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How to deal with troublesome clients

Over the years I have studied the best way to handle disruption within the salon… It's simply to focus on yourself and how you respond to the following situations.

If a client is rude to you in the salon:

  • Focus on how happy you are as a person and do not absorb the client’s mood. Remember, we are in the business of selling happiness and that starts from us being in a good head space. Each time a client is rude, I reply with kindness and use loving speech back (self love). Most have unresolved issues (which is not our responsibility) and that’s why they project onto us unconsciously.

  • Note! Change the music to peaceful calming music, which helps bring clients to a state of calm. They will start to feel the effects of Oxytocin within 3 to 5 minutes.

If a client is always late:

  • If a client is always late, explain to the client that you want to give her a full service experience, however due to her being late you can only do an ‘express’ technique. Charge the same cost, as she is paying for your time booked, and explain that you charge according to time from when the appointment was made. Explain that next time she comes in on time she can have the full service, which ensures she gets the most from your time together.

If a client cancels regularly:

  • From experience, if a client cancels regularly, then it's time for a heart-to-heart chat with your client. Remind yourself we are in the human-to-human business. I would recommend calling the client - I have seen hairdressers fear this type of call, but there is nothing to fear as you are just stating the facts. However, remember do NOT be emotional. Ask the client to consider only booking when she is 100% certain she can come in, to ensure you both respect each others’ time. Honesty is the best policy in my view.

If a client is always unhappy with results and is the kind of person that makes everyone in the salon unsettled when they are due to come in for an appointment:

  • A deeply unhappy client can really destabilise your salon team. They are not worth having, in my view. If this is a regular thing by a salon client, it’s time to divorce (with love) and send your client on their way to another salon. I have a we only live once motto and I only want clients that reflect my values and attitude towards a beautiful hair experience. Therefore, here's what I would do. I ask to see the client outside the salon (with her belongings) and thank her for all our time together (truly mean it and smile). I explain that I've noticed that the salon has not been able to make her happy and that it’s time to experience another salon. If she gets upset, explain that you want her money to be well spent and to go to people that can make her happy. Remember this is a celebration, so be happy about the situation – she will react to you based on your level of happiness. Whatever you do, do not give in and change your position! That would be really funny (not) if you back down and let her back in and she then continues to be disruptive 👎. Remind yourself of the types of experiences you want every day and focus on all the positive greatness in that. We are ultimately what we think about all the time.

In summary, look after your mind, health and body. I truly love what I do and over the last 32 years I have experienced so many different situations that have all taught me some great things along the way. I am a big fan of using "loving" speech (self love and kindness) when dealing with clients, as ultimately they support my lifestyle, however you have to have boundaries to protect yourself.


By Dario Cotroneo

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