You must carry out a client consultation with every client before any treatment starts whether they are new or existing clients. It is easy to get complacent with this but will not benefit you in the long run should an indemnity claim be made against you.
During a consultation you will be asking the client sensitive and personal questions so it is important you carry this out somewhere that is quiet and private – NOT in the middle of a busy waiting room where others can overhear. You want your client to have the chance to talk openly and freely about their concerns or issues.
It is best to be sat face to face with your client to ensure that you can read any body language signals they may be giving off as you ask them the questions, this will allow you to identify things they may be uncomfortable talking about.
When carrying out the client consultation you will need to find out as much as you can about your clients home skin care routine and lifestyle habits which may affect their skin condition.
For instance a client who does not follow a skin care routine at home will have a build-up of pollutants in their skin and may have damaged their acid mantle. As such their skin may be sensitised and react by feeling tingling or displaying reddening when treatments are carried out. Because of this it may be best to use sensitive products until the skin becomes accustomed to having treatments and care should be taken to not leave products on the skin for too long. They may also experience breakouts following treatments as their skin has been subject to a ‘detox’.
On the other hand if you have a client who is already following a skin care routine but cannot get rid of the oily sheen on their skin, or who is forever suffering with breakouts, then it may be that they are using the incorrect products on their skin. It then becomes of vital importance to correctly identify their skin type and advice and educate them on which products to use and how to correctly use them. As mentioned previously, this type of client may also be slightly sensitised when the correct products are introduced but by ensuring they follow a correct routine skin improvements will soon be seen.
Areas to be looked at when carrying out a consultation include:
- Contact Information
- Personal details (such as age group, weight, height, lifestyle & profession)
- Contraindications that may prevent or restrict treatment
- Medical History
- Lifestyle Information (such as eating habits, exercise patterns, smoking & alcohol intake)
- The client’s reasons and expectations of the treatment
- A signature from the client agreeing to the treatment plan (this must be obtained BEFORE the treatment starts and again before every subsequent treatment)
After the treatment you will also want to make your client aware of:
- Any contra-actions to their treatment
- Their personalised aftercare advice
- Any product recommendations you may have for them
By gathering the information required at consultation you will be able to give your client a better service both during and after their treatment as you will be more able to understand their requirements, needs and feelings. You will be able to make informed decisions on the information you have gathered and will be able to tailor your treatment plan and product choices around the client’s needs and circumstances.
Taking the time to do this correctly will have a positive effect on both the clients trust in your professionalism and also on the chances of them returning to you for future treatments.