How to help therapists improve their social skills

Therapist social skills

Q: How can I help my therapists improve their social skills and form better relationships with clients?

All salons and spas should have their own welcome and departure style that not only sets the experience apart but helps clients recognise it every time they visit.

Part of this experience is connecting with the guest, so it’s vital to stress to your therapists the value of kindness and social skills.

Having a four to six-point process in place that staff can use upon a client’s entry into the salon or spa will help them start to form a relationship, from introduction right up until departure. A standard four-point process would be something like: 1. greet the client by name as they come in – for example, “Good morning Mrs Smith”; 2. offer to take their coat; 3. guide them through to the relaxation space; 4. ask if they would like a hot beverage or a refreshing cold drink. A simple process like this will really help take the pressure off.

It’s also important for therapists to understand that a treatment begins when the client walks through the door to the salon, not the treatment room. My therapists touch the client’s arm or back when asking them to take a seat before treatment so they feel relaxed and connected. Guests won’t always remember what you said but they will always remember how you made them feel.

A staff workshop on salon and spa social skills – reminding employees of who you are, how you want your business to be perceived, and the kindness and respect they should show to your clients – is also a good way to help those who are unsure on how to behave with guests outside of the treatment room.

Younger therapists, especially Generation Z, may struggle with these social skills due to the high intensity of social media and mobile phone use, but you needn’t worry, politeness and professionalism are both traits that can be learned.

Tracey WoodwardTracey Woodward is chief executive of professional skincare brand Aromatherapy Associates and has more than 30 years’ industry experience. Woodward previously held management roles at Aveda, Clinique, Donna Karan, Estée Lauder and Urban Retreat.