How to Deal with “Bad” Clients as a Hairstylist

As a hairstylist, you will spend a lot of one-on-one time with clients. Most of them will hopefully be enjoyable to work with and making them look. After all, making other people look and feel their best is incredibly rewarding. Plus, the unique social environment of a hair salon can make you feel closer to your community and even lead to lasting friendships and connections.

But like any job where you deal with customers regularly, you will run into a few “bad” clients from time to time. Some clients may be continuously late to appointments, rude, or have unreasonable expectations.

Hairstylists must learn how to deal with these types of clients professionally. A negative interaction with a client can harm their business- especially in an industry where loyalty, customer satisfaction, and word of mouth recommendations.

Here are some tips from our team of experts on dealing with unpleasant clients as a hairdresser.

1.    Focus on Clear Communication

As a hairstylist, you oversee your services. So, you must be clear on what clients can expect.

A client may become rude and abrasive when they don’t receive the hairstyle they wanted. So, it’s essential to actively listen to your client’s hairstyling requests before performing any services. Be sure to reiterate what the client is saying to ensure you are both on the same page about the cut, style, and treatment the customer wants.

If a client requests anything unreasonable, you must be clear about what they should expect. For instance, if a client intends to go from brunette to platinum in just one session, you must politely explain that the process takes longer and walk them through it.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that your clients know the prices of your services. Again, being direct about what clients should expect helps to clear up confusion and frustration.

2.    Practice with All Kinds of Clients

The saying “practice makes perfect” certainly applies to dealing with unpleasant clients.

Hairstylists who had the opportunity to practice on different types of people in beauty school will learn how to interact appropriately. Cosmetology programs that focus on hands-on learning give students a better understanding of handling unsatisfied and frustrated customers.

The cosmetology program at The Salon Professional Academy focuses a lot on hands-on learning. Our students will practice hands-on training on real clients in our student salon* while being overseen by a licensed instructor. In our student salon, our instructors teach students how to communicate and interact with clients. This is so they will be prepared for a real salon environment.

3.    Make Customer Service a Key Part of Your Business

Customer service is an essential part of the overall salon experience. As a hairstylist, you are the primary interaction your clients will have, and it’s up to you to create a great experience and loyal clientele. According to a recent report, nearly 3 out of 5 consumers agreed that good customer service is the key to long-term loyalty. So, no matter how difficult your client is- you must remain friendly, pleasant, and professional.

Here are a few tips on how to handle unpleasant clients through great customer service.

Hear Your Client Out:

No matter what your client is upset about, they need to be heard. Interrupting your client can lead to more frustration. Letting your clients voice their concerns without interruption lets them know that you care.

Stay Calm:

Even if you are frustrated with a client, you need to speak to them respectfully. For example, if your client voices a complaint, use language that valid empathetic language such as, “I understand your concerns, issues, etc.” You must also remain calm when dealing with a chronically late customer to appointments or cancels regularly. Let the customer politely know of company policies.

Offer Solutions:

If you are in a situation where a client is unsatisfied with your service, offer them a solution. This might include redoing the service, discounted pricing, or asking someone else to step in. Dealing with “bad” clients requires a commitment to effective customer service and patience. Learning how to handle unpleasant clients is a great way to challenge yourself to be a better hairstylist.

Are You Interested in Becoming a Hairstylist?

If you are looking to pursue a career as a hairstylist, you must enroll in a local beauty school that will set you up for success.

The Salon Professional Academy in San Jose provides students with a comprehensive understanding of cosmetology theory, customer service skills, and practical hands-on training. Every lesson is meaningful to our student’s future careers. That’s why we focus heavily on making our students feel comfortable serving real-life clients in a salon environment.

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a hairstylist in California, we invite you to learn more and enroll!