. 

In our dive group there was a diverse set of people. Every woman, as well as several of the men, had one thing in common: each one had a fresh pedicure before our trip. As we were standing in line for customs, I surveyed the longevity of the ladies’ pedicures. In contrast to my nails, my Shellac pedicure (above) had withstood the rigors of diving without as much as a chip. Others were not so lucky. Lisa was kind enough to allow me to photograph her dive-worn toes (below). You can see they took a beating. Her nail tech didn’t ask her about her activity or her needs. Lisa had not known about Shellac but you can bet she will be asking for it before her next dive-cation.

Both these observations point to a very important part of the services we provide — understanding your client’s needs, preferences and goals. It is that understanding that allows us a better pathway to delivering a custom client service that will satisfy them and dazzle them each time. This creates loyalty and an increased level of satisfaction that will translate into the prosperity of your business. 

— Tanya

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