Back to Basics – Understanding Client Roles

The role a client may play when in the salon chair is closely related to their client type. For example, an introverted client type may appear uninterested or shy – compared to a career-focused client type who may come across as a ‘big shot’ or a ‘know-it-all’!


Regardless of the client type or role, interpreting your client’s needs is a key part of any consultation. The following examples identify the various client roles and suggest a response or behaviour to turn the situation to the hairdresser’s advantage:


The Know-it-all
Keep them in check, ask them to explain what they mean, avoid all confrontation but attempt to convince using visual images if needed. Seek additional support from colleagues if necessary.


The Objector
Remain friendly and base all your comments on fact, acknowledge your client’s point of view and remain calm, be prepared to back down. Remember, the client is always right (almost)!


The Uninterested Type
Try to draw them into conversation, find out what interests them, for example sport or video games. Where possible, link pastimes to hairstyle, educate them on how to use hair products to their advantage.


The Big Shot
In this instance try to massage their ego, the better a client feels about themselves and their hair the more satisfied they will feel! Do not criticise directly and try to turn any difficult situations to your advantage by suggesting alternatives.


The Interrogator
Ultimately time is money, try not to get too bogged down answering irrelevant questions. Use closed questions to get the right response.


The Shy Type

People who are naturally shy appreciate their personal space, ensure you do not move too close or touch them without first asking permission. Give them plenty of opportunity to speak, however be prepared with lots of alternatives; remember to keep checking that they are happy with how their hair is progressing, as they may not be forthcoming!


The Chatterbox

There is nothing wrong with chatting in a salon environment, however if you are not comfortable performing a procedure and talking at the same time, say so politely; ultimately your client will respect this and their hair should look considerably better as a result!


For more information on client types read the article on different client categories.