Consultation - a waste of time?
The more people you ask the more opinions you will probably get as the views on this subject are very divided.
I believe that a consultation and patch test is essential to providing a good service to your clients and here are the reasons why:
Whilst a patch test does not guarantee that your client wont ever react to this particular treatment or the products you are using it will give an indication if he/or she is suitable for the proposed treatment. By combining the patch test with a consultation you will have the opportunity to meet your client face to face which is very important in order to give realistic expectations, especially for new clients.
Often clients are not 100% sure what a treatment entails so it is the ideal opportunity to explain the treatment, procedure and also the expected treatment outcome while assessing your client to see if this treatment is suitable or if an alternative treatment will possibly give a better outcome.
It is easier to cover any contraindications and ask essential questions when you meet in person especially as nowadays clients often book online and merely fill the form in without fully understanding the implications. A personal consultation will give you a better insight into your clients health or any other aspects which might have an impact on the treatment while at the same time reassuring your client that you are a professional and fully qualified and knowledgeable about everything involved. It is the first step to creating a trusting relationship on which you can build over time by suggesting products or other treatments to your client and also being able to help if your client is unsure about aftercare or any other aspects.
A consultation does not have to be long but it is essential to providing a good and professional service. Some therapists fear it is costing them time and money but it is perfectly acceptable to charge for the consultation and then offer the amount as a discount if the client books the treatment. This way you are not working for free and your client is more likely to be serious about booking the consultation or treatment itself.
Those clients who are hesitant about paying for the consultation might also be the ones who will then let you down with a "no show" or blame an unsuccessful treatment or unsatisfactory results on you which could have been avoided if they had been given the full facts during a consultation.
For us it is a full thumbs up to the consultation (and patch test) and these few minutes are well worth spent and will create a long lasting relationship between you and your client.
Thanks for reading