The answer can vary from owner, to tech, to both, or none of the above. We asked three beauty professionals for their opinion and you can see that the answer is not clear-cut..
It is an age-old question in the industry: Who owns the client, the salon owner or the nail tech? According to our sources — a nail tech, salon owner, and a salon employee — the answer can vary from owner, to tech, to both, or none of the above.
These three beauty professionals give us their detailed thoughts on exactly who owns the client and why. As you can see, it’s not always a clear-cut answer.
Amy Lunde, Nailz By Amy at Changes of Cherry Creek, Denver: In my opinion, no one owns a client. That client is free to go wherever she chooses. I do feel that the nail technician would tend to have more sway over the client than a salon owner — after all, the technician usually has more of a rapport with the client — but there are a lot of factors to take into consideration.
Is the current salon more convenient than the salon the technician is moving to? Does the client go to more than one technician in the salon (for other services such as hair, skin, massage, etc.)? How long has she been receiving services from the nail technician? Was the client referred to the technician directly, through another client, or the technician’s personal marketing, or did she find the salon first and get placed with the technician that way?
Ultimately, I feel the client should choose whether to move with a technician or stay in the current salon. It should not be a custody battle between technician and salon owner.
Mary Metscaviz, Awesome Nails, Grayslake, Ill. I think both do. I keep track of everyone in my computer program. When a new client comes in, they fill out a client card. The information is entered into the computer, and then the technician gets the card. I send birthday cards and thank-you-for-your referral cards and e-mail a newsletter to all clients. The cost of the Christmas letter, paper, printing, and postage is divided among all the techs and myself.
However, when I was a booth renter, I always had a copy of my clients’ info. The client will follow the tech if she wants to. I have had some clients leave to follow a tech and some stay loyal to the salon. I always try to treat my team of techs like I wanted to be treated when I rented — very fairly. I encourage each new tech to keep good records of her clients. I want to teach my techs how to be good at every part of the business of nails. Some have left and opened their own salons, and that’s okay. It tells me I did a good job of teaching and sharing.
Adrienne Schodtler Rare Accents Palm Harbor, Fla. The real question is does anyone “own” a client, or do they own you? As a former renter, now an employee, I can see both sides to the argument. A number of details are needed to determine who owns the client. Did a salon advertisement draw her in, or did she get a referral from one of my satisfied clients? Did she flip through the phone book, or did she get my card through all of the outside networking that I do to advertise myself?
If a client comes to my chair who has had other salon services, at that time the owner “owns” them. However, if the client re-books and continues to be serviced by me, it is then my skill and expertise that brings her back.
At this point in my career, I feel that about 70% of my clients are mine. I hand out cards constantly at various networking functions and am involved in business groups outside of my salon. But in the end, this question of who owns them will still be argued by both sides.