You’re running a business and inevitably, at some point, you will have to deal with rude clients. These “bad clients” are serious roadblocks – not only are they rude, but they’re also the hardest people to confront.
We’re here to help so we broke down the top 5 most difficult clients and how to manage them in a professional way without tarnishing your reputation.
#1 ATTENTION SEEKERS
Loud, obnoxious and rude clients who require lots of attention are exhausting and cause other clients to feel uncomfortable. They’re often unaware of others around them and while it’s great to establish friendly relationships with your clients, it’s equally important to set boundaries.
Tip: Keep the conversation light and if your client is disruptive or persistently talking about topics that should be private, try steering the subject to trends, products, and techniques. Steer clear of overly personal questions, and avoid oversharing about your own personal life.
Dramatic people can be difficult to deal with because they may cause a scene if they become upset. In these situations, it’s best to wait until they’ve left the salon before communicating your concerns with them.
It might be appropriate to give them a phone call later in the day and say something like:
“Hey, I’m sorry you’ve been going through so much lately. I hope your manicures have been making you feel better! Unfortunately, some of the other clients are complaining about the stressful environment and loud conversations in the salon. Just so we don’t get in trouble, let’s try to keep our conversations lighter”.
If you’ve tried several times to steer the conversation away from personal topics, try offering fun distractions like tablets and current magazines. This might help take their mind off things and hey, celebrity gossip is a great excuse to switch up the conversation.
#2 THE PERV
As a professional trying to build a business and offer the best services possible, you may experience some form of harassment. You should never have to deal with sexual harassment or rude comments at work, and although this situation can be quite uncomfortable and aggravating, dealing with it immediately is your best bet.
When a client makes an inappropriate remark:
STOP THEM IN THEIR TRACKS!
Say: “Those comments are inappropriate. I won’t be able to finish your service if you continue to make them”.
Don’t answer personal questions or laugh at inappropriate jokes even if you are uncomfortable.
Don’t feel guilty.
Don’t apologize. You are the one who has been wronged.
You are running a business and if a client stresses you out, upsets you, or ruins your day, they are not worth your time! Confronting a harasser is uncomfortable at first and you might be unsure about what to say, but it’s always worth it in the end.
Don’t let your clients control your mood or the atmosphere of the salon. Take charge, and let them know you won’t stand for it.
#3 THE COMPLAINER
It doesn’t take long for a whiny client to affect others, so before an unsatisfied client decides to vent on social media or while at the salon, deal with their concerns and confront them.
When confronting “a complainer,” remember:
Always be the bigger person and keep it professional. If possible, keep your conversation private and away from other clients. If unwarranted complaints are being made on social media, always respond tactfully and through a private message.
Listen carefully and don’t interrupt.
Be sincere. Say something like: “I’m sorry you feel this way.” This doesn’t mean you’re accepting blame, it just means you’re truly sorry they’re unhappy. There’s a big difference, and sincerity can go a long way.
Ask questions and get to the root of the problem without making assumptions. A complaint usually isn’t about you, so don’t get defensive. Rather than talking about what can’t be done, talk about what you CAN do to help. If your client agrees to a compromise or solution, take care of it right away.
Your Goal: Understand why something happened, learn from it and identify how to avoid it or deal with it better next time.
Keep a detailed record of each client using Beautster’s ‘Client Notes’ tool, which helps you keep track of many things including how many times a client complained and the reason.
Refer to your Notes
Once a client has complained 3 or more times, it’s safe to assume they are not a fan and they will not recommend you to others. At this point, your client is no longer valuable and it’s time to let them go. Say something like this: “I’ve been keeping track of your visits and it seems like you haven’t been happy. We may not be the right fit for each other. I would love to give you some recommendations for other stylists who can give you what you’re looking for.”
Social Media is more prevalent than ever before, so avoid future headaches by dealing with problematic clients head-on rather than ignoring them and risking bad word of mouth.
#4 CHRONICALLY LATE
Clients who are chronically late with no regard for your time are costing you money. Luckily, Beautster has a few tools to help you:
No-Show/ Late Cancellation Policy
Diligently enforcing a no-show/last-minute cancellation policy helps train clients to respect your time. When clients show up late or cancel last minute, they are charged a percentage of the service price, which protects your business and your income and also helps curb future inclinations to disrespect your time.
Despite your best efforts to communicate and despite enforcing your cancellation fee, if a client continues to be tardy, let them know you can no longer allow them to book in advance. Invite them to try getting a walk-in appointment, but communicate to them that they’ve exceeded the late cancellation limit.
Important: Despite your cancellation policy, if a client continues to waste your time by arriving late, let them go. Whether they realize it or not, late clients affect your entire schedule, which negatively impacts other clients’ experiences.
Block Client Tool
After politely explaining to a client that you are no longer a good fit for each other, use Beautster’s ‘Block Client’ tool. When a ‘blocked client’ tried to check your schedule online, it will look like you have no available appointments.
#5 THE PLAYER
It’s easy to tell whether your loyal client has been booking services elsewhere. They might try to hide it, but you’ll always know when a client has been loyal to someone else.
Clients expect personalized treatment, so the main reason they try other stylists is a lack of communication before and after their appointment. Clients want to feel special and valued, so take the time to listen and try to earn back their trust.
Don’t try to confront your clients – instead, win them back naturally. Even if you’ve been seeing a client for years, it’s important to make sure you’re on the same page by checking in with them.
Ask questions like:
How have you been feeling about your hair lately? Have you changed anything about your home haircare routine? Are you looking to try anything new?
If you’re trying to win back a great client, send them a helpful e-mail with the latest tips and trends, let them know when you have last-minute availability or send them a special offer. If they haven’t already, invite them to join your Loyalty Program. If you know they’re adventurous and they like trying new things, invite them to try a new service at a discounted rate. The more connections you make with a client, the more likely they are to stick around.
If you can’t seem to win back your clients, don’t be afraid to ask questions and find out what you can do. Asking questions helps you learn more about your business and how you can improve.
You might learn a few things along the way:
Perhaps your salon hours are inconvenient, maybe your clients wish they could book online for you or maybe your salon environment isn’t inviting and comfortable.
Whatever you find out, never take it personally – learn from every criticism and use feedback to move your business forward.