As a beauty professional, you can expect all walks of life to enter your salon doors. While you may be up for the task of bringing out the best in any skin tone or taming any texture of hair, things get trickier when you’re tasked with managing clients’ personalities, life phases, or crises.
According to Katie Ziskind, licensed therapist and owner of Wisdom Within Counseling, whether you are a hairdresser or therapist, when it comes to clients, one of the best things you can do is not react to their anxiety. “Offer calmness and grounding energy,” Katie says. “You’re going to try to help your client regulate their emotions and calm down by soothing them, nurturing them, and simply listening...the best thing to do if you have a highly anxious or super exhausted client is to find ways to calm and center them.”
For those clients who come with their own unique set of challenges, we’ve got some inside tips from fellow GlossBosses on their advice for how to handle these types of clients:
Working moms always deserve a little extra TLC! This might be the only hour of the day they have to themselves, so be sure to create a space that helps them unwind. Maybe it means having low lights and smaller lamps throughout your lobby to create an automatic calmness versus intense fluorescent lights. “You might have an essential oil diffuser so they immediately can smell something relaxing,” says Katie. “If you have calming music playing in the background, this can be a great way to help regulate someone’s nervous system and help them feel ready for their appointment.”
Of course, your clients should all respect your time and boundaries, but with these clients it helps to be understanding and as flexible as possible when it comes to scheduling. A working parent might be contending with a last-minute childcare cancellation or could be trying to squeeze their appointment in between work and school pick-ups.
For independent beauty professionals working with pregnant clients, a thorough consultation is essential to discuss any services they should opt out of during this time. Always encourage your moms-to-be to consult with their doctor about potential issues with the services they typically receive to ensure their wellness every step of the way. You can jot down reminders of products or services to avoid for your pregnant clients using GlossGenius’s client profile for an easy point of reference that shows them how much you care about the details.
GeniusHACK: To keep track of your clients’ major milestones, head to the Clients directory in your GlossGenius app, tap a client’s profile, select Notes, and hit Tap for New Note.
These clients may begin to notice drastic changes in their hair, skin, or nails, so it’s important to be supportive and sensitive to those changes throughout their pregnancy and respond accordingly. Exercise patience and empathy, especially when they need multiple bathroom breaks or momentary pauses if morning sickness flares up. Be mindful that pregnancy can be mentally draining, stressful, or anxiety-inducing, so do what you can to create a welcoming and relaxing environment. Your salon should be a place where the mom-to-be can indulge in a bit of self-care before moving into full-time motherhood.
Because the beauty industry is deeply personal, many in this space are accustomed to playing therapist to clients dealing with less-than-ideal life situations. Whether your client wants to spend their session bashing their ex or starts crying in the middle of their blowout, the best thing you can do is simply become an active listener.
Madison Dufour, Licensed Cosmetologist and Barber, says the best thing you can do is just listen. “When you listen well, you know when to speak, when to give advice, and when they just need to get out of their head and out of their situation for just half an hour, the time it takes for a haircut.”
Be sure to have your sense of boundaries for clients who require regular venting sessions – stylists and barbers don’t mind being therapists but being a punching bag is unacceptable. “I know who will share their stress with me, and I can take it,” says Madison. “And I know who will share their stress at me as an outlet.”
Gabby Abascal, Licensed Esthetician and Owner of SkinByGabby, knows that everyone has had “that client” – the one who is never satisfied, always too loud, or often sharing extreme views and stories.
“The best way to handle a ‘difficult client,’ as I like to call them, is by setting the tone from the beginning,” Gabby shares. “If it’s a regular, difficult client, before their appointment, I start to prepare myself for them mentally as to how I am going to stop them from creating chaos.” Gabby recommends making an effort to set an example by welcoming them with a calm and professional demeanor in hopes they will follow suit. Remember, you control the salon environment and can set the mood of how the session will go. Try not to engage in conversation that you sense could go south based on this client’s previous patterns of behavior.
Worst-case scenario, there may come a time when you simply cannot control the actions of those who consistently choose to be disruptive or problematic. When this unfortunate situation arises, you can implement tools to protect your sanity and your salon. With GlossGenius’s deeply customizable permissions, you can easily ban specific clients from booking your services.
GeniusHACK: To easily ban difficult clients, head to the Clients directory in your GlossGenius app, tap a client’s profile, select Edit, scroll to the bottom, and hit Ban from Online Booking.
Setting the right ambience, being cognizant of various visual and verbal cues, and lending a friendly and sympathetic ear can help you deal with tricky clients – whether that’s because of who they are or what they’re going through. And doing this with all of your clientele consistently will help your brand and client retention rates.
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