New clients can be a refreshing addition to the studio. When welcoming them to your world, it is important that both parties are on the same page in order to make a good impression and build a long-term relationship. Here are 6 things you must know when working with new clients:
Clarify the client's understanding of lash extensions. This is particularly important for foreign or new fill clients who may be coming to you after having a bad experience or previously receiving misinformation. A great lash artist must understand the client's current understanding of lashes, then correct and emphasize as appropriate.
Set a baseline understanding. The first and most important thing to discuss with a new client is what they know about lash extensions. Many clients come from different experiences with lash extensions, some good and some, unfortunately, bad. Understanding their knowledge can help you correct and emphasize information to ease their minds about the service.
In addition, lashing will be unfamiliar to brand new clients. Therefore, it is important to get an understanding of what they have “heard” about lashes. This is a great opportunity to walk them through the procedure so they understand what the process will be like. Establish yourself as the expert you are, and inform them of your values as an artist — your commitment to health and safety, tailoring styles and creative sets to the client, client satisfaction, etc. For first-timers, once you begin lashing, you may even want to verbally walk them through each step. Describe the purpose of eye pads as you place them, briefly explain the process of isolation and adhesion as you get to them.
While you are finding out what they know, also see how committed they are to lashes and if they want it for the long run or a one-time event. Getting to know your client and where they fall on the lash spectrum can help you decide how to approach and adjust your services when necessary.
Educate on lash health. After getting to know their experiences, it is vital that you discuss lash health. This is where your expertise will come in handy! Talk to them about your values as an artist and how it pertains to their safety, health, style, etc. Educate them on how length and diameter impact how heavy an extension is, as well as how this weight can affect their natural lashes. For example, I have had clients tell me that their previous artist used 14mms on each of their lashes. That is when I step in and say that I will not go more than 2mms longer than their natural lash, as longer extensions can weigh down and ruin their natural lashes. Although values will differ between every artist, convey to them that you have their health and interests in mind.
Explain lash terminology. Once safety and health are established, we get to talk about the fun parts with our new clients...styling! Lash terminology is easy for us to understand, but foreign to new clients. Be sure to convey the different styles in a way that they can understand and remember. For example, you likely want to describe what a “doe eye” is. Although we stylists may see things as a “map,” new clients will not know what you are describing. If you can, show pictures and say things like “a doe eye will have more length in the middle of the eye, creating an eye-opening effect.” By describing the different styles, you can also introduce classic, hybrid, and volume lashes, as well as volume fans. Some clients will likely come from salons with different names for their services, such as “The Glam Set.” It is important in this case to ask questions to try to determine the style and set they previously received. Ask to see pictures, if they have any.
Each client is unique and what they want might not be what is best for them. Your expertise is also needed to address this. It is important to set realistic expectations in order to avoid an uncomfortable experience or disappointment. For instance, if a client wants a cat eye, but a doe eye would better complement their facial structure, express that to them. Be considerate as you explain how facial structure and eye shape come into play and why a certain look would enhance their features.
Dive into Aftercare. One of the most important things to discuss with new clients is aftercare. As lash artists, we really want to drive this home! When we let a client go, our work leaves us for 2-3 weeks and is transferred to the recipient’s care. Although some clients may have had extensions before, they may not have cleansed properly on a daily basis. Reiterate to them how aftercare contributes to their retention is and their responsibility as a client. Demonstrate before they leave how to take care of their lashes so you know you did your part to set them up for success. Explain how lashes are an investment, and how they will waste time and money by not following aftercare procedures. If you have to, discuss the types of eye infections they can receive if they do not cleanse daily (i.e. Blepharitis, styes, etc).
Build good habits early. This will happen over time, but it is best to build positive practices early on in your new client relationship. There are lots of factors to keeping great lashes and certain habits that are important to lash artists. If your new clients arrive at their first fill with makeup or dirty lashes, reiterate to them that they need a clean base for the best results. The more time you have to spend cleaning their lashes, the less time you have available to apply new extensions. Have them go to the restroom to shampoo their lashes so they get used to cleaning before appointments or arriving with no makeup at all.
You will also want to help clients get in the habit of booking regular fills. We all have clients who wait until the last possible minute to come back - they’re the ones coming back with just a handful of extensions, needing a full set. From the start, inform your clients of your preferred fill timing (2-3 weeks for most), as well as what happens when they book beyond those times. Do not be afraid to discuss when you will require new full sets and why you have this policy in place. Describe the lash growth cycle and why they should receive regular fills, as well as how they can save money by doing this. Mention this early in your relationship to prevent misunderstandings and to create a sense of responsibility on the client’s behalf. After each appointment, ask them “would you like to schedule for your next fill in 2 weeks?” Giving them a specific timeframe will help encourage them to book at your suggestion.
Working with new clients can be very exciting because it means your business is growing! However, with each new client come many things to discuss in order to ease your work and create beautiful, lasting relationships. Keep these practices in mind so that each party is on the same page at all times. Happy lashing, loves!