For every ten clients that love the treatment they receive at your salon, you’re likely to come across one that’s not as complimentary. And yet, while it can put a dampener on your day to deal with a less-than-thrilled client, it’s your responsibility as a salon owner to try your best to put that client at ease and, ideally, keep them as a loyal client.
If the customer is angry, stay calm. “Angry people can often be diffused when countered with calm,” says customer service expert, Lisa Jager. While it’s true that staying calm can sometimes rip the angry person up even more, it’s important that you remain in calm control – you need to come out looking good in the end.
Take it out of sight
Try your best not to let your customer make a scene in front of other clients, or to disturb the experience of those having treatments. “if you have an office, a spare treatment room or even a kitchenette that you can move them to, do that,” says Lisa.
Let your customer explain their frustration or disappointment, and try not to interrupt. “Sometimes people can be difficult because they feel they’re not being seen or heard,” says Lisa. “All they really want is to be acknowledged and making is scene is the only way they know how to do that.” So let them finish speaking.
Protect your team
Make it clear that you won’t tolerate abusive or disrespectful language or behaviour toward your team. While it’s important not to add to the customer’s anger, be careful not to throw your team under the bus. “There are so many stories of salon managers siding with customers over their own team members. Know that if you do this unfairly, your team will never forget it,” says Lisa. “as a leader it’s your role to treat your team with respect and to have their backs. You need to be diplomatic in a time of conflict.”
Even if you believe your salon and staff weren’t at fault, tell the guest you’re sorry they are unhappy with their experience. “A heartfelt apology can disarm a person who is looking for a fight, because now they’ve got nothing to yell about,” says Lisa.
Attempt to resolve the issue
Ask the customer how they would like the situation addressed. If their suggestion isn’t reasonable, come up with your own solution; perhaps a complimentary treatment or a discount next time. “Remember that even if the client is in the wrong, they can – and often do – go online to give you a terrible review and bring your whole salon’s rating down,” advises Lisa.
Make a note of it
Keep notes of the customer’s behaviour so that if/when they return, your staff can be prepared!
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