How To Stay Sane And In Control Around Thorny Clients

by Pam Stellema

in Customer Management

How to Stay Sane and In Control Around Thorny Clients

We’ve all had them.

Those clients that drive you crazy, because they either show up late, don’t show at all or complain about every treatment they receive.

Do you really want to keep them? Or more importantly, do you really need to keep them?

Unfortunately, there’s so simple answer to that question. The fact is that some clients are worth a bit of extra trouble. These are the ones who spend heartily in your salon on a regular basis. Some others can have you pulling your hair out but just aren’t worth the stress.

So before you decide on your course of action (whether you keep a client or fire them), you need to consider how valuable they are to your salon, and whether it would be worthwhile to develop a few coping mechanisms to save the relationship.

Problem: The Late Client.

This client is late for everything. She’ll probably even be late to her own funeral. She is disorganised, and never leaves enough leeway to make sure she gets anywhere on time.

Solution: Tell her that her appointment is 15 mins before it actually is. This way, when she comes rushing through your door, puffing and panting and telling you how sorry she is to be late, you can smile serenely to yourself knowing she is actually right on time. Adjust the time frame to suit your individual late arrivers.

Problem: The No-show Client.

The regular no-show client will make you angry, especially if you’ve turned work away that you could have accepted had she cancelled in advance. These clients often believe that they’ve done you a huge favour; giving you time to put your feet up and have a coffee break. They have no idea about the carnage they’re creating, and simply expect to float back into your salon when they want another booking.

Solution: This client needs to be controlled. You must teach all of your clients how you expect to be treated. When a client simply doesn’t show for her appointment, phone her. If she doesn’t answer, then send a text. She must realise that you’ve noticed her no-show. Remind her of your no-show policy (you do have one, don’t you) and the consequences of the no-show. If she is a regular no-shower, refuse to accept anything but a pre-paid appointment in the future. She’ll probably complain, but don’t worry too much about it. She’ll either pay you in advance or go to another salon and treat them with the same disrespect she’s dished out to you.

Problem: The Constant Complainer.

We all complain about something now and then, but there’s always the odd client who complains about everything, all the time.

The wax is too hot, the air conditioning is too cold, the salon smells funny, and on it goes. There’s just no making this lady happy, no matter what.

Solution: Clients like this have some personal issues. Maybe this is their only chance to be the dominant person, and so they take it out on you. The best and easiest way to deal with this client is to acknowledge what she says, make some kind of effort to ‘fix the problem’, and learn not to take it personally. Because it really isn’t directed at you at all.

The simple fact that she keeps returning means that she is actually happy with your salon and her treatments, so just keep smiling and taking her payments.

And that’s it. You don’t have to accept bad behaviour from your clients. Train them to treat you with the respect you know you deserve.

If this is an important topic for you, leave me a comment below and tell me your thoughts on the matter.

You might also be interested in the e-course –  How to Attract More Profitable Clients to Your Beauty Business

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Pam Stellema

Pam is an industry experienced coach, salon owner, speaker, author and copywriter.She works beside salon and spa owners to show them how to effectively grow their profits and remain in business for the long-term.
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