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Basic Tanning Certification
Indoor Salon Certification
Regulatory Information
Business Resources
Basic Tanning Certification Chapters
Your Skin, The Largest Organ
Understanding Ultraviolet Radiation
Tanning Lamps, A Brief Description
The Tanning Process

Understanding MED and MMD

Determining an Exposure Schedule
Risks of Overexposure
State and Federal Regulations
Understanding Eye Protection
Equipment Sanitation
Equipment Operating Procedures
Tanning Salon Professionalism

Chapter 14
Tanning Salon Professionalism

· Customer rapport
· Customer complaints
· Customer service

Professionalism is defined as the standing, practice, or methods of a professional, as distinguished from an amateur. A professional is defined as a person who is expert at his or her work. Finally, a profession is defined as an occupation requiring advanced education and experience.

As the indoor tanning industry moves toward becoming more professional, in order to be considered a true profession, it is necessary that all of us privileged to work in the indoor tanning industry seek to advance our knowledge of the �science of tanning� and in the professional operation of a fully compliant tanning salon.

Customer Rapport
To a customer, walking in and seeing a familiar smiling face behind the counter is one of the things that helps them to feel comfortable when making a buying decision. Building rapport (a harmonious relationship) with the customer will help them understand that you are sincere and are leading them in the right direction.

It is important to take the time to make a client feel comfortable about the decision they have made to tan at your facility. Make sure to initiate a conversation when they come in to tan, even though they may not need to purchase anything. Start off by remembering their name, shaking their hand, and of course greeting them with a smile. As you get to know your clients you will remember things you can ask them about their family, job, pet or anything else they may have told you.

When a client is tanning for a special occasion, like a vacation or wedding, always ask detailed questions about the status of the event and wish the customer good luck and invite them back to continue tanning after the event. Tell them to make sure that they bring photographs of the event to share with you. If the client is vacationing in a tropical area, be sure to warn them about the intensity of sunlight in the tropics and suggest that they consider purchasing appropriate sunscreen products to take with them.

Customer Complaints
The old adage �the customer is always right� is particularly true in the indoor tanning industry when it comes to handling complaints because tanning is a business built primarily on referrals from customers. It is much easier to keep a customer that currently patronizes you than it is to try to regain one that has left. The majority of customer complaints, even those that may start off with the client being very irate, can usually be handled in a calm, mature manner. A good strategy is to �kill them with kindness� when handling customer complaints.

It is important than employee never argue with a customer and it is recommended that they listen carefully to the customer in order to determine the reasons that they are unhappy. When the employee does not have the authority to resolve the problem, the customer should be politely informed that the owner or manager must be informed of the situation.

Consider working up a list of past complaints and develop methods for handling them should they happen again. New employees can practice �role playing� exercises so that they will feel better prepared regarding how to handle certain complaints that may arise.

There are situations in the tanning salon where the customer is not always right and they involve issues relating to their safety. For instance, if a client states that they do not intend to wear protective eyewear while tanning, they must not be allowed to tan. Also, a client must never be allowed to tan longer than the MTI (maximum timer interval) posted on the tanning unit for any reason.

Anything that would adversely impact the safety of the client is the responsibility of the tanning salon, not the client and, therefore, in these situations the client is not always right.

Customer Service
Your philosophy of customer service should be to provide necessary information to your clients in the most friendly and professional manner that is possible. They should be educated about your equipment, tanning packages, lotions and their phototype/ subtype. In addition, each new client should sign a Client Release and Informed Consent form in order to make sure that you have properly covered the risks of indoor tanning.

In addition, you want to give your clients as much information about the �science of tanning� as possible without overloading them with more information than they are able to comprehend. Each client has a different educational background and, therefore, a different threshold of understanding. It is important for you to stay up-todate with the latest information so that you can deal with all levels of clients. It is important to understand that if a question arises and you are not sure of the answer that you tell the client that you will find out the answer for them. This is a much more professional approach than �guessing� and possibly providing the client with the wrong answer.

It is the responsibility of all employees to work within the company guidelines of professionalism at all times. Should there be a situation where an employee of a tanning salon feels that they have been instructed to operate in a manner that is against federal and state regulations and not in the best interests of the client, it is incumbent upon the employee to bring the matter to the attention of the manager or owner for resolution.

Finally, the client deserves an appropriate and professional level of attention from the time they enter your facility until the time that they have completed their tanning session and leave. Saying �goodbye� when they leave is just as important as saying �hello� when they arrive!

Cleanliness Standards
The highest standards of cleanliness should be maintained at all times. Your clients should feel comfortable that they are tanning in a clean and properly sanitized environment. This pertains not only to the tanning equipment they will be using but also to the entire salon. It is important to make the cleanliness of the facility a major factor in the training of new employees. The owner or manager must set the guidelines for the cleanliness of the salon and routinely check to make sure that they are being adhered to.

It should be noted that overall sanitation should be looked at. Check the tanning bed rooms for such things as goggles, lotion bottles and packets, towels, socks, underwear, large dust bunnies, cobwebs, etc. All of this makes for an unsightly salon and ruins the experience for the client.

A good �pop quiz about cleaning� is to ask yourself if the salon is ready for an FDA or state inspection at all times. If every aspect of your tanning salon is ready for the inspector, then you are most certainly ready for your valued clients. Your customers deserve the very best you can offer and they should never be given anything less.

It may be helpful to create �checklists� to help remind employees of tasks that are to be completed by the end of a shift. Put on the list the mandatory things that must be done daily as well as less critical tasks that can be scheduled during the slower parts of the day if time allows.

Any employee who wants to be considered as a true indoor tanning industry professional must act responsibly and proactively when it comes to maintaining a clean and inviting tanning salon environment.

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