Putting clients at ease begins with your body language, says Cathryn Myers, owner of The Nail Shop of Carroll-wood in Tampa, Fla. At her seminar on customer service at the Nails Magazine Show in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Myers offered up the following advice: “It’s very important to make new clients feel comfortable. When they first sit down at your table, fold your hands in front of you on the table and ask them about their nails. Folding your hands is a gesture that shows you’re interested and non-threatening, and it makes it completely clear that you’re listening.” Myers also says that although you must put the client at ease, you still must retain control: “Don’t automatically start doing whatever the client has asked for. Consult with her and make a decision together about what is right for her and her lifestyle. With someone who has never had regular professional nail care, you need to go through the procedures slowly and explain every detail of what you’re doing. The client learns the importance of each step you take, which helps her to develop confidence in you.”

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