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SKINtuition: 6 Ways to Stand Out in the Age of Impatience

Contact Author Annet King
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Looking back, industry trends in 2015 heralded some fascinating consumer behavior. Clients took advantage of new booking apps that deliver an at-home massage within one hour, but then endured long and multiple color appointments to accomplish that perfect ombre fade. Who would have expected #multimasking to have a major moment on Instagram, or that lash extensions would creep north and we’d be microbladed-ing in bushier brows? We tried to be more mindful, especially as we consumed copious amounts of kale. I’d love to know who the PR team is behind kale because they deserve an award for 2015's most popular cabbage. Consumer trends can be overwhelming, but they are worth extra attention. The trick is to decipher what’s going to stick, what’s a fad and what is just plain bonkers.

One trend that seems to be here to stay is the need for instant gratification. Thanks to our hyper-connectivity and a tolerance for waiting that has dropped to zero, restless impatience is driving industry trends and will impact your business in 2016.

This “Amazon-ification” level of expectation has surpassed virtual reality and seeped into every corner of our lives. Waiting 48 hours for an online order seems like an eternity, so same-day delivery is becoming the norm. Smartphone apps not only eliminate waiting for a cab, but human interaction: apps can bypass flirting by suggesting a date and securing a table at the toughest reservation in town. Teenagers don’t watch TV; they stream their favorite shows and movies on their tablet or laptop in seconds.

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Experts caution that all this instant gratification comes at a price; it’s made us terribly impatient. The new anxiety, wasting a single moment not getting exactly what you want. A study from the University of Massassachusettes Amherst says we now abandon videos if they take longer than two seconds to load. Today's consumer is so restless that we’d rather be literally shocked than have nothing to do. University of Virginia scientists found that participants preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves rather than being left alone with their own thoughts for 6 to 15 minutes. We literally crave stimulation!

If you are still operating your business like you did even two years ago, you need to “think quicker.” Here are six to-dos to help satisfy restless, impatient clients.

1. Mobile Booking

Make appointment booking painless by providing a quick online or even better mobile app option.

2. Improve Software

Ensure that check-in and check-out is efficient. Invest in computerized software that keeps client information on file for fewer lines and faster service.

3. Develop Micro Services

Consider offering “no appointment necessary” for micro services under 30 minutes.

4. Engage During Waits

Identify ways to engage clients while they wait. Can they give themselves a mini treatment at your product pool or skin bar, or make their own bath salts at your salt bar? Perhaps they get a “texters thumb” massage while watching video tutorials on how to treat their delicate eye area. Get creative!

5. Text Confirmation

Confirm appointments via text or a messaging app. Don’t leave a voicemail asking for a call back to confirm the appointment.

6. Make Products Pronto

Ensure that you have comprehensive client profiles set up in your system so you can quickly deliver or mail that emergency travel product or cleanser when they run out. Even better, track their purchases and anticipate what products they need replenished. The client who drives, parks and comes in for a single product is diminishing, but this kind of forward-thinking customer service can help grow your clientele and your retail business.

Annet+King

Annet King  is the director of global education for the The International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica. She is responsible for creating professional classes and training materials for Dermalogica and oversees all IDI curriculum. For more than a decade, Annet has traveled internationally as a speaker and master educator for IDI and Dermalogica, training international educators as well as skin therapists. King is one of the brand’s voices and is a frequent contributor to magazines, websites, TV and radio programs.

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