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How to deal with the salon client from hell

Everyone develops a relationship with their hair stylist or beauty therapist. Yet sometimes those client relationships can be dreaded ones, and clients can become “a client from hell”.

In that case, you simply need to remember a few things:

You’re a salon professional not a counsellor

Salon client from hell

Sometimes your hair or beauty client may consider you their confidant, or someone that they can tell all of their horror stories to.

Sometimes they simply share too much information. Clients may forget that there is only one of you, yet you may have hundreds of clients.

It isn’t your job to remember every single detail of every single story they told you last time they were in. Besides, there is always a level of professionalism that comes with your job as well as providing the client a service. That is what will bring devoted clients back over and over again.

Try these tips:

  1. When you start chatting while you work, try to keep your client’s personal business to a minimum. You may need to refrain from asking about current relationships, or simply start off by asking what they think about the latest celebrity gossip. That will keep your conversation from getting too personal.
  2. Try to be polite if they ask you about your personal business. It certainly doesn’t help that everyone in the salon can hear your conversation. You are a hair & beauty professional, not a counsellor. You can’t give professional advice about someone else’s life, so try to keep the conversation on the straight and narrow.

Salon moaners

When your hair or beauty client has been coming to you for years, but they start to try to tell you how to cut their hair or do their make-up, then it might be time for them to move onto a colleague. When they are unsatisfied, or keep complaining about it, you may not be able to give them the style, look or effect that they want.

It’s okay to suggest that they come in to see someone else next time. You can politely explain that you aren’t able to provide them with the salon service that they want, and that someone else is better at that particular style or treatment.

It may be that they can’t get their idea across to you, so it may not be entirely your fault. Sometimes there may be other stylists or therapists that are better at a particular treatment than anyone else in the salon. Don’t be afraid to break up with your client. There will be many others that will come along that are better suited for you.

Need more advice on handling difficult clients? NHF Members can download our free guide “Handling Customer Complaints” here.

Non-members will find this blog post useful How to resolve salon clients’ complaints successfully.

Hair & beauty cheaters

Many clients don’t realise that you can tell that they’ve cheated on you. You may not say anything every time, but there may be evidence that they cheat between coming to see you. If this cheating episode has really done damage to their style or looks, you may need to politely suggest that they come to see you instead of going elsewhere.

Explain to them that seeing someone else between salon or barber visits is certainly messing up their look, and you are having to spend more time fixing the damage than you are treating them. Remind your run-around client that getting a less expensive treatment can really show in their hair or skin.

The downright rude salon client

Salon client from hell

It can seem that clients feel as though they are the only people in the world that are important to your career. Sometimes they may even be inclined to tell you how to do your job. If this is the case, remember to be polite – they are a client at your salon, and your salon owner does care about their business.

If they moan you’re running late, Salons Direct suggests you politely apologise for running a few minutes behind schedule. Then make a mental note to put in the system that this client needs an appointment when your schedule is not behind, perhaps early in the day. When they call for their next hair or beauty appointment, the salon receptionist can then take this information into consideration when booking the date.

If the client doesn’t like the style, which happens to everyone from time to time, just be patient. As long as you’ve done your best work, you shouldn’t worry. Gently remind them that you did exactly what they asked for. Try to get them to explain what they don’t like about the style. It could possibly be that they don’t like the way you dried and styled it. Remember that constructive criticism will only make you a better professional.

Paying salon clients

All beauty therapists and hair stylists have terrible clients from time to time. There are many that get eye rolls when their name is put on the books. You may have a good time talking about them during lunch, but try to keep in mind that they have paid you for a service, too. They always deserve your best work.

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