In the beauty industry, it’s impossible to keep everyone happy at all times. Once in a while, someone will be unsatisfied with what you have done with their hair or nails and will come back or call in to complain. Pleasing every single client that sits in your chair just isn’t realistic.
Such situations can be confusing and challenging, especially if you are a recent beauty school grad with little salon experience. Whether it was because of a miscommunication or another reason, it is critical that you handle complaints well, responding in a calm and professional manner.
Here are some tips that can help you handle unhappy guests:
Always hear them out without getting defensive.
When an unhappy client complains, make sure you listen carefully to what they have to say. Even if you think they are in the wrong or being unreasonable, give them the time to say whatever they have to say and respond calmly when they are done. It’s important not to get defensive and give excuses. You will only start an argument and you certainly want to avoid this at all costs.
Apologize and ask them what you can do to make their situation better.
It really doesn’t matter what happened or how it happened. All that matters is that the client is not happy, and for this, you need to apologize as the service provider. It may take a hit to your pride, especially if the client seems to be irrational, but a sincere apology can really go a long way to diffuse the situation.
After hearing them out, make sure to sincerely apologize and ask what you can do to make the situation better. Let them know that you are ready to do what you can to fix the problem, which sometimes means refining a haircut or color.
Don’t forget to thank them for their feedback.
So you’ve listened patiently, responded calmly carefully choosing your words, and kept your facial expressions in check, all the while being potentially spoken to in a rude manner. While it may feel counterintuitive, thank them for their honest feedback. If you really think about it, such an experience is an opportunity for growth (even if it’s growth in your communication) and shows that you value their business.
Reaching out after a few days is important.
After you have successfully handled the situation and calmed the client, you may think the work is over. This is where many cosmetologists are wrong – they forget to follow up with the client. After a few days, don’t forget to message them or send them an email letting them know that you care. The key is to let them feel appreciated so you don’t lose a client over one mistake.
Don’t take it as a personal attack.
It can be very easy to take a disgruntled client as a personal attack, but it’s important not to let this happen. The truth is that no matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to keep everyone happy. At some point in your career, you will have to face an unhappy client, and this is normal. Understanding this will help you handle the situation better.
Besides these, it is important to see the situation in the best light possible and learn from it. Remember to use the feedback to understand where you may have gone wrong, and do what you can to improve and grow.