B2B Features

Your Chairside Manner Matters

4 Tips for Creating a Positive Client Experience

Coverup specialist, like Ernie Rojas, at Arizona’s Top Rocker Tattoo, fix just as many bad tattoos as they do good ones that were ruined by negative experiences.

“Not everyone wants to wear an asshole’s art,” Rojas says. “There’s more to it than just the image — it may be a nice piece or work, but (the person’s perspective of it can be ruined) if it’s not done by somebody who truly cares about what they’re doing for their client.”

Putting yourself in your client’s skin (literally and figuratively) and displaying a genuine empathy for them as individuals is a powerful tool for creating confidence for them in your abilities and an emotional attachment through likability and trust.

With this in mind, here are 4 tips to improve communication between you and your client so that you can deliver a unique and exceptional experience.

Keep Clients Informed

Doing a tattoo or piercing may be routine to you, but there’s a good chance it could be a first for your client. The unknown fuels fear so clients need to be kept in the know. Rather than waiting to give your client aftercare instructions, a good way to ease their nerves about getting a tattoo or piercing is to give them a pre-appointment checklist to help them plan ahead for the day of the visit, know what to expect while they’re in the chair and understand what the healing process will involve. Keep your terms simple and easy to understand, otherwise you risk raising their anxiety level when they see a flurry of technical jargon with which they’re not familiar.

Involving clients from start to finish is not only considerate, it’s the right thing to do. It may be your art, but it’s their body, their anxieties and their concerns that they’re having to deal with.

Make Your Client Comfortable

Remain confident, but be mindful of your body language and avoid defensive poses, like crossing your arms or habits of boredom such as tapping your feet or fiddling with a pen. Defensive body language can be seen as a sign of egotism, impatience, or worse, indifference. Instead of giving into one of these undesirable habits, make eye contact, smile and try to nod and express a genuine interest in what your client is saying.

Watch your client’s body language, too. If your studio is an open space where others are getting tattooed or pierced, and your client appears nervous or uncomfortable discussing something in public (which might be the case with more exotic piercings or tattoo placement), offer to speak somewhere more private, like a consultation area to make sure he or she feels empowered to speak more freely.

Really Listen

It’s important to validate your client’s concerns and limit your assumptions. Use the active listening technique to facilitate better understanding and communication — listen closely, then repeat what the person said, checking to ensure you are on the same page. Ask open-ended questions to help uncover more information; “Yes” or “No” questions are impersonal, and the one-word answers won’t give you much insight from the patient’s own perspective. For example, asking “How does this feel” instead of “Does this hurt” opens the door to a lot more useful information.

Follow Up

Good chairside manner doesn’t end when your client leaves your shop. It’s not enough just to hand them a piece of paper with aftercare instructions and hope for the best. People want to feel like you’re truly invested in their well-being, so personally reaching out shortly after their visit adds an extra element of caring and concern. Taking five minutes to call a client to see how they’re doing and address any questions they may have is a personal touch they won’t forget.

No one appreciates being made to feel like a number. If a person doesn’t feel like they’ve been treated with respect and compassion, it’s possible they’ll write an online review warning others to stay clear of shops and artists they deem to have a venomous attitude.

Even when it isn’t necessary, following up is a smart idea because people want to return to a shop that makes them a priority. If a person has to choose between two artists of equal skill, they’ll likely opt for the one with the better chairside manner.


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