Unfortunately, in our industry when it comes to meeting and working with clients each day, you are bound to come across some that are difficult - to say the least. We have all been there and dealt with those clients in the best way possible. I am here to give you a little help identifying those ‘bad’ lash clients and how to handle them. Grab a drink, get your notepad out, get comfy, and get ready to take the next step in dealing with bad lash clients.
How do you identify a bad lash client and what do you do about it?
Here’s an example: A client has messaged you to book in, but your availability isn’t suitable for her. So she replies and requests a time outside of your availability. You reply politely saying, “Unfortunately I am unable to accommodate those times. I am more than happy to refer you to someone else that may be available for what you are looking for.”. She messages again, persistent in her request for an appointment time outside of your availability, and adds that you aren’t being very professional or flexible. Say whaaaaat?! Did she just say that?! Yes she did!! It sounds ridiculous but surprisingly there are clients like that.
It is very important that you don’t feel bad or believe that you're being unprofessional. If your client gets their way because you gave into their request, there is a chance they will make a similar request again and expect you will accommodate them. It is not worth the stress, and you do not want this to be an ongoing thing. I’m sure there are times that you may be able to work outside of your normal hours of operation, but that is for you to decide - not for your clients to demand that you indulge their scheduling requests.
If you have said all the right things in a professional manner and you legitimately cannot accommodate the request, then you politely say:
“I am more than happy to do your lashes but I am only available at these times and I am unable to book outside of those times. If that does not work for your schedule, I am more than happy to recommend someone that operates at those times. Have a great day, kindest regards.”
This type of response is polite and to the point. The last thing you want is an hour of her trying to convince you to work earlier or later when you can’t. As lash artists, we will happily put up with a lot in our industry, and the client is always our first priority. However, when it comes to a client that is pushy and making you uncomfortable, you must be able to respond professionally and honour your personal and salon policies, without fear of a negative reaction from the client.
I’ll give you another example of something that I experienced a few years ago. It was the first-time doing lashes on a beautiful client in her 60’s. She was so happy with her lashes and so was I. She then comes in for her fill appointment just over 3-weeks later. Keep in mind 3-weeks is very good lash retention, and with more mature clients their lash cycle is slower than someone in their 20’s or 30’s. I open the door to let her in and the first thing she says is, “I’m not happy”. Of course, I am shocked and want to know why she’s not happy and she says, “I’m not supposed to be back for another 4-weeks”. I am very confused and ask why she is not meant to be here right now.
She tells me that, “I know you said to have a fill every 2-3 weeks, but my friend got her lashes done and she’s had them for 8-weeks and they’re still really full.” I went on to explain that it is very unlikely that her lashes were still very full, as the lash life cycle is anywhere from 6-8 weeks. This client proceeded to call me a liar and that I was scamming her to try and make more money. I was shocked but I kept my composure, knowing that I was giving her truthful, professional, and correct information. To top it off she demanded a free fill, and walked into the lash room.
I took a few minutes to find the courage and right words to use. When I walked into the salon I told the client that I would not be able to complete her fill for free and that based on her lash growth cycle I do not recommend coming in every 8-weeks for a fill. She continued to tell me that I was falsely advertising my services and that she would be leaving a negative review on social media. The client decided to stay for her fill and pay for the service, but once she left I began to think about all of the ‘what ifs’. What if she speaks poorly of me to her friends, what if she leaves me a bad review? What if, what if, what if. Nothing happened in the end, I never heard from her after that, but I did worry a little as that was the first time I had ever dealt with someone like that and for no reason.
The positive from that experience is that I learnt that even though you do your best and you give an amazing service and you give your best advice and you do all the right things, some people will still try to get a free lash set or make your life difficult to make themselves feel better.
A few more examples of bad lash clients to look out for…
- The client who is always running late.
- You can set the right tone for a lash artist-client relationship, by clearly outlining your salon policies from the beginning. Make it known that your time is valuable and that incidents of lateness may have consequences.
- The client who is always complaining
- If you are experiencing this with a client, you might begin to dread their appointments and find that they take all the energy out of you. To help combat this I recommend trying to make your client feel as comfortable, relaxed, and at peace as possible - with the goal that they leave that negative energy outside of the lash room. The last thing you want is to dread any clients that come in for their appointment.
Rewarding Good Behaviour
We all love a prize or a perk for our hard work. So why not make it fun and mutually beneficial for you and your clients. A couple of rewards you could offer your clients include:
- A Referral Bonus - When clients refer a friend to your salon, give them a dollar or percentage off of their next service.
- Social Media Challenges. For example, the first five clients to guess the right answer to some skill-testing lash question, receive a free Lash Pure Cleanser at their next appointment.
- When you love your clients and they make the effort to look after their lashes, it can be nice to show them a little appreciation. Something as simple as a handwritten note is a great way to acknowledge their ‘good’ lash client status.
In summary, I just want to let everyone know that we can't escape or control bad lash clients. What we can do is control our own emotions and how we handle situations, and learn from every single experience. We can guide and help our clients as best as we can, with the knowledge, skills, and experience that we have spent time gathering.
Until Next Time,
*Images captured before COVID-19