Cut to the Chase | Managing Client Expectations

September 29, 2023

Whether you like it or not, sometimes you will need to explain to clients that the look they want may not be achievable in one appointment – or even worse, that something may not be right for them in the first place! We sat down with Murdock London Master Barber, Ben Vowles, to hear his advice on managing client expectations…

  1. When a client asks for a cut that won’t suit them:

However in-fashion a cut may be, some styles just don’t suit certain people. To best navigate this situation, try using phrases like ‘this is a great cut and definitely very cool right now, but what I’d recommend for you and your face shape is…’ It’s important to offer the client more realistic alternatives that will work better with their face shape and features. This way, they will leave your shop a satisfied customer rather than a fashion victim!

  1. When a client wants an unrealistic quick fix:

Certain changes take time to achieve, whether it’s growing hair from long to short, making thinning or fine hair appear fuller, or growing out a really bad haircut – sometimes you will need to prepare your client for a bit of a hair journey. There is no magical fix for replacing thinning hair, for example, but with the right ongoing care, hair can be made to look fuller and healthier. Some products will definitely help create a fuller appearance, including Murdock London’s new Thickening Shampoo, which uses caffeine to promote hair growth and strengthen hair follicles.

  1. When a client wants to look like a certain celebrity:

Whilst celebrity images can provide a great tool for hairdressers and barbers needing a clearer idea of what a client wants, sometimes the client simply needs to be more realistic – a look that Brad Pitt, Jared Leto or Tom Holland can carry off, won’t necessarily suit them! The trick here is to gain an understanding of what it is the client likes about this particular celebrity look: do they think it makes them look cool, younger or more sophisticated? What words does the client use to describe the look? From this, you can work out what it is they want to achieve for themselves and make suggestions based on this knowledge. The look they end up with may not bear much resemblance to the celeb image they came in with, but they will feel great!

  1. When a client wants a style that won’t suit their lifestyle: 

It’s important to manage a client’s expectations when they request a style that you know they won’t be able to maintain at home. If the client is the type to roll out of bed and fix their hair in a few seconds, they won’t want a style that takes ten minutes of styling. Instead. advise them to go for something easier to maintain and suggest products that will help them do this. Remember, product recommendations aren’t selling, they are part of a professional service.

  1. When a client wants a full beard:

Firstly, not every client will be capable of growing a full beard. Some men just don’t have a growth pattern that facilitates full beard growth. Beards normally grow at a rate of half an inch every month, so it will be a good few months before they are rocking full-on facial hair. Make sure you recommend products to keep their beards looking healthy throughout the growth process such as Murdock London Beard Balm, ideal for shaping and taming facial hair, whether it’s long, short, or somewhere in the middle.

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