How to provide virtual skincare consultations to your clients at home!
Virtual skin consultations will become one of the smartest ways’ technology can address the post-COVID-19 professional skincare world. If you’re wondering what a virtual consultation is, it is a remote video conference that takes place between an esthetician and their client via video link.
Much like an in-office consultation, a virtual consultation lets the esthetician speak directly to the client to discuss their current skin concerns and goals. The esthetician works with the client to find customized skincare products and at-home treatment solutions that fit the clients’ unique concerns and lifestyle.
By mastering this approach, both estheticians and clients will experience many benefits, including saving time and money for the client as virtual consultations may cost less than in-office meetings. Furthermore, online consultations will result in increased satisfaction for the client whose preference is detailed feedback for product utilization vs. in-person office visits.
While there are clients who will continue to need hands-on therapy, there are many who need expert product direction as much if not more than a facial. Keep in mind; retail sales are the gift that keeps giving! Used wisely, the application of virtual consultations in beauty, health, and wellness industries is a modernization step that frankly is long overdue.
Virtual consultations will now become available to many out of town clients or busy professionals who are looking to discuss their skin concerns and did not have the time to do so before. The beauty in this is that you can meet with clients anywhere in the world at their convenience.
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BOOKING VIRTUAL CONSULTATIONS
There are several methods to promote online bookings. Consider the following:
• Add a web page or link about virtual consultation services to your business website and/or online booking app.
• Promote virtual consultation services through social media, newsletter, and your blog.
• Create digital consultation and consent forms, which will be emailed to the client ahead of their appointment time. Ask your clients to include five pictures of their skin.
1 The client schedules and pays for their Virtual Consultation via the online scheduling system or PayPal invoice.
2 The client confirms his or her email and fills out a detailed digital health questionnaire asking about his or her skin concerns, skin health goals, diet, medications, supplements, lifestyle, stress management.
3 After completing the digital form, the client will need to submit the information along with photos of the skin twenty-four hours before the virtual consultation. These should be clear and well-lit photos of the skin and face with no expression and should be sent via email to the esthetician. These include:
- Left at 45-degree angle.
- Right at 45-degree angle.
When it comes time for the consultation, it is recommended that both the client and the esthetician are in a welllit room for optimal viewing purposes. Clients need to be makeup-free, and any additional questions and concerns should be discussed in detail in the consultation.
The esthetician will review the information before the virtual consultation by analyzing the client’s photos and digital questionnaire. Are there any red flags? Are they using the wrong products for their skin type/condition? Is there too much dairy consumption causing acne? Or perhaps they are shiftworkers experiencing dark under-eye circles. These are all factors that should be considered.
The skin is a two-sided organ and exhibits clues to what is going on inside the body. Estheticians are not doctors, but they know enough about how the body and skin function to educate their clients about their skin health and what they think should be discussed with their doctor and nutritionist.
PLATFORMS AND APPS
Several online communication plat forms are available for the client to download. The esthetician or business would have to set up these programs/ apps with each client to execute reliable communication. Each of these virtual options are compatible with the most used operating systems like Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as most devices, including PC, notepad, Android, and iPhone.
The following platforms are just a few options available:
- Google Hangouts
- Facebook Messenger
- Google Duo
- Online booking software that has Telehealth built-in
Asking the Right Questions
Virtual consultation questions are identical to in-office questions. Estheticians may ask their clients several questions ranging from genetics, sleep patterns, current nutritional habits, general lifestyle, hormones, medications, supplements, and gut health all the way through to stress levels and what their current skincare regime looks like. This will provide a starting point and road map toward the clients’ journey to clear, radiant skin.
MAINTAINING THE RELATIONSHIP POSTVIRTUAL CONSULTATION
1 Schedule client follow-up virtual appointments on a bi-weekly basis for three to four months.
2 Appointments should be $75 – $125 and roughly 30 to 45 minutes long. The esthetician will review the client’s progress, make adjustments to the client’s skincare routine, and answer any questions the client might have to ensure they are on the path to clear skin.
3 The client should be added to your communication database in order to keep them apprised of new information, promotions, skin health tips, product sales, and special events.
4 Set up auto-ship for products to be sent to clients so that there are no usage lapses. This is particularly critical for acne clientele. Sweeten the autoship process by always including a deluxe sample and detailed skincare tip. Clients want to take charge of their selfcare – guide them in how to do it well.
For many years, virtual consultations have been used to enable clients, near and far, to access expert services without making multiple trips to the spa/ clinic. Due to COVID19, virtual consultations will become even more popular in the esthetic community. Done correctly, estheticians can provide highly accurate and personalized consultations with clients remotely, limiting the number of visitors in the spa while still producing revenue.