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  • michela henke cilenti

Rebuilding Frayed Client Trust Quickly

A new phase in the COVID-19 pandemic is upon us. It is a time for hope but also for caution. The end of the lockdown will not spell a return to the old “normal”, nor will it be universal. Where we are right now and it will change again at a pretty decent speed. But what is the state of mind of our clients, our first movers back? How can we motivate them to return and reassure their safety?

Managing uncertainty, means managing the certainties. Some things are crystal clear: the huge impact it has had on how we run our businesses and how we interact with our clients. We need to be prepared.

You might be anticipating fewer clients coming through the door or fewer requested services (hopefully short-term). The current reality might be the glaring and significant gap in revenue that needs to be bridged for survival.

Trust & The Restart

The past three months have been a seismic break of trust. No matter what country you live in, we were all vulnerable. Our governments and public health services did not protect us as we expected them to; we have had worries about our loved ones bringing home a life-threatening virus; we have experienced or seen team being furloughed; team who trusted and relied on their jobs for economic stability. We are now facing a public that is fearful, apprehensive, and desperately needing to heal this breach of trust.

The good news is that after a 3-month hiatus, consumers - especially our spa clientele - are seeking trusted, quality services, but will require a greater level of engagement than ever before. How do I know this? We see it in the miscommunication, the frustration of unmet expectations. Unfortunately, this lack of connection does not create the foundation to allow recommending to take place. It needs to be addressed and can be remedied.

By providing your clients with above-and-beyond service, really, the 'whatever it takes'- will rebuild the bridge to trust and a send a strong message of a deeper level of genuine care. The exciting news is that we have this unique opportunity to connect and it really means the world to people- us and them as we seek purpose in current times. Giving MORE and perspective taking with DISC will reduce the tension when we we intend, but just don't quite connect.

Above & Beyond Service Using DISC Behaviors

While everyone else might be telling you to focus on safety and cleaning , I am telling you that you must strategically build trust and actively support your clients to feel more comfortable. Let's add in process, so then you can add back your magic..... (that has been dearly missed by your clients)

Similarity Breeds Liking

Who you are and whom you connect with, makes a big difference in rapport and trust building. When we share a similar profile to that of our clients, rapport comes very quickly, from an authentic place. The client's perspective is automatically taken and we naturally mimic moves and tonality. This is essential to eliminate tension in our communication- the good news or bad. Stress levels go down in both the therapist and client- Comfort levels up allowing verbalization of the concern and recommending naturally occurs!

DISC Behavior Assessment - Dominance, Influence, Conscientiousness, Steadiness
DISC Behavioral Assessment Tool

For example a 'Dominant' client post Covid-19, have been seen to be quite (even more than usual) direct and forceful leaving a very small margin of error on our half. Reading their non-verbal behaviors and mirroring body language back subtly and strategically builds trust. This is understood unconsciously as capability and the client will become more open to your recommendations. These recommendations might look like- extra time in a treatment or an essential, perhaps out of the box add on/service enhancement. This strategic behavioral mimicry has been used by therapists and other experts to naturally reduce stress hormones and create harmonic interactions.

Don't Sell From Your Wallet

Wouldn't it be convenient to just sell from my own wallet, talking about products and services I am able to afford (not much at the moment). I see this obstacle systemically across the properties I work with and it's a vicious spiral. It must be coached out otherwise it undo all the hard work done, resulting in a serious service shortfall.

Recommending home-care and additional services with my personal budget in mind limits perspective taking and misses out on offering the best possible value (for C and D clients) and experience (for S and I clients). It's a win/win as it will result in additional revenue that you need to support and future proof your business to survive and thrive in the new normal.

By accessing your personality strengths (work in your natural DISC is your strengths) when connecting with clients, you will be able to provide the experience and reassurance we all thrive on. Don't worry, clients, plain and simply, cannot receive that connection when shopping online. We all need more, we just have to read the signs and do something positive with it. The term 'super loyalty' will be seen and naturally follow the good work at reconnecting with our clients.

During this Coach-Led Virtual Classroom you'll:

  • Go deep on the unique people challenges in the new world

  • Understand the interplay between beliefs and home-care recommending

  • Have a chance to share your questions and concerns

  • Get LIVE feedback and help from a top leadership thinker

Feedback, thoughts, ideas and coaching support through times of change reach out to me at


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