Appearance should be A+
Your image has a first and lasting impact on your clients and those around you. It’s no secret that we are judged on our appearance, and it’s not necessarily bad either. I’m not referring to your birth-given looks, ethnicity or personal features, simply the manner in which you present yourself as a whole. When working in the health industry, you have to be THAT more conscious of how you keep yourself than most other job roles.
Clients or patients do not want to be handled by someone who’s appearance, or practice, raises red flags. When we study a profession, presentation is always an important part of the curriculum, as part of the correct code of conduct. If you fail to meet the marks, you can be disqualified, especially during the examination process. Let’s not even start with job interviews. You don’t stand a chance if you’re not well prepared for them. Image plays a key role in success, so let’s never overlook it.
A great example is a woman who was attending the same massage school as myself. She was well intended but just didn’t pay enough attention to detail. She aced the theory classes, getting marks well above all of us, but when it came to the practical, she failed miserably. She came into class with oversized or too-tight uniform every time. Usually off-coloured or some sort of visible linger of a stain. Her nails were always too long and often dirty. The first day of practical class, we were partnered up, and I quickly stopped her from practicing on me after I felt her scratch my skin during a poorly performed technique. She didn’t smell very nice either and eventually we had to tell the professors that none of us wanted to work with her. They continued to let her attend classes but she wasn’t allowed to take the final exam. She didn’t get her qualifications and with her poor judgement, I’d be surprised that any place would hire her. How you present yourself personally, really, really matters.
Hygiene and self care should be at the top of your priority list before stepping into work in the morning. You should look neat and well kept. These are things that your Mother teaches you as a kid, and if not then, you’re taught during school, and if not then, you sure as hell will be taught it when studying health or beauty. You must always be, and appear; organised, fresh, smart and professional. The way a place or someone looks, the vibes they give off, the impression you have from them, will determine in a matter of seconds whether that place or person agrees with you and feels inviting.
Customer care 101
You have to be aware that when it comes to treatments in the health, beauty or medical world, clients or patients are automatically placed in a vulnerable position. They put themselves in the trustful care of your hands, quite literally. They are essentially surrendering control, so their attention to pickup detail is that more acute.
Subconscious or conscious thoughts that will go through their minds are; “Can I trust this person?” “Do they know what they are doing?” “Is this area sanitary?” “Have they been properly trained for this procedure/treatment?” There are ways which you can put people at ease the minute they walk through the door, or the first moments in meeting you. A clean, well-lit, nicely furnished, neutral yet positive environment can give them confidence in the establishment. Your qualifications should be classily displayed so they can see for themselves what you’ve accomplished. As a practitioner, you should be friendly and welcoming first and foremost. You should seem energised, yet relaxed in the confidence of your profession. You should lead the conversation but always facilitate any questions your client may have.
Even if you are short on time with a fully booked schedule, never, ever, rush through a consultation or procedure. Rushing is a huge red flag. Not only can your performance be less than, but nobody wants to feel pressured or stressed during a treatment. During your time with your client, they need to feel like the most important matter from the start to the end of their visit.
The first meeting is vital, but that doesn’t mean you can start slacking in the follow-ups. The first impression can determine if your client will be coming back. Put yourself in their position and imagine what they might be feeling. What would you expect when going in for this treatment or procedure? How would want to be treated? It’s not complicated, you just need to pay attention to detail and empathise with the people your treating. People can be extremely sensitive, and if you in any way offended them, you can bet they will talk about it. Nobody wants a bad review/reference or a disgruntled customer.
Are you serious? A Real life encounter
This story is not even that bad, compared to some of the horrors you hear about.
A nail technician with a bad attitude and a common cold.
Okay, so this did happen to me, but in my defence, I was in a rush to get to prom and I ran into the first building with the cheapest prices. My mistake. You get what you pay for. Oh, Give me a break! I was a struggling student. So I walk into the place which is pretty ugly from the outside, but hey, it’s what’s inside that counts I tell myself. The place is badly ventilated and I’m standing there at the reception desk like an awkward duck waiting for someone to notice my presence. First red flag. There’s a man doing someone’s hair on the second floor so I peer up the stairs and say ”Hello.” Of course, he can’t hear me because the hair dryer is blasting. Eventually he notices me in his peripheral vision I’m guessing and yells down the stairs at me. ”For hair?!” And I say ”No… For manicure.” He then shouts up to the third floor at his hiding colleague that there’s someone here to see her. She peers over the banisters and signals for me to come up to where she is. Okay then. Not the best start, but I’m easygoing… Upstairs is even worse. It’s baking hot from the summer sun and stuffy as hell. The girl is wearing all black, popping out in places, the clothes are way too tight on her and have all sorts of lint stuck to it, mostly nail dust I’m guessing. Ew. The place is not clean at all. Bonus, the girl is obviously sick as a dog, coughing, sneezing and snivelling the entire time she’s doing my nails.
I ponder whether I should just get up and leave, but of course, being British, I figure that is far too rude and I rather waste my money and catch a cold than god forbid offend someone. What a surprise, she does a piss-poor job of my nails, and actually manages to seal in some dead-skin clippings under the coats of nail-polish. Awesome. I disinfect my hands as soon as I leave and head to the closest mini-market to purchase some nail polish remover and cotton pads. Safe to say, I never went back there again.
With so much competition out there in an ever-growing market, it’s important to stay on top of things, giving people the treatments that are going to best benefit them. Did you know, you can take health courses online and receive internationally recognised diplomas?
At The School of Natural Health Sciences there are over 50 holistic therapy courses available. From Holistic Massage Therapy to Child Psychology and much more. Delve into the world of holistic therapies and bulk up your professional knowledge. With over 18 years experience in training practitioners, you’re guaranteed world-class training. Enrol today and take advantage of our Special Offers.