How To Deal With Unhappy Salon Clients

As a salon owner, one of your main goals will be to provide 5-star services and make everyone happy. Unfortunately, it can be nearly impossible to make sure every single person is happy. Sometimes your clients will not even tell you when they are unhappy, and then they will never return to you.

How do you deal with unhappy customers as a salon owner? There are six tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep calm under pressure
  • Thank them for the feedback
  • Offer a free product
  • Understand what they mean
  • Ask them what they want to make up for it
  • Learn from this client

Even with your high-quality services, you will face an unhappy client at some point in your career. You need to know how to diffuse the situation, and these tips can help.

One of the most important things to remember when you face someone unhappy with your work is not taking it personally. If you take their unhappiness as a personal attack, it is easy to get defensive and escalate the situation. Working in a salon means you need to have thick skin, it’s a demanding job that can be hard to handle. However, having the social skills to deal with an unhappy customer can help you diffuse any situation.

How To Deal With Unhappy Customers

No matter what field you work in, you will face someone who cannot be satisfied. It may be because you made a mistake, or they may just be unhappy with your product line. You may feel shocked if you’re a new business owner, but you should know how to handle this situation as calmly as possible. Take a look at these six tips to keep in mind when you have a disgruntled client.

Keep Calm Under PressureHow To Deal With Unhappy Salon Clients

If you allow the angry customer to get to you, it could easily snowball out of control. You should never feed off their anger and instead remain calm to diffuse the situation. Staying calm may help you solve the problem, and you can end up with a happier client.

You can listen better when you keep a level head and hear out the complaints without feeling attacked. When you use active listening, you understand why the person is unhappy, and you can come up with solutions to fix the problem.

The calmer you remain, the more professional you look, and you will have an easier time handling the client. If you both get upset and you start becoming defensive, you risk getting bad reviews. These negative reviews can lead to people running the other way for a small business owner or a salon owner.

Tips on remaining calm:

  • Breathe slowly
  • Speak softly
  • Remain professional
  • Envision the outcome you want

If you can remember these tips while dealing with an angry customer, it will help you listen to them openly. If you go home and continue thinking about the angry client, try meditation and reflection. You can’t make everyone happy, but continuing to dwell on it may ruin the next day, which can hurt your business.

Thank Them for the Feedback

Most clients remain silent when they are unhappy with something, and this can be just as bad as having an angry client. Always thank a client for being honest enough to voice their complaints. This allows you to understand the problems and fix them. If you don’t know what a problem is, you’ll never get better.

Although angry clients are never fun to deal with, this is a chance to improve your skills and rethink how you do things for better outcomes. If they are super angry, tell them it is okay to be angry and okay to give you the feedback you need. You can tell them this helps you grow as a stylist, and they may be more understanding and calm down.

Offer a Free Product

Sometimes something free can help keep a client happy. If they hate the way, you styled it or don’t think they can style the cut you gave them, offer a product that can help. If they are still unhappy, tell them you would be more than happy to cut their hair when it grows out for free or at a super discounted rate.

If you can’t afford to give a free haircut, try out a deep conditioning treatment or a gift certificate they can re-gift. Finding ways to make up for the mistake is crucial for keeping a client happy. This small act from you may encourage them to stay and continue to build a relationship with you over someone else.

Understand What They Mean

When you start getting defensive, it may shut down your ability to listen and think clearly. That is why it can be so important to stay calm during this process. You need to use active listening skills and truly listen to what they are saying.

The angry client may have some good points that you were not aware of before. This will help you understand what the real problem is. When you understand their complaints, you may be able to fix them with an extra inch cut off, or you may be able to give them guidance calmly. If anything, actively listening will help you appear professional.

Ask Them What They Want To Make Up For It

How To Deal With Unhappy Salon Clients

Sometimes free gifts won’t work on angry clients. If you have offered everything you can think of, but it doesn’t seem to be enough, ask them what they want. Asking a client how they would like things done may make them feel happier and more in control. This can be one of the best ways to deal with an unhappy client.

This tip may cause you some extra work, but it can be worth it if it helps the client keep coming back to you. It may also be good to offer if one of your regulars is upset with your work.

Learn From This Client

Not all clients will be your favorite to deal with, but every client that walks into your salon can be a learning experience. This will help you ask clarifying questions in the future and avoid any mistakes that could cause someone to get upset. Having an angry client is never fun, but it will help you learn and grow as a salon owner.

You can learn how to correct mistakes and learn how to remain professional during a tense situation. Chances are you will go through several unhappy clients in a very long career. Each time something can be changed and corrected in your routine or style that makes the bulk of your clients happier.

It can be so hard to deal with unhappy people especially when your work is your passion. It can feel like a major blow to your ego and all of the time you spent training. The important thing is to not take it personally.

What To Do If Your Employee Upsets a Client?

Some of you may own a slightly larger business where you rent out booths to other stylists. This can be a great way to make extra money and pay for the building your salon is located in. However, you should understand whether or not you are responsible for the clients that aren’t directly yours.

The truth is your building, and your place will be the brand. If you have stylists renting your booths, it is your decision whether to keep them. When someone continuously has upset clients, it may be best to talk to the stylist directly.

You should focus on keeping every client happy, and if your stylist cannot find ways to get the client happy, you may have to step in. As a business owner, you can offer to redo the work after it has grown out or offer a free product. Sometimes all it takes is the same offer from a business owner to get a client happy again.

A negative review can create a negative brand, and this is terrible for your business. Allow your stylists to try to diffuse the situation themselves and step in only when it is necessary.

Quick tips for training your hair salon employees!


How To Handle Employees When They Have Upset a Client

Although you may only step in when it is necessary, not everyone will have the skills to remain calm. You may have to help other stylists get over the angry client, and you need to do this in a calm manner, just like you would if it were a client. Remind the stylist that this is their job and they have to remain professional no matter what. Try to remind them they should also not take it personally, and they can use this as a learning experience.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with unhappy clients will be a huge part of owning a business. Not everyone will walk into your doors happy, and not everyone will walk out happy. This is one of the harder things to deal with as a business owner, and it is crucial to understand how to deal with these people. No matter what business you are in, something can set someone off. Next time you face an angry client that is yours or your stylist, keep these tips in mind.

Related Questions

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What are some signs signaling your client is unhappy?

One of the things you will need to learn as a business owner is reading body language or reading the room. Some clients may not tell you when they are upset, and you will need to encourage them to be honest. Signs that show how your client feels upset include silence, short replies, heavy sighs, looking unhappy. If you notice any of these, it’s time to ask them if the job you did was okay.

What are the three types of angry customers?

You will notice there are three types of customers you find. One will be the quiet ones who will leave unhappy. The second will be the yellers, asking to talk to someone in charge or riling you up because of the services you provided. Lastly, you will have the ones who complain, want no fix, and cancel all future appointments.

What can you do when a client is very unhappy?

If you have tried everything in your power to make a client happy or fix the problem and it doesn’t work, you need to find a different solution. Sometimes, it may be best to recommend a different hair stylist that may be able to help. You can let them go instead of risking making them angrier.


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Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.