Customers have a tendency to dictate how and when their services are performed, but who is the professional at your shop? You or your customers?
The old adage “the customer is always right” certainly works well in client relations, but is not necessarily the best way to run a business. You and your staff are the professionals that need to prescribe how your services are provided so that your clients receive the best artwork they can get. Here are four pointers to remember:
Is a client more likely to purchase products or services that you ‘recommended’ to them or ones that you have ‘prescribed’ to them? Prescribing retail or additional services tells your clients just how important the products/services really are. By the same token, clients are more likely to come in for their follow-up appointment if you tell them it’s part of the service, not just recommended for “best results.”
By thoroughly educating your customers on why your suggestions are best for them and why their own ideas of “where and how” may not actually work, you can build trust and establish yourself as the expert.
Here’s an example:
Imagine a young female client comes in and asks for an intricate tattoo on her finger that includes her boyfriend’s name for their anniversary. When you recommend alternative tattoo ideas to commemorate the anniversary (like an infinity symbol on her ribs), the client tells you she has reservations because she’s afraid other parts of her body would hurt more and making it visible on her hand shows the world how much she loves him. The client also seems concerned that she is being “upsold” by your recommendation.
First, try dissuading her from getting the tattoo she requested by explaining that the skin on your fingers takes tattoo ink differently than most parts of your body due to the active nature of our hands, the frequency with which we wash our hands, and the nature of the skin—which is thick but not backed by much fat and has a lot of movement over the bone. Also explain that intricate tattoos do not age well and future employers may look negatively at visible tattoos, something a young female should think about.
Next, rely on your experience to explain that you have performed hundreds of anniversary tattoos and seen that it is usually not a good idea to include someone’s name unless it is there pet, children, or a dead relative. By leaving out the name and drawing a more simple design on a part of her body that can be covered up, explain to your client that she will be happier down the road.
By relying on your experience and discussing the tattoo in detail, your client will feel more comfortable agreeing with you, which is important since your name will always be associated with the work. Also, be sure to display confidence and listen to your client’s concerns (you certainly don’t want to offend them).
3. Prove It
Show your clients that your way is best by using your portfolio or industry articles to prove your point. Whether it is the use of vibrant colors on different shades of skin or intricate patterns on areas of the body prone to sagging, your customers will have a better appreciation for your suggestions if you back them up with tangible data.
Using our example above, show the client some before and after pictures of faded finger tattoos or some cover up work you’ve done after a breakup to prove your point.
Once you prove your expert opinion with pictures and articles, your clients are more likely to rubber stamp your suggestions in the future and feel happy with the services they receive (which also results in more referrals!).
4. Use Your Software
Whether it is how often a customer should return for the next part of a service, or the best way to treat a tattoo you provided, your software should be able to reach out to your customer based on YOUR benchmarks in an automated fashion. The DARCI system in ProInk does this automatically for you!