Customer Service

Editor's note: Warning: Smarter Clients Ahead

Are you prepared to respond to things they’ve heard about on the news and road about in the paper?

Granted, artificial nails have been much maligned in beauty and fashion magazines in years past. And granted, there is still a lot of misinformation perpetuated in the media. But regardless of whether the word on nails is good or bad, are you prepared for your informed clients’ questions? Are you prepared to respond to things they’ve heard about on the news and road about in the paper?

If your clients read in the Chicago Sun Times, as I did, about executive women spending their lunch hours getting a “power manicure,” can you take care of them? Are you adequately staffed and trained to get lunchtime clients in and out of the salon in 45 minutes?

If your clients read in Allure that the best place to buy professional beauty supplies is at a beauty supply store (“These shops are well stocked and inexpensive. Here’s where to find ... a professional manicurist’s lotion, or a home-use kit for leg waxing,” reads the magazine’s advice), are you prepared to sell that client something different, more expensive, and salon-exclusive? And can you convince that client of the value of salon-purchased products?

When your clients read in Harper’s Bazaar about uptown salons offering phones and fax machines for lime-crunched clients, do you have something to offer? Do you at least provide use of your phone, a pampering atmosphere, and prompt service?

If your client reads in Mirabella that she should bring her own manicuring implements to the salon with her, can you make her feel comfortable and safe working on her with your own implements? Are you able to ease her mind by demonstrating how you disinfect implements? Are you knowledgeable about the diseases that concern your client, and can you show her how you combat them?

When the reluctant client comes into the salon, shocked by an article she read in the San Francisco Chronicle about filthy nail salons, do you restore her faith in professionalism with your sparkling clean salon, your fastidious attention to disinfection (explaining your procedures as you go along), and a well-informed explanation of sanitation procedures? Is the staff also neatly dressed, professional, and responsive?

When a client tells you she is taking gelatin tablets to make her nails stronger (because she road about it in Family Circle), can you tell her that her diet actually has very little effect on the health of her nails? And can you tell her why?

When your client reads about “bonding” in Allure, “capping” in Cosmopolitan, or “two-toned acrylics” in Mademoiselle, are you one step ahead of her and prepared to offer all sorts of applications if she’s willing to try them? Have you kept up on all the new products available?

When your client comes into the salon, after going through her latest issue of Vogue, and she wants her nails to go with all the latest plaid fabrics, can you oblige her because you’ve been keeping up on this fashion fad yourself?

Your clients are becoming more knowledgeable about nail care, and you’ve got to stay a step ahead of them if you’re going to stay ahead of your competition.


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