In the last blog, we discussed what we call "The Fear Zone." Which are the reasons that we tell our selves that we need to keep clients that are less than ideal or not so nice. If you haven't read it, go back give it read as we debunk all of those silly reasons to keep a client who doesn't treat you how you should be treated.
The next step after you identify that a client needs to be taken off the roster is, how do we break up with them? First and foremost, you have to be kind, and ultra professional that way if word ever gets back to you, you handled it as best you can, and no one will ever be able to argue that you were not professional. Being rude back to them is nothing short of a business burn, and word will spread like wild-fire, especially if you are in a small town. However, when you are respectful, kind (even though you fight every urge to do the opposite) and are polite, you will come out the other side smelling like roses.
We have three go-to methods, some you have to be quite direct and others not so much.
Method 1: You are fully booked. This is probably the easiest, and best way for someone who can be a bit of a loose cannon, and they cannot argue the fact that you are fully booked. Most times they won’t want to wait two months to get in to see you, but be prepared, if they do book with you in 2 months, you can give them another chance, but you may have to pull out the big guns if they are not any better then the last time.
Method 2: This route is ideal for family friends or the ultra-demanding type. You say “I appreciate you supporting me for as long as you have, and I don’t feel as though I can accommodate your needs, and if you would like, I can give you the name of a more experienced nail technician.” Now, we don’t want to pawn off difficult people to other people, but sometimes personalities don’t jive, and that is OKAY. It is okay to refer clients out, especially if they continually leave unhappy, you can thank them for their support and split ways. We always believe that it is a good idea to at least give them a decent chance to be happy elsewhere, and don’t forget it doesn’t mean you are terrible at your job, it says, that you are willing to see your weaknesses for what they are. Be honest with yourself that you cannot make everyone happy and let them go, instead of continuing to deal with the stressors of them always leaving unhappy.
Method 3: This is usually meant for no-show or late clients and always deters them to either go elsewhere or play by the rules. Of course, that means you have to have regulations in place. With late clients you can either book them at 1:30 and tell them 1:00 but be prepared, this could backfire. If by chance they show up at 1:00 and you are with another client until 1:30 they could feel duped and you will not have a happy person on your hands. Or put in place in a no-show/late policy. Late clients can go 1 of 2 ways, if you are 15 minutes late and can still accommodate their appointment, it is a $15 charge, if they are 30 minutes late they have to reschedule and be strict!! Even if you have a gap in your day, you HAVE TO SET BOUNDARIES, or they will continually push the limits. No-shows can be tricky, but when you have rules, it is super simple, they can pay $25 for the no-show fee or half of their service. Which if they are honest and forgot, they will be super apologetic, pay up, and they won’t let it happen again, but usually, our good clients aren’t like that. So this is meant for those that continually no-show and don’t seem to give a flying flamingo about it. They have to pay for half of their service before they can re-book, and it is non-refundable. So if they choose not to show next time, at least half of the service is paid for, and usually, if they pay they do end up showing up, and if they don’t want to have to pay they just don’t come back.
The moral of the story is, every client is different, and you will have to use your best judgment as to how to deal with each situation. You are allowed to set boundaries with clients, and that does not reflect the type of worker you are, and you are still a great nail technician. You cannot keep everyone happy, 100% of the time, and it is okay to refer clients elsewhere. You need to set these boundaries for your sanity because no one wants to hate coming into work. Clients want someone who loves what they do, who is passionate to learn and do the best they can because your happiness is contagious and we flocking love that about you! Honesty is vital; being honest, professional and respectful will build you a clientele of your dreams.
Keep jamming on beauties!