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Resources/Tips for Customer Interaction ❓

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Resources/Tips for Customer Interaction ❓

Post by Meadowlark on Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:48 pm

Okay, so I've looked around and I'm not finding too many tips on customer service/interaction during the process of being painted. There's a LOT of helpful info on health and hygiene and line management, but not as much on how to ensure your customers are comfortable and happy. Perhaps I've been using the wrong search terms, or perhaps it just comes naturally to most, but I thought I'd ask if any of you know of any resources/tips that would help in this area.

I'm hoping for answers for the following:

1) What do you say at the beginning? Do you introduce yourself? Do you ask for the person's name? Or do you keep introductions to a bare minimum?

2) Do you have them put on an apron? If so, what kind? (I can be a bit messy)

3) Do you talk to the customer while they're being painted? I imagine it's like being at the dentist, as you don't want the customer to nod or move their mouth too much BUT I have been finding it helpful to let them know what I'm about to do, i.e., "OK now I'm going to go around your eyes. Can you gently close them?"

4) If outdoors, is it always necessary to have a tent or structure to work under? I'm thinking it'd be nice for the customer (not to mention the artist!) to be in the shade....but as a newb I don't have one just yet and some venues don't provide them.

5) What about a fan?

6) Do you ever play music in the background? If so, what kind?

7) Is it okay to carefully move someone's head to the right or left with your hand while working, if they are distracted and aren't listening to your directions? I've mostly had success verbally, but every now and then have had to wait a looong time for compliance.

8.) What about fragrances? Some people are adverse to perfume/lotion/bug spray smells. (I'm most concerned about the latter, as mosquitoes eat me alive.) How do you handle this?

9) If you don't have a large mirror nearby or in your setup, is there a way to let the customer look at themselves in a hand mirror afterwards that doesn't keep them in the chair and thus slowing down the process for others?

10) What do you tend to say to the customer afterwards, if you say anything at all? Do you hand them your card, or just hope they take one on their own?



I'll keep searching around, but if anyone feels like giving their input on any of the above, I'd be super appreciative.


Thanks!

M
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Meadowlark

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Re: Resources/Tips for Customer Interaction ❓

Post by Dodyjane on Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:40 am

Wow, First a cover is nice but is usually weather dependent. I suggest a market umbrella if you cannot manage a pop up canopy at first. i use either depending on where and for how long my set up is.. you of course can use a hand mirror but if you want to move kids in and out of your chair quickly consider having a stand mirror or and unbreakable on on your sign or a side table. i saw one face painter with two chairs. they just switch side to side to keep moving quickly.

I like having my biz cards visable that interested folks can take some people give each customer or family one.. if you need bug dope by all means - use it. The more items you give yourself to bring remember you have to haul it all away. - most times you are by yourself/ if you were to provide an apron for people to wear than you need to clean and sanitize it. less is more especially when you are doing the lugging. start small and then add as you find what you like and need. Good luck and welcome to the madness!

Dodyjane

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Re: Resources/Tips for Customer Interaction ❓

Post by Kris5115 on Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:51 am

Hi and welcome! Excellent questions. Here's what works for me:

1) I say something like "Hi, what would you like?" *kid answers xyz* "Excellent! I love painting xyz!" or "Sounds great! I hope when you are the snow princess you won't make it snow around here!" or "OK! As long as you promise not to scare/eat/shrink/bite/burn *depending on the design* your sister!"

2) no apron. I don't wear one either.

3) I don't talk a lot but I will let the kid know I'm going to paint on an eye or switch sides or something like that so they don't flinch. Sometimes I'll make a comment about the design like "You will have to be careful not to let these flames burn you!" or "Wow these teeth are sure sharp, be careful not to cut someone!" or "Wow! It sure is hot, the cold doesn't bother me! Please send a cool breeze this way!" etc. I try to avoid questions where the kid would nod or talk.

4) I have in my service agreement that the client must provide a place to paint that is sheltered from the sun, rain, strong winds, cold, etc.

5) For long jobs on hot days, I have used a fan.

6) Sometimes, depending on the venue and event. I have a suitable playlist on my phone that includes some oldies (50's, 60's, 70', and 80's stuff) and kids songs (Disney tunes and other kids songs).

7) I often paint with my left hand on the kid's head/hair and move the head around as needed.

8.) I don't wear perfume. I do use breath mints, deodorant, and sunscreen (when applicable). If there are mosquitoes, probably the kids have been sprayed with bug spray already so I wouldn't worry about a bug spray smell. Usually those kinds of smells dissipate within a few minutes of being sprayed.

9) I have 2 hand mirrors that I zip tie at different heights to the back side of my display which is a solid color and a great place for a photo. When the kid is done I compliment them and point them to the mirrors. They get out of the chair to see how it looks in the mirror and the parents can get a picture at that time.

10) I always compliment the kid when he/she is done and tell them how fantastic they look. I have my cards setting out and sometimes hand the card to the parent (at festivals or picnics). At birthday parties, I leave some with the host. My cards have removal instructions on the back so I will hand them to anyone who asks how to remove the paints.

Anyway this is what works for me. As you gain experience you may find different things work better in your area or for different types of events. What works at a festival may be very different than what works at a birthday party, company picnic, or holiday event.
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Re: Resources/Tips for Customer Interaction ❓

Post by Dodyjane on Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:02 pm

Kris is far more eloquent than I. She also gave you great advice. If you are friendly and welcoming in a few sentences and then get on with your work, you are going to do well. Glad you joined the forum.

Dodyjane

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Re: Resources/Tips for Customer Interaction ❓

Post by jlirie on Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:21 pm

good answers from kris.

i wear white, easy to bleach when (not if!) i get face paint on my sleeve or pants.

definitely greet the child (or teen, adult), i don't say my name, as i usually need to work fast, so keep focused on the painting,
ask them what design they would like. i usually mention i can do different colors, or even their own an idea, if it's something i can do and have the time.

i "talk through" the design somewhat, to let them know what part of their face i'm going to start with, what part is next, when i need them to hold real still, relax their eyes, close their eyes, when we're almost done, when it's time for glitter at the end.

since i am basically a stranger and they have let me get up close and personal to them, i usually thank them for letting me paint them, or thank them for letting me practice a new design or different version.
say something about how they look like the character you painted, or they look cool, or it matches their outfit.

have several mirrors, one i hold up so they can see the design when they're done, other mirrors on the other side of the table so they can go over and look, and next child can get in the chair.

i ask and gently turn their head, tilt up or down when needed. i'm not a touchy-feely person myself, so keep contact with their face to a minimum.
although some kids have a tendency to keep putting their chin down, so you have to keep tilting their head back up.

shelter or shade is definitely good.

breath mints or gum definitely, too!


Last edited by jlirie on Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Resources/Tips for Customer Interaction ❓

Post by Meadowlark on Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:21 pm

Oh, thanks so much dodyjane and Kris!!

Great suggestion for the mirror slow-down problem.  Two chairs = brilliant.

I can't believe I didn't think of an umbrella ((facepalm)).  I have an easel umbrella I take on landscape painting trips to keep off the sun's glare.  It's small/lightweight and I think it could work as a temporary solution.  

I also can't believe I didn't think of using my phone for music.  I'm not that old, but I'm somehow still stuck in the 90's as far as my use of music tech is concerned. (CDs and yes, cassettes.) Heh.

Love love LOVE putting instructions for washing off paint on the back of cards! I don't have any face-painting cards made up yet, as my main business is my illustration and gallery work, BUT if I continue getting more face painting gigs this is something I'll definitely do.  

Thanks so much, ladies!

(Edit: Thanks Jlirie, as well. We must've been posting at the same time.) Smile



So glad I joined this forum,

M
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Re: Resources/Tips for Customer Interaction ❓

Post by Affordable Face Magic on Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:51 pm

As usual, you got great advice from the forum. I'll add, I stipulate shade, if outside, in my Invoice, & almost always wear an apron. If I'm wearing a holiday top, then I'll spread a hand towel on my lap, since I do use Starblends in this Florida heat for animal eyes, spiderman, Hulk & skulls...& they seem to drift down to my lap!
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Re: Resources/Tips for Customer Interaction ❓

Post by Meadowlark on Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:12 pm


Hi Affordable Face Magic --

Yeah, I'm grateful that humidity isn't a problem where I'm at; if anything, it's too dry! Smile

I'm going to purchase a new inexpensive apron, as all I currently have is the one I use while oil painting -- and there's more paint on it than apron. Heh.
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Re: Resources/Tips for Customer Interaction ❓

Post by Kris5115 on Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:02 am

Meadowlark, do you see under each persons avatar & "name" there is some information including location? If you would update your profile to include a general location, it would be helpful for answers to questions that are somewhat location specific (like weather/humidity, tipping culture, purchasing supplies, etc.).
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Re: Resources/Tips for Customer Interaction ❓

Post by Meadowlark on Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:57 pm

Done and done! Thanks for pointing that out; I'd somehow overlooked it. Smile
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Re: Resources/Tips for Customer Interaction ❓

Post by jlirie on Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:10 pm

at least those of us who have seen tech change recognize both old and new devices, and can use them all Wink
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Re: Resources/Tips for Customer Interaction ❓

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