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Client Retention Based on Real Results

Zein Obagi, MD December 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

In today’s competitive environment, the most effective way to ensure client retention is to take good care of them, and offer treatments and products that deliver visible results. Happy and satisfied clients will recommend your business to their circles of friends, and will stay with you for the long term because the outcomes and level of service offered are unparalleled. There is no better advertising or marketing program for your skin care facility than having clients who look and feel good, and have radiant, glowing skin. This is a critical factor for success for every skin care professional.

What is healthy skin?

For decades, researchers and physicians have been so preoccupied with disease that they never defined addressing healthy skin. The symptoms were treated without really looking at the causes. If skin is approached from the perspective of creating and maintaining healthy skin, even when there is no disease present, clients will come back.

It starts with selecting the right therapy for your clients based on a comprehensive standard for skin classification, and the consideration of melanin, thickness and sensitivity, based on a definition of healthy skin. Skin begins to weaken and change, affected by the sun, diet, hormonal changes, stress and other environmental issues. Hence the cells under the surface become lazy or dysfunctional. The secret to creating healthy skin is to regulate these cells below the surface. The first step in the restorative process involves removing surface damage, and then stimulating the skin to renew its natural health. The next step is to use a treatment that goes beneath the surface to stimulate and activate the skin’s ability to reproduce itself at the cellular level.

An essential part of a tailored treatment program to create beautiful, healthy, youthful-looking skin is to recognize the individual characteristics of the client’s skin. Never use a one-size-fits-all approach clients can get at the beauty counter at a department store. As a skin care professional, you should be well-versed in recommending a custom-tailored skin regimen for each client, including the appropriate amount of solutions, and how to use them for the appropriate length of time. You should continually strive to offer a higher standard of skin care therapies and maintenance treatments in order to become a true skin care educator for your clients. By positioning yourself as a reliable resource for straightforward and science-based answers to your clients’ skin care concerns, you can help ensure that they will remain loyal to you.

For example, when treating clients for excessive oil, consider how to achieve a state that complies with the definition of healthy skin. Think of the oil in skin as an irritant. When oil secretions are regulated and normalized, the skin becomes healthy again much faster, and acne can be prevented at an early stage. Teach your clients not to over-moisturize oily skin. Even when you add heavy moisturizers to dry or photodamaged skin, the skin cells that naturally hydrate stop working almost completely.

There are a variety of products available that raise the bar for skin therapy, including many that offer the prescriptive use of active vitamin A. Your approach to creating healthy skin should be very thorough and therapeutic, designed to stimulate the natural creation of new skin cells through powerful ingredients, such as retinol, antioxidants, salicylic acid, botanical extracts, UVA- and UVB-blockers, and enhanced delivery systems. This philosophy involves four essential phases that bridge the gap between medical products and everyday skin care: therapeutic, maintenance, daily skin care and protection.

Offer real results

In conclusion, client retention is not based on offering discounts, deals, coupons or gimmicks. As a trained skin care expert, you should aim to set your skin care facility apart from the crowd by offering real science, real therapy and real results.

Zein Obagi, MD, is a dermatologist in Beverly Hills, California, and the founder of ZO Skin Health, a range of skin care products sold through physicians and medical spas worldwide.

 

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