How do you fire a client?
I had to fire a client last month. She came in for a waxing service and seemed happy with it. She called on my cell phone wanting to come in for another service. (I give my clients my cell number since I’m a booth renter.) When she called me I was on my way home and didn’t have my book with me. She told me I was “unethical” because I didn’t carry it with me. I told her I’d give her a call when I got in the next day. Well, the more I thought about it the more offended I became. She was rude and I didn’t appreciate her calling me unethical. I called her back and explained to her that she had offended me and I’d be uncomfortable doing any more services for her. She apologized, but I held firm. She struck me as one of those clients who wanted you to be at their beck and call. She seemed a bit odd in her mannerisms, and I wanted to head off any future misunderstandings or problems for the salon. - KATHRYN PLESS, Back Door Salon, Dade City, Fla.
In the 10 years that I’ve been doing nails, I have only had to fire four clients, but two of them were in the last few months! The important thing is to get yourself out of the situation, not to be “right,” so I try to be careful about not placing blame. Even if the client is out of line, I want to lessen any desire she has to tell the whole town her side of the story. Sometimes I use specific examples to gently call them on their behavior to show them that I am serious and firm, but I always word it in a way that takes blame out of it. For example, I might say, “I am sorry I have not been able to meet your needs.” I do find though that it is best to be as firm and clear as possible in your “firing.” I always end with something like, “for your convenience I have taken your upcoming appointments out of my book.” If they do not have any upcoming appointments scheduled, then I include a list of other local salons for them to find a salon that “might better meet their needs.” Lastly, a note of encouragement: If you find this person to be totally out of line and it is obvious to you that it is not your, but her issue, then you can probably rest assured that anything she says badly about you won’t go very far. Other people are likely to see right through her just as you did! - JESSICA MAHLER, Painted Red Nails, Osterville, Mass.
First we make sure we have a good reason to let a client go. Word of mouth spreads fast and many of our clients’ friends also visit us. We need to be sensitive to the person’s feelings, but be honest. Let the person know that it’s obvious that you are unable to satisfy her needs but that her needs may be met by another tech. This conversation shouldn’t be done in front of the rest of the clients. You can call the client on a day she doesn’t have an appointment or schedule extra time during her next scheduled appointment to have a talk with her. Be willing to answer her questions honesty. Remember this can be an emotional time for the client, along with the emotions you’re feeling when approaching the situation. - JESSICA KNEPPER, Universal Spa Training Academy, Hoffman Estates, Ill.
First you have to be honest with the person and talk about what’s bothering you. No matter how hard it is. And, maybe at the end you won’t have to fire her after all! - CLAUDIA BELTRAN, Tucson, Ariz.