Think intake forms are just another piece of messy paperwork? It might be time to reframe your perspective! Although it may not be the most exciting part of anyone’s job, proper client intake is a must, whether you work for yourself, or as part of a larger team at a spa or salon. Here’s why:
First impressions count
If you think about it, aside from a cheerful greeting at the door, consultation and client intake is your first interaction with new clients. While intake paperwork can be completed online or in person, you’ll also want to have an initial consultation conversation with your client before ever stepping into the treatment room.
By taking time to sit down and chat with your customers to answer any questions and discuss the benefits of their treatment, you’ll ensure that your clients feel comfortable in your care and are more likely to return for repeat visits.
Protect you, your client and your business
Prior to their first appointment, your client should fill out legal paperwork for their file, stating that they consent to receiving your services, and understand and accept the risks that their procedure may entail. Although it may sound intimidating, this is standard practice and most clients will be used to filling out forms for most cosmetic procedures and services.
A thorough intake keeps your client informed. It also protects you as a practitioner and minimizes liability to your business in the event that a client doesn’t properly disclose a contraindication or experiences an uncommon reaction to treatment. While these scenarios are rare, they can be incredibly costly for your business and your career. Consultation prior to providing any service is your key to protecting all involved.
To do your due diligence, your intake form and consultation should address the following:
- Medical History
- Past treatments
- Current skincare routine
- Potential risks and benefits of the service
- Professional recommendations
Get better results and grow your business
Beyond just making a good initial impression, client consultation is the ideal time to really assess your clients’ goals and needs. By truly understanding what results your client is seeking, you can provide better hands-on service and make informed recommendations for future care. If you sell products, the client consultation is your opportunity to make suggestions, which will lead to better sales and your clients will appreciate your expert advice.
Other important things to remember
Following your client’s first visit, you’ll want to be sure to maintain their file with detailed notes at every visit. Good record keeping is part of providing consistent, excellent service and ensuring client safety. You’ll also want to check in with clients at every subsequent visit to see if anything has changed since their last appointment.
Although this much attention to detail can seem tedious, your clientele will appreciate your professionalism and that can go a long way toward creating long-lasting relationships, inspiring more referrals and generating rave reviews from your regulars.
Written by Jenny Leazer-Ragolia, Licensed Esthetician