Success as an esthetician means establishing and sustaining a solid clientele. When a high number of first-time clients become repeat clients, you are achieving a good rate of client retention. This is an essential element of growing your practice, achieving your financial goals, and experiencing the satisfaction that comes from helping your clients feel and look great.

To keep your rate of client retention consistently high, you must know as much as possible about every client and your clients as a group. With this knowledge, you will be able to provide customer service that is way above and beyond the basics, creating a loyal clientele of very satisfied customers.

How can you find out what you need to know about your clients?

  • Groups within the health, beauty and wellness industries regularly gather and share data describing changes in consumers’ use of all types of products and services. The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) publishes a report each year; the most recent report states that consumers in the U.S. spent $ 1,025.6 billion on beauty and anti-aging services and products in 2013. The GWI points out that as more consumers adopt wellness as part of their lifestyles, they are creating a new demand for multiple price points and increased convenience and accessibility.
  • Multiple price points: some consumers are interested in very high-end, exclusive facilities, services and products. Others are focused on what they perceive to be affordable costs, and still others are looking for something in between.
  • Increased convenience and accessibility: your clients need to be able to find you! Your location must be close to where your clients live and/or work, and your services need to correspond to the time they have available.
  • Ask your clients to tell you about themselves and their lives.
    • Use a detailed intake form with every new client and update the form frequently. In addition to the basic questions about their skin conditions, medical history, typical home care regimen and products, etc., ask about their diet and nutrition, the sources of their daily stress levels, their opinions and concerns about their appearance, their previous experience with receiving skin care services, their desired outcomes from the treatments they will receive from you, etc.
    • Keep detailed records, including the client’s individual preferences for everything from how a service is performed to every aspect of the session, including creature comforts, like a heating pad on the treatment table, the music that you play during their treatments, the scents that they love, their favorite products, their preference for a quiet and serene environment vs. an uplifting, positive conversation, etc. Have everything just the way they like it every time they arrive.
  • Be knowledgeable and skilled, ready to treat conditions that are causing distress for your clients. Here is information about common skin conditions and how esthetics can help.
    • Acne: To treat acne, the esthetician will perform extractions, which removes whatever is plugging the pore and/or hair follicle. This avoids the formation of a potential future pustule and helps to reduce pore size, which improves overall skin smoothness, inflammation and appearance.
    • Rosacea: According to the National Rosacea Society, more than 16 million Americans suffer from rosacea. Rosacea is a rash that produces persistent redness at the rounded areas of the face, including the cheeks, nose, chin and mid-forehead. It is most common among light-skinned women between the ages of 30 and 50. An esthetician my help a client with rosacea by first, analyzing the skin to determine which of the four types of rosacea the client has. Secondly, the esthetician will prescribe an effective home-care regimen to minimize this condition, specifying the exact type of cleanser, hydration, and protection products the client will benefit from the most. A series of facials with the esthetician will assist the client in understanding the proper use of each product, including amount to dispense, direction of application strokes, etc.
    • Hyperpigmentation: There are three main types of hyperpigmentation, which is a dark area on the skin. These are: melasma, sun (or age) spots, and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Melasma is caused by hormonal changes in the body. Pregnancy and birth control pills can cause melasma. Sun spots or sun damage is caused by over exposure to the sun. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is the discoloration of skin that occurs after injury or irritation to the skin. This type is often seen after a pimple has healed. An esthetician may help a client with all types of hyperpigmentation by performing chemical exfoliation treatments or using LED light therapy.
    • Aging: The market for anti-aging products and services is expected to increase to $345.8 billion by 2018 according to To counter the effects of aging, estheticians use microdermabrasion, chemical and enzyme peels, galvanic and high frequency treatments, paraffin baths, and body wraps and scrubs. Estheticians also prescribe specific home-care regimens and assist clients in learning how to use the regimen for the best outcome.

Taking the time to get to know your clients and being ready to use all of the tools of your trade will help you build a successful practice. You’ll have the opportunity to build great working relationships with your clients and help them keep their skin healthy and beautiful!

Health Works Institute
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