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How Well Do You Know Your Clients (QUIZ)?

Contact Author Teresa Stenzel
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The skin care market is booming, and there is a high demand for professional skin care. However, this is not the skin care industry of 10 or even five years ago. The shopping behaviors and habits of today's consumer have completely changed. Today's consumer is highly connected, shops where she wants when she wants and craves personalized, new experiences. She's more knowledgeable, more connected, does her own research and wants convenience, social proof and immediate gratification. The consumer of today has evolved, so you and your business practices need to evolve as well. Take the quiz below, and gain even more invaluable insight on modern-day connectedness and how you can best compete.

1. Are you a highly connected consumer, e.g. do you check your smartphone throughout the day, before you go to bed and right when you wake up?

Yes/No

The takeaway for question 1. Consumers today have a constant lifeline to the digital world thanks to the explosion of content (like blogs and videos), mobile (access anywhere, anytime) and social media. Consumers want information fast, and they are always checking their phones. That means your communication timetable should be 24 hours a day, not 9-5. For example, you can set an e-mail to go out to your clients at 5 a.m. to allow them to see your daily special early and plan time that day to come in.

2. Do you participate in social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.?

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Yes/No

3. Have you ever shared your opinion about a product, hotel stay, or a meal on social media?

Yes/No

4. Do you do online research before you purchase something, make an appointment or make a dinner or hotel reservation?

Yes/No

The takeaway for questions 2, 3 and 4. Consumers today consult reviews online before they make a buying decision, and many use multiple sources to help them make a purchase decision. Online opinions are fast becoming a trusted source of product information. What do online reviews say about your business, your staff and the products and services you offer? Modern consumers are no longer only receptive to traditional advertising. They prefer social proof. Just like you do your research and check reviews before you arrive at that new restaurant you’ve read about, today’s customers want to know what their friends or peers are saying in reviews.

5. Are you irritated when you’re at a store and something is out of stock?

Yes/No

6. Is having access to online information that will help inform your buying decisions important to you?

Yes/No

The takeaway for questions 5 and 6. Today’s customers have an expectation of immediacy. They want instant gratification, so if you don’t have it on your shelf, you’ve missed an opportunity. This is also about information. When they visit your website, does it include everything they need to make a decision? Does your website content answer all of their questions?

7. Do you think a 17 year-old and her 48 year-old mother are part of the same generation?

Yes/No

The takeaway for question 7. The digital generation is not defined by age. It's determined by how a consumer goes about her day: searching for new apps, checking the weather forecast, ordering food, streaming music, reading books and making an online nail appointment. The 17 year old and her mom are both a part of this digital generation, and they both are your potential clients.

Don't Underestimate Your Clients

There's a real demand for skin care out there. Consumers are more knowledgeable about ingredients now than ever before–label reading is no longer the exception. Professional skin care and the services that go along with it are often perceived as being of higher quality than generally available mass brands, and consumers are willing to pay more for genuine, results oriented solutions. This client is buying skin care, and she should be buying it from you. You have the opportunity to deliver her an experience and create a personal relationship most other competitors cannot offer.

Focus on Personal Interaction

A consumer is more likely to buy when helped by a knowledgeable associate, so the personal interaction between you and your client is critical. This connection is what separates you from the competition–no matter where your client chooses to buy their skin care.

Listen to Each Client

Your client wants you to market directly to her with a personalized approach, created just for her. So it is crucial to recognize and pay attention to all of the little verbal and non-verbal clues that she gives to create a better connection with her. Is she a frequent client who loves new services and products? Focus on innovative ingredients and techniques when speaking to her. Does she appreciate value above all else? Stress the savings she can enjoy by booking a series of treatments, and offer GWPs. Is she skeptical about skin care? Talk about the clinical studies that back-up a product's results. Is she a minimalist? Stress the importance of the basics for healthy skin, like a good cleanser, exfoliator and broad spectrum sunscreen.

The bottom line: in today's market, what resonates with one customer won’t resonate with another. When you understand how your client connects with the world, and what drives her emotions, you'll stop repeating the same memorized phrases you’ve learned about products to everyone. It's a crucial step to remain competitive and profitable in a world of multi-channel options.

Teresa+Stenzel

Teresa Stenzel is director of education for Bioelements, where she is responsible for developing new facial and body treatment techniques, as well as new curriculum for the company. To learn more, visit www.bioelements.com/pros.

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