To Talk Or Not To Talk!

That is the question!

I hear this many times from of my students, ‘should I talk to my clients during treatment?’

After the usual welcome and you’re prepared to the point where you’ve protected their lower lashes and the light goes on, is it silence from this point on or a chance to chat?

When I have a massage, the soothing music and the ambient light sets the mood for me to relax and retreat within. In contrast, when I’m having my nails done, I’m an avid observer of talent in action and my lovely therapist and I merrily chat away and the appointment time whizzes by.

When it comes to lashing, there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s a decision for you and your business but there are some important considerations around speed, accuracy, safety and relieving anxieties.

Ultimately, you’re running a business. It’s fair to say that we generally work more quickly and accurately when we’re not distracted by chatter. We can focus and concentrate. Let’s face it, if you are truly listening, it’s hard work. Most of us only partially listen as we’re thinking and forming a response to part of what we’ve just heard. If we’re partially listening, thinking about a response and fairly newish to lashing and haven’t perfected the ‘auto-pilot’, it’ll add many many minutes to your treatment time. If you work in silence, your client can relax and drift into their own world – if they can. You just need to explain your terms of service to your client so they understand that you need them to remain quiet so that you can concentrate and provide the best treatment for them.

I don’t let my clients fall sound asleep. I fear that they’ll forget where they are and what they need to do when the wake up. When I’m millimetres away from a very delicate organ with rather pointy tweezers, I worry about potentially life changing consequences. . .  I’ve learned that an inadvertent snore brings them back around again with a jolt! Apart from one tired lady. She’d worked long hours all week and she was my late and last client of the evening. She fell sound asleep within a couple of minutes and I had a job waking her up. I was tempted to put another blanket over her and set an alarm for the morning! For other sleepy heads, their heads can flop to the slide and make it harder to treat. I’ve had a couple of dribblers over the years.

On the other hand, you’ll find plenty of clients who would prefer to chat their appointment time away. Whilst they’re less likely to fall asleep on you, you need to make sure their eye pads or tapes that protect their lower lashes do not move. Talking in an animated way isn’t wise as it moves their cheeks. Laughing is definitely banned as well as coughing. There’s a strong possibility that the pads or tapes will move up and make contact with the surface of the eye. Many years ago, a client had a random bout of coughing for a minute or so. I removed the pads as soon as I could but it was too late. Following a trip to the eye hospital, she was diagnosed with an abrasion to the surface of the eye. It remained red and sore looking for several days and I was mortified!

Some clients may welcome a chat as having to keep their eyes closed can be quite a challenge or feel a little claustrophobic. We are after all, depriving them of 1 of their 5 senses. They don’t know the time or what the weather’s doing! If they’re a little anxious for whatever reason and prefer to chat, it can help ease some anxieties and help them to relax. This can help to reduce some flickering lids.

I think of the times when I (have to) go to the dentist. I’m rather anxious (to say the least) and I sit there with my eyes closed (in terror). I can’t see what they’re doing and that escalates my fear. I changed dentists and my new one sensed my fear. She asked how she could make me feel more at ease. I know that I’m more relaxed when I chat rather than sit in silence but that’s a bit of a challenge when someones fingers and tools are in your month! I knew it would help to have a running commentary on what she was doing and how long it would take and she obliged me! I still had white knuckles but she got me through and I’m more inclined to go back! She was only polishing my teeth but then again, we’re ‘only’ lashing! Some people will be anxious of things we won’t know or understand.

All my clients are long time regulars and I know them quite well. 95% of them chat from the moment they see me to the point where we say and wave goodbye. For some, it’s the only bit of time they get to treat themselves. I know our time together is special so I take my cue from them. If they want to chat, I chat and maintain professional boundaries. Some of the things I’ve learned have been eye opening as we really do meet some amazing people in our line of work. I’ve truly rejoiced in their highs and felt for them in their low times too. Some clients say that they count down the days until their lash appointment as it’s a happy time and the bonus is having fab lashes afterwards too.

For me, I want to give them a really great treatment and a really great experience. By adding a few more minutes to each treatment and in return for that investment, I’m afforded amazing loyalty with clients arriving on time every time – then I’m happy doing so and it’s factored into my business plan. People with say that time is money but you can’t buy loyalty – you earn it and reap the rewards.

So, ‘to talk or not to talk?’

There’s no right or wrong answer though I recommend managing these considerations as you’ll keep your business and clients healthy and happy!

Best wishes,

Julie Knight

Master Lash Artist and Trainer

Elite Eyelash Extensions Academy

As featured in Lash Inc. Issue 11 2016 (edited since)