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.)

[illustration by Chris Murphy]
<p>[illustration by Chris Murphy]</p>
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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