I have been brewing on the topic of professionalism for some time now. I am not talking the “I have a carrot up somewhere”, non-approachable, pencil skirt and stilettos perception we have of professionalism. I am talking the kind of professionalism where I am left genuinely satisfied with a service. That my service enquiry has been dealt with by someone who really wanted to (or at least made me feel like they did) and who did so to the best of their ability relevant to their professional field.
Allow me to demonstrate. I recently took my car in for a service. The service I received when booking my vehicle in from the first consultant was shocking to say the least. In addition- I have previously had an experience of poor professionalism with this company. At a point I was ready to change brands the next time I even thought of buying a car. By one o’ clock a second consultant contacted me to give me an update on the progress of my car. I had never dealt with her. She asked if I had had any grievances up to that point. I shared my frustrations with her about what had happened earlier the day. She kept quiet, and listened. Genuinely listened. This consultant then assured me she would deal with my grievance. I received a follow up phone call 10 minutes later informing me that everything had been sorted out. Upon collecting my car, I was greeted by hand and the friendly consultant introduced herself. She knew her work. She did not make excuses. However, she made sure she delivered a solution and service- regardless of the fact that someone else had messed up. I was dealt with as a human and not another ticket number or booking.
It takes one person within your business to change someone’s view on the professionalism of your business. A professional reputation is what differentiates you from your competitor. It is what makes people want to do business with you. I recently came across these pointers on professionalism taken from LINKED IN’s social media site. It was originally posted in full length by Leandre Valente. I’d like to share them with you. I have added some practical tips.
- Be courteous and respectful to everyone-yes, even the cleaner. It will earn respect and avoid conflict. This also includes both big and small spenders within your business.
- Always strive for excellence- surpass the ordinary standards of how other people do business. Add a cookie to the coffee. Perfect those brows to the last hair. Re-do that last smudged toe nail. Greet your client by name.
- Be trustworthy. Building trust with your clients requires you to take accountability. It is being dependable and having integrity. Stop making excuses. Deliver on your promises. Do it now and do it properly.
- Be honest, open and transparent
- Be competent and improve continually- this requires you as person and professional to grow. Attend refresher workshops, attend industry conferences. Read industry related material. Know your work well.
- Always be ethical. It speaks volumes about your character. Underpricing your industry only makes your own profit margin less. You are doing no one favors- especially not yourself. Know your worth and respect that of other industry professionals.
- Be respectful of Confidentiality-You gain trust and respect of those confiding in you and increase your influence on people. You lose respect once confidentiality is broken.
- Set a good example- Being a professional is about living an exemplary life within and without the organization. You cannot expect your staff to act one way if you act in completely another way.
Professionalism is highly valued in the beauty and wellness industry. We as beauty professionals deal with client’s insecurities. Their weaknesses and at times their secrets. Wouldn’t you want to have yours dealt with by an utmost professional?