Q&A

How do you tell a client she owes more when she’s already written a check?

Q.

Readers respond: How do you tell a client she owes more when she’s already written a check?

A.

I let the client know that it’s fine if she just edits the check and initials the changes. That way she doesn’t have to write a new check. Also, you let her know that she doesn’t get a freebie and she can’t complain about having only one check. It also prevents them from owing you.

Shannan Spiegel

Friend’s Hair & Nail Boutique (Cushing, Okla.)

It all depends on the client. If the client is new, then I will either let it slide if the amount is minor, or ask her to please make up the difference. I had a lady one time who was the client of another girl in the shop come to me for a repair. After I had done her nails and told her the amount owed, not only did she have any money with her, but she looked at me like she could not believe I was going to charge her. It was a rather awkward situation for me. She did finally bring in the money two days later. It was the principle of the matter to me, not just about the money.

Gina Koop

Gia’s Expressions (Fresno, Calif.)

I recommend to my clients not to write out their checks until the service has been completed. If the client is a new client, reassure her that it’s no problem, even if it is. You don’t want to embarrass and lose her.

Donna Loredo

Nails & Hair By Donna (Murfreesboro, Tenn.

I tell her the correct amount and we make a notation on her client card. Next time she comes in she is usually the one to say don’t forget the money I owe you from my last visit.

Kathleen Collado

Nails By Kathy (New Rochelle, N.Y.)

I always make out a written bill when the client goes to wash her hands after buffing, which virtually alleviates the problem before it happens. But if the client wants nail art after that, I tell her that she will need to either write another check or pay the difference in cash. Usually clients are very understanding; it’s very rare they would get mad.

Mare Horak

A New Beginning (Kissimmee, Fla.)

I casually say, “I’ll put that on your account.” I then write the amount due under her name in my appointment book when I book her for her next appointment. This account set-up has worked so well, it’s been used in reverse as well, if I don’t have change and she is paying by cash, I have had clients say to me, “Put the change on my account for my next visit.”

Susan Thorstienson

Steel Magnolias Hair and Nail Salon (Palo Cedro, Calif.)

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