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Client Consults
Stay up to date with clients’ health conditions, favorite nail styles and preferred products with this guide to client consultations.

As a nail technician, building strong relationships with your clients is just as important as being able to deliver quality nails — and the best way to solidify those relationships is through client consultations. A thorough consultation not only helps you understand your clients’ needs and preferences, but it also sets the foundation for a successful nail service. However, executing an effective consultation appointment goes beyond a brief conversation.

1. Create a Comfortable Atmosphere

The first step in any client consultation is to make sure your clients feel comfortable. Don’t put the spotlight on them; rather, create an atmosphere where they can feel free to talk without judgement. Most people want to talk about themselves and, in this instance, their nails, so start with a few pointed questions and then let them speak. You should be able to gain a lot of insight into what they ultimately are looking for if you sit back and listen.

2. Ask the Right Questions

During a consultation, you are looking to understand your clients’ needs, preferences, concerns, and health issues they may have — and to get that info, it’s all about the questions you ask:

  • Have you had professional nail services before?
  • What kinds of products/services have you had?
  • Did you experience any allergies or sensitivities to any products?
  • Do you have any health/medical issues that could affect your nails?
  • What is your lifestyle/routine like? Do you work with your hands often, have them in water a lot, etc.?
  • What are your nail goals (i.e., achieving longer, stronger nails; looking polished and professional; etc.)?
  • How much time are you willing to spend on nail appointments (length and frequency)?

3. Assess Nail Health

First, remove whatever product your client may have on their nails. Then check the overall condition of the nails, including signs of dryness, brittleness, peeling or discoloration. Look for any abnormalities, such as ridges or bumps on the nail surface, which could indicate underlying health issues. Assess the strength and flexibility of the nails, and examine the skin around the nails for irritation, dryness, or inflammation. Always check for signs of infection or fungus, as well. You need to know what health the nails are in before you can prescribe the right service for your client.

4. Provide Recommendations

Now that you’ve assessed your client, her lifestyle, health history and nail health, you should be ready to provide her with your professional opinion for a personalized service. Offer suggestions for nail length and shape that complement her preferences, nail health and daily activities. Offer suggestions for at-home maintenance and products that she can use to keep her nails looking beautiful between services. And be transparent about the pros and cons of various options, ensuring that your recommendations align with your client’s expectations. When in doubt: Show pictures!

5. Confirm Service Details

Don’t forget to discuss the estimated duration of the service and any associated costs, including additional add-ons, treatments or retail suggestions, up front. Nothing is worse than watching the sticker shock set in on a client who wasn’t expecting the cost. Set realistic expectations regarding the results of the nail service and address any concerns or questions she may have. And remind your client that her consultation notes are a living document, so she should keep you abreast of any changes to her medical history or even product preferences so you can continue to provide her with tailored care.

6. Keep Track of Your Notes

Finally, after having spent the time to get to know your client and her nails, you can’t rely on memory alone to retain your notes. You have to write them down! Before technology took over, many nail pros used hard copy client cards to keep track of their notes — and for some people, this still works. If that’s you, make sure you create a new card for each client, and keep them in a handy container nearby for easy reference. But if you’re like many who do everything digitally, make sure to jot down the details for each client and save them where you can easily access them. The idea is to keep these records updated and refer to them regularly so you can stay on top of your client’s wants and needs, as well as any changes that she may have.

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