No matter how insanely brilliant you are as a hairstylist, you will run into the uncomfortable situation of dealing with an unhappy client. It’s inevitable. The hairstyling business has hundreds of variables when it comes to styles, cuts and colors. No wonder that, at some point, your work won’t match the client’s vision of the perfect hairstyle.
So what’s the best approach to dealing with an unhappy customer? The key is being prepared for such a scenario. By coming across as calm and professional, you can boost your chances of retaining a valuable client. On the other hand, if you get defensive or dismissive, you run the risk of losing the client and your reputation. Bad behavior on your part can make the situation even worse; unhappy clients can quickly spread the news on social networks and online reviews.
Here are 3 ways to address an unhappy client:
- Quickly address the problem. Your client may immediately bring up the issue, whether it’s a cut or color that didn’t meet their expectations. She may not. If she doesn’t, you should be able to discern from her body language if she’s unhappy. Immediately address the problem. Ask for feedback on how you can better meet her expectations. The first step in handling a bad situation is acknowledging the client’s perspective – not trying to convince her that she’s wrong or that she will eventually like it.
- Clearly state your policy. Whether you work for a salon or work independently as a booth renter, you should always have a policy on hand to address issues brought up by clients. Decide beforehand what that should be. Do you provide a redo at no cost? A discount on future visits? A partial refund? Free products? Again, by being calm and prepared to offer a resolution, you should be able to avoid a confrontation.
- Follow up. Hopefully, you will have the opportunity to talk to your client face to face. If that’s the case, follow up with him within a week to make sure that the matter was handled satisfactorily. Unfortunately, you may be faced with the unpleasant experience of finding an unfavorable review of your services online. Don’t ignore it. Take the time to write a professional response, including a sincere apology that the services did not meet the client’s expectations. Again, avoid being defensive.
With the right approach, maintaining a styling business can be incredibly rewarding. To help you focus on what you do best, try Stylie – an online scheduling and point-of-sale tool for independent beauty professionals. Contact us for a free 30-day trial of Stylie to see how it can help you keep things running smoothly.
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