If you have to define your relationship with your client, you know it is more than just a client-lash artist association. You are a team who works together to keep lashes beautiful; you may be the confidant they like to share life's problems with, or you are that person they come to make them feel confident and gorgeous. They value your time and your expertise.
But it's not real life if everything is idyllic. Have you had experience with a difficult client? It can be stressful, but remember, there is an opportunity to learn something new. Let's discuss a few hypothetical situations and how you can stand up to them and take control of the situation.
The ever-complaining client
Some people are hard to satisfy, no matter what you do. And by a stroke of bad luck, those people can turn into your clients. No matter how excellent a lashing job you have done, they will always make it a point to show their disappointment. As a result, you may feel underconfident about your skills or frustrated. The wise way to deal with this situation is to stay calm and not give in to your emotions. First, try to find out what the problem is. Ask your client what they are not happy about. If you think their complaint is genuine, try to fix it. But if you think their criticism is baseless, try to resolve the situation to avoid any bad blood because a disgruntled client can leave a bad review online or bad mouth you to others. However, if, in the future, you would prefer not to deal with a client like them again, you could politely decline the next time they try to book. You can advise that you are not the best lash artist for them and suggest other local artists so they don't feel that you've left them high and dry.
The rude client
They are the hard nuts. It may not be the most pleasant experience, but if you have an unpleasant client, give yourself a chance to see if you can turn them around. Human behaviour can be complicated, your client may have had a bad day, and you may be their scapegoat to vent on. If you can control your responses, ignore their snide comments and be as courteous as possible, you may find that it was a one-off, unusual mood for them. You don't want an angry client walking out of your door, so provide your best service.
But if they come back to you with a similar attitude, perhaps dig a little deeper, enquire if there is something you can do to make their experience with you more pleasant? Maybe lots of background noise makes them irritable, and you could offer them some peace and quiet? Perhaps they have had previous experiences in other salons that are triggering bad feelings for them, and you can help them see you are a caring lash artist who will make them feel safe.
But of course, some people can't be helped. It may turn out that they are not a great people person. It would be highly advisable to discontinue the relationship with a client who emanates negative energy in your workspace. Make sure you are diplomatic about letting them go; you can put it down to something as simple as you not being the right artist for them.
The deal hunters
Even Sandra Bullock said, "I'll do anything for free stuff." So you won't be surprised if you have a client who manages to somehow wiggle their way into getting a free infill. In your bid to not lose a client, you may provide them with a free session. However, if your client comes up with reasons more than once to get a discount or a free service, you know that they are not the kind of clients you want to transact with. When you are putting in your time and effort, you want to be paid for your services; ensure your client that you care about their experience with you but will charge them in the future. Some clients need to be reassured they are getting value for money; displaying your training certificates can help ease their minds that you are a highly trained artist who has invested in being at the top of your game. You can also provide free add ons to the service to make a customer feel they are really getting their money's worth; it doesn't have to be a colossal investment, something as simple as providing a bowl of chocolates at the reception desk, offering some snuggly socks to wear during their appointment or even burning a beautiful smelling candle makes your clients feel more cared for, and less likely to try to find value from you elsewhere.
The over expectant client
Some clients have unrealistic expectations. They come to you to recreate lashes that may not be possible on their lashes at all. They could have been inspired by a Kardashian flaunting their lashes. But, as a lash artist, you know that is unachievable. Not on their lashes. Therefore, it is essential to incorporate a consultation session before the lashing session begins. Be completely transparent with them and lay the cards about what you can create for them. If they do not budge, you can politely decline and recommend another lash artist who may take that risk.
You are booked back to back; a few clients may never be on time for their lashes. That puts you in a tight situation, affecting your performance and other clients' time. If the client continues to show up late on multiple occasions, it is crucial to introduce a latecomer policy. It doesn't matter if you are operating solo or with a team; setting boundaries and outlining them in writing makes your rules official and formal. A latecomer policy could include a clause where you charge extra if they show up past a particular time in their appointment slot, or you may decide on a cut-off point where you simply will not go ahead with the appointment once a specified late time has been reached. Whichever direction you choose to go, if you inform them the lashing procedure will be compromised and completed within the scheduled time to avoid infringing on other clients' time, this may encourage them to be punctual for their next appointment.
The no-show clients
What's worse than a latecomer? A no-show. If you have clients booking in and not showing up, it can significantly affect your business. Salon policies need to address these situations and protect you from incurring any such losses in the future. To make it easy for you, ensure you charge a non-refundable booking fee from the client if they do not show up. This will discourage clients from cancelling their appointments and help you compensate for your lost time. For artists out there who are not comfortable charging a fee at the time of booking, you may find it difficult to enforce a no-show charge. A softer approach would be to have a two strikes policy, perhaps you are open to giving the benefit of the doubt, and you'll let your clients have one no-show on you. However, if it happens a second time, we strongly recommend implementing a booking charge, even if it's just for that particular client.
The unenthusiastic clients
Having great lashes is teamwork. If you are doing an exceptional job at lashing, the client also needs to be diligent at looking after them. Often, clients heed you, but there may be clients who just won't listen. They either can't be bothered, don't really care, or haven't been adequately educated to understand its importance. Having said that, it doesn't make your job any easier when they show up with a hot mess of extensions begging you to salvage them. You cannot emphasize more the importance of lash aftercare. Tell them at the consultation session and while doing their lashes. Reiterate it at checkout, and follow up with a call between their next infill appointment. This will make them realize its importance, and they will heed your advice.
You can't please everyone, but you tried. Find your balance between self-love and love for your clients. Don't let demanding customers bog your confidence down. As a lash artist, you want to provide the best service to your clients, but it is paramount to protect your business and reputation.