Signs Your Client Is Uncomfortable During Treatment

12/07/2018

Sometimes it can be very difficult to tell whether your client is truly enjoying their experience at your spa or clinic. Some clients can seem like they’re having a marvellous time and express nothing but happiness and content during their time with you, only to turn around and post a negative review about it online later. Sometimes the only way to really tell is to closely observe body language, and take any cues and opportunities they might give you so you can try to improve the experience. Of course everyone is different, but there are some signs that carry through to most of your clients that, although subtle, you should be able to recognise on closer inspection:

The silent treatment
It’s impossible to know with unfamiliar clients whether or not they are simply quiet by nature, but keep an eye out for particularly less-than-responsive clients. There’s a big difference between reserved and uncomfortable, and a lack of questions, single-word or very short answers, or distant responses can all be signs of discontent. It can also be a sign of your client attempting to shut down conversation; this during treatment usually means they’re not up for a chat, or during aftercare recommendations may mean they don’t want to purchase anything but aren’t confident enough to say so.

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Avoiding eye contact
This can be another difficult one to pick up on, but often this form of body language is just a simple display of embarrassment. If this is happening during full body or intimate area treatments, ensure that you ask your client if they are comfortable and offer modesty towels, blankets or throws wherever possible. If the relationship allows, you could even be as bold as to reassure them there’s nothing to be uncomfortable about!

Fidgeting or shifting
This is particularly common during facial and massage treatments. If during your massage you feel your client twitch or shift, your pressure may be too firm, causing muscles to spasm. Remember to check in with your client regularly regarding pressure – not just during initial consultation and at the beginning. If your client is shifting during a facial, this is also a bad sign (they should be in a state of bliss!) so check with them on the temperature of the room, if they’d like another blanket, or whether they need any additional neck or back support.

Obvious frustration
Sometimes clients won’t bother to try and mask their unhappiness, and express this in normal human fashion like frowns and furrowed brows, or perhaps a few loud sighs. Rather than ignoring these signs and hoping for the best, it is at this point that you should try and nip it in the bud and determine the cause of frustration, before it turns into a complaint or a bad review. Perhaps you’ve kept them waiting too long? If something has interfered with the appointment schedule, just be honest with them – they will appreciate it more than being kept in the dark. Maybe their treatment was not what they expected? Kindly and modestly ask them if they enjoyed their service or if they have any feedback they’d like to pass along. The fact that your client is doing nothing to hide their displeasure could mean they’re simply waiting for an invitation to discuss what’s on their mind.

If you’re ever unsure, or feel as though your client may have walked out the door feeling unhappy, why not follow up with a phone call? Requesting feedback isn’t an unusual protocol for first time clients, just make sure the task is carried out by a manager or receptionist – someone that didn’t perform the treatment themselves, so clients feel comfortable enough to provide honest and constructive feedback.

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By Mala McAlpin

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