There are a few foundational elements that are critical for achieving esty success…
- Commitment to continual education
- Creation of an outstanding client experience to provide optimal results and garner client retention
- Consistency in practicing self-care so you can continue to provide tremendous service and have a business that is fueled by passion and energy
Funny enough, rather than existing as line items, these elements actually live within a circle, consistently feeding and flowing into each other.
As an owner of two rapidly growing businesses, I’ve experienced this truth exponentially in the last few years, and while recently getting a treatment from the incredible Kathleen of Beauty Bungalow in St. Petersburg to recharge my own batteries, I was reminded of how the embodiment of this truth looks and feels through the viewpoint of our clients (many of whom are often time-poor and energy-starved by nature of our busy, busy, go-go-go society).
Which is why now more than ever, it’s our role as esthetic experts to honor our client’s commitment to doing something for themselves and provide them with a true experience that uplifts their soul, which also benefits us by breeding client loyalty and setting ourselves apart in the local market.
Here’s how you can transform an average appointment to the ultimate client experience:
Setting the Intention for the Service
During that pre-appointment consult where we ask preliminary questions, address client concerns, and get them settled, you also want to invite your client into a moment of intention setting that puts you both on the same page regarding the energetic exchange of their treatment.
Are they looking for relaxation, peace, restoration? How are they feeling coming into the appointment, and how do they want to feel leaving?
This can be as simple as asking how your client is currently feeling and why they’re happy to be spending time on themselves today. Keep the focus on them, and then let them know that your goal is to help deliver them to their desired state of being through the course of the treatment.
Then, perform an action that officially bridges the pre-appointment consult into performing the treatment.
Kathleen did this by asking me to take a deep inhale and deep exhale, then slowing my breathing, which really helps to calm the nervous system. She will also continue to make this ask a few more times throughout the treatment to ensure I’m calm and connected with that initial intention.
Creating a Full-Sensory Experience
Typically, when we think of sensory spa experiences, we automatically think of the dim lighting or the ambient white noise, which are without a doubt important, but it’s also crucial that we address all of the senses.
So, let’s touch on each one:
- Sight - Is the room dim, or are you allowing natural light to flow through and how is the room set upon your client's entrance? Does your client face a beautiful piece of artwork or see something appealing when they open their eyes such as a water feature, greenery, or floral arrangement?
- Sound - What ambient noise will you set? Does your client want to be given information during the service on what you’re doing, or would they rather enjoy in silence?
(With Kathleen working alongside me as an Esthetics Academy educator, we have every reason to chat non-stop during my appointment, but she doesn’t let me since that wouldn’t align with the intention of our experience.)
- Scent - While you may want to limit florals or foliage to non-scented varieties as to not be an allergen, having light and naturally aromatic products adds another level to the sensory experience.
For example, Herbal Skin Solutions’ new Hydrating Mist contains lavender and chamomile, which has an immediate serenity effect, and the Neroli Repair Oil brings forth a lightly sweet citrus scent, while the AnteAge Regenzyme has added honeysuckle, both of which make for a heavenly aroma that’s present, but not overpowering.
- Taste - Depending on the nature of your treatment, you can offer clients infused spa water during their treatment and provide opportunities for them to hydrate if appropriate.
- Touch - This element is a given when performing a treatment, but it’s so critical to remain present and focused in your tactile actions (more on presence in the next section) to ensure that your touch is always working toward maintaining the initial attention and achieving the desired results.
For example, when Kathleen was performing my facial, her hands were in contact with my face for what felt like the entire treatment with the exception of steam and utilizing any devices. Additionally, she also multi-masks by taking the opportunity to massage the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands while the mask is on the face and to elevate that sensory element of touch.
Continuity in Presence
Remember how I mentioned that the foundational elements of esty success flow into each other? Well, the same concept applies in creating an ultimate client experience because when you are in the midst of an energetic exchange, if one element is off, such as mindful presence, it throws the whole experience off-kilter.
Because here’s the thing: being and remaining present doesn’t just happen. It requires focus; however, if you’ve done the work to set an intention for your client’s treatment, your natural inclination will be to align all the sensory elements with that intention, and thus, remaining mindfully present becomes inherent as you’re consistently focused on each step of the treatment and how it is impacting the experience of your client.
For example, I am familiar with the traditional Chinese medicine acupressure points and although Kathleen didn’t mention anything about it (as to honor our intention of restoration), I could feel her touch honing in on those points which relaxed my nervous system even more and felt that much more intentional.
I truly felt as if she was focused on and praying over me with every touchpoint, which is the epitome of being present and transcending to an ultimate client experience.
The Little Details Outside of the Treatment Room
Finally, by bookending your appointment with little details, you’re extending your client’s experience beyond the treatment room and truly elevating the value you bring as their esthetic expert.
For example, being attentive and thoughtful in asking clients if the restroom is needed before hopping on the treatment table to avoid having to get up and disturb the relaxation.
Or, post-treatment, offering clients spa water (we love the addition of Liposomal C to aid collagen synthesis and combat oxidative stress) to keep clients well hydrated and sending a thank you note following to show our gratitude.
As you can see, the experience I had with Kathleen at the Beauty Bungalow last week left a profound impact and my cup overflowing (I literally left crying because it was such a release and I felt so loved and well cared for).
And as a result, I felt compelled to leave a review, which led to two of my girlfriends messaging me to share that after seeing my recommendation, they booked with Kathleen as well.
Ultimate Client Experience > Client Trust and Loyalty > Referral > Repeat
And that is how an ultimate client experience comes full circle.