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  • michela henke cilenti

Own That Customer Relationship

This article takes a deeper dive into connecting with customers. Historically, customer relationship management (CRM) was used to increase the profitability of businesses through the active management of long-term customer relationships.

The idea behind CRM was that it cost less to keep an existing customer instead of acquiring new ones. With only 5% of the US population choosing to frequent spas and salons, how customer relationships are managed is a question of survival. Possibly mutual survival. (Gallup September 2020 Consumer Report)

How we do wellness and as changes in the operating climate unfold, I will present, in the meantime proactive ways to build your business and counteract the loss of retail to digital sources, as the shift of buying moved significantly online (Digital Trends, McKinsey, 2020).

Reversing and stopping the increased trend of online purchasing means a change of gear to proactively take it back!

Real, personal, useful, face to face recommendations are still the absolute ultimate experience.

And if the in-person experience is not sought right now (due to perceptions, pandemic restrictions) I predict the trend of the value of the experience will be sought more than ever before into 2021.

What has been noted from the spas and salons who have reopened is that the partnership between the therapist and the customer strengthens as the quest for the most useful; best value; the ultimate service/product; the one that fits in with their routine or just something incredibly exclusive - YOU, actually have it, know it and use it and truly believe in it too.* The power is in you and your team. Let me explain why.

Real Rapport Put in Real Context- No Scripted Stuff

Research on prisoners hermitssoldiersastronauts, polar explorers and others who have spent extended periods in isolation shows that that social skills are like muscles that get smaller/contract from not being used as often. As you might have felt yourself, being separated from society, on lock down and social distancing — by circumstance or by choice — you have felt more socially anxious, impulsive, awkward and intolerant when we return to normal life. Even if it is like riding a bicycle (never forget how to), the bike has changed as we have sloughed off a shell we didn't even know we were wearing.

With different degrees of awareness on the social changes that have taken place, we are subtly but inexorably losing our ability and agility in many social situations.

"Connecting with ourselves, the climate and the customer can't be left to chance or at best old habits of asking mediocre questions (listening to customers response, optional)".

The signs are everywhere: people oversharing on Zoom, overreacting or misconstruing one another’s behavior, longing for but then not really enjoying contact with others. Carefree, daily interactions with people which gave a sense of belonging and security, said Stefan Hofmann, a professor of psychology at Boston University is what we are missing.

Individualize that sentiment with DISC, it can be seen that the DISC profile, Steady will feel a deeper sense of loss than other DISC types Kouzakova et al. (2010).

After 6 months of Covid-19 and adjusting, our brains are in a survival mode which increases our hyper vigilance of others and oversensitivity. This survival mode dampens our ability to both recognize and appropriately respond to the subtleties and complexities inherent in building trust.

Accepting that these are some of the dynamics at play and that we are both out of practice and possibly over sensitive makes space for the customer connection to grow and blossom, again.

Being fully present and connecting with each individual-reading/hearing their body language and reducing tension in what and how we communicate is key.

More than ever before it can’t be done en-masse; or using a formula, by rote or by script. Why it actually works really well on every level is because it's individualized. Acknowledging that both you and your customer are unique, different and trul interesting is the deep dive.

A blog I wrote a few months back on Building Trust outlined the rudiments of how to quickly establish rapport and make intelligent recommendations using DISC behavioral profile. DISC is a superb behavioral profile to use as a foundation when learning how to mirror and match body language and create rapport.

When you know typically what motivates and drives a person, how they typically move and behave then you can quickly read low mood, disengagement and anxiety which can then be integrated into the conversation and solution. DISC helps to anticipate needs and deeper dive into the whole being.

Operationally, finding novel (don't reinvent the wheel) ways to turn every point of contact into something that bolsters and strengthens your relationship, takes the same rule of individualization within the current climate.

DISC profiling guides and supports your commonsense positively and allows that extra professionalism, excellence and above and beyond is what is needed to be phenomenal and over deliver every time. Read my blog on Intelligent Recommending to make sure you are talking to that fresh wallet customers are keen to use on exclusive, novel and unique experiences and products. The time is now.

*Change up your products if you detect on inspection faltering belief in the efficacy- you know yourself and your own relationships that it is neither authentic or effective way to recommend.

Let me know your thoughts and experiences at

Join the monthly recommending workshops to build confidence and get ready to connect with your customers.

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