Virtual Consults 101:
Your Go-To Guide For Hosting Effective Digital Consults with Your Clients
If the term “virtual consult” wasn’t even remotely in your stylist vocabulary until 2020, know that you’re not alone. If there’s anything that hectic, mildly hell-ish year taught us, it’s that face-to-face one-on-ones with our clients didn’t necessarily need to disappear—we just needed to get really creative.
Even though we’re all diving head-first into 2021, many stylists have found that virtual consults are so efficient and productive that they’re keeping these services on the table—and likely will continue to do so even when the pandemic is effectively over.
Sure, nothing will ever replace a hands-on, in-person consult in our line of work—you know nothing beats being able to touch, feel, and really understand your clients’ hair and better vibe with their unique needs. But virtual consults are a flexible, effective way to help more people in a more convenient, safer, and even more beneficial way.
Why, exactly? We’re diving into that in a minute. But even more exciting, we’re diving into some of the top tricks we’ve learned over the course of the pandemic to turn awkward, ineffective virtual consults into highly-productive digital services that can work wonders for both you and your client.
Keep reading to learn more!
The Benefits of Offering Virtual Consults
We’re just going to say this one more time, even louder for the people in the back—as a stylist, it’s unlikely that a virtual consult is ever going to be able to replace a face-to-face IRL consult (you know there’s something about really getting acquainted with a client’s hair, skin, nails, etc.).
Still, virtual consults can offer a ton of benefits for cosmetologists, like:
- Time-Efficient Meetings—in-person consults can be lengthy and time-consuming, not to mention that with pandemic rules in place, you might only be allowed to take a certain number every day. Virtual consults come with zero risk—that means you can effectively take as many as you can fit into a day.
- Safer Ways to Work Together—like we said, virtual consults don’t put you or your clients at risk, so you can rest easy knowing you’re being helpful and making connections without any danger.
- More Consults = More $—if you charge for consults, you can fit way more virtual consults into your day than in-person ones. In other words, that’s a lot of extra dough.
- Free Consults = Greater Value For Clients—offering free consults means you’ll be extending a ton of value to your clients, which, is never a bad business move. You can offer way more value with risk-free consults—this is a huge boon for new clients who aren’t quite sure if they want to book with you yet.
- More Comfortable Environment For Both You & Your Clients—some of us are introverts and prefer to be in our space when meeting someone new. You know what? There’s nothing wrong with that. Virtual consults are an awesome way to get more people into your chair (eventually) because you’re opening the door for all personality types to be comfortable in their own space and get the consult they need.
The Top Tips for Hosting a Top-Notch Virtual Consults with Your Clients
Now that you see how valuable virtual consults can be, it’s time to kick this thing into high gear and give you what you came here for—the top tips for hosting the best virtual consults that’ll keep your clients coming back for more.
Communicate Clearly & Effectively
It might not seem like it, but there’s a definite difference in how you communicate in-person and on a video call. Try to find the right balance between casual comfortability and professionalism so that your clients feel comfortable talking with you but also understand that you’re a credible source.
A Reliable Internet Connection is a Must
There is NOTHING worse than hopping on a call that’s spotty, freezing, and disconnecting every few moments—seriously, there’s nothing more annoying.
While there’s likely nothing you can do about it on the client’s end, you can ensure that you’re not the one making trouble on your virtual consults. Do a quick internet speed test before each call, ensure you’re in a reliable spot for all your consults, and try to keep your patience if your client’s internet fails them a time or two.
Create a Formula For Your Calls
Don’t get us wrong, there’s plenty of room for improv on your consults—it’s not like you want to be stiff and scripted with your clients.
But it can really help productivity if you have a loose formula you follow for each of the types of virtual consults you take on. This can help ensure you’re being productive with your time management and best serving your client!
Offer a Variety of Options
You don’t just have to offer consults that help you decide what to do with your clients’ hair—make your consults approachable and fun by offering all sorts of virtual videos.
From tutorials and how-tos to educational videos about color, styles, texture, etc., there are a ton of exciting ways you can engage with your clients and show your credibility and value as a stylist.
Encourage Your Client’s to Take Notes
While we don’t expect you to enforce this super hard—we do think it’s a great idea for your clients to take notes during your call so they can better understand what your consult is about, write down the names of products you might suggest, or just have them to review later (this is especially important if you point out tactics and processes they’ll need to do on their own later).
You can always provide your clients with a digital worksheet to encourage them to take notes or ask them to record the call so they can have it for review later.
If you’re working with clients who need further assistance post-consult, offer to put together customized kits for their unique needs—then send those bad boys through the mail. This offers extra value (and some extra income, surely) to your already valuable service.
Love our EBS tips and tricks? Want to keep up with our latest and greatest advice to put yourself in a better position for boosting your business? We totally get that!
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