Response to Wiggly Clients

by Holly Schippers | May 11, 2011

The response to the problem client blog was great!  I would like to carry it over into another blog to address something that so many of you commented on having — wiggly clients! I put it out there to get advice from other techs to give you a plethora of advice to choose from and it seems a lot of the wiggles tend to be related to cell phone use.


Here is what they said:


“I yell at them if they’re regulars — they no better than to move. Sometimes I answer the phone for them. The newbies get an eye roll. I also tell them if it’s an emergency they will call back!”

Julie Belschner Murphy


“I tell squirmy clients that if they don’t sit still and it causes me to run behind there will be an extra charge. Also giving them something to read helps them sit still.”

Jennifer Golden-Baker


“This has not happened in a while, but if they are going through their purse, whatever the case maybe, I simply stop working and sit back and wait for them to be done. Not with attitude, OK maybe a little, sometimes they get the point. It takes place in the matter of seconds, then they surrender their hands to me.”

Victoria Ferguson Darche


“I smack their knuckles with my file — I’m just kidding. But I do tell them to stop moving around so much. And if they talk on the phone, I get up and start calling other clients to schedule appointments. They usually get the hint.”

Nikki Haas Lytle


“The texting during manicures drives me crazy, but it doesn’t bother me as much as when I have clients who text during their massages! It’s your time and if you want to spend it on the phone, I am not going to bust my butt to give you a massage. The whole point is to relax and detach. How can you do that if you don’t stop texting!?”

Karyn Lenhart


“I decided I was going to accept this as part of our industry and embrace it. I do one hand fully so that they have the ability to manage their text or phone. Families are busy these days and this way I can accommodate my clients’ needs. The technology of cell phones and such are essential parts of life as we live it now. I appreciate when others put my needs first, so I do that for my clients and because of this have loyal people who travel long distances for my services, and in some cases this has led to wonderful friendships.”

Vicky Richard


“Wiggly clients are usually my 10-and-under services. I kindly ask them to be as still as possible, telling them, ‘You don’t want to mess your pretty nails up!’ I also have them scoot up close to me and tell them to watch. This works for me a lot so I don’t get smudges and polish everywhere. Cell phone users — I typically do not have a problem with this. My clients respect the time I’ve put aside for them and make calls before or after their services. I do, however, run into clients that want to talk or text while performing manicures. This annoys me more than pedicures do. I just sit back and wait for them to finish before starting or I stop until they realize I need their full attention.”

— Jessica Boswell


“I HATE it!! It slows down the rhythm of the service. They always manage to ding something on the nail, whether it’s acrylic that hasn’t fully set or gel or polish ! Imagine if I was texting doing someone’s nails! Their time is valuable just as mine is!”

— Cindy Walston


“I think that needs to be a salon policy. It doesn’t always work but if there is a sign posted asking that they refrain from using cellphones unless it is an emergency. Maybe say that it’s out of respect for other clients.”

Bonnie J Jesse


“Most of the time it is children that make my client/chair/table wiggly and as I can’t speak directly to the children as it is not my place to do so, I hold my clients’ finger and do NOTHING until they get the hint and ask their children to stop.”

— Claire L W Graham


“Depends on what point they are at in the service. For instance, if I’m doing a set of acrylics or a fill on them I will just prime each nail individually to make sure they don’t get any kind of oil on them. I have a lot of texters, hand talkers, hair twirlers, etc. I just try to become observant of their behaviors so I can give them a good service. Otherwise it doesn’t seem to be a problem for me. I find if they have wet nails they are much more careful. I also believe that their appointment is their time, so I do not mind if they want to text or talk on their phone, as long as it does not interfere with them getting a good service in a timely manner.”

Jessica Pudney


“I am usually very patient and texting doesn’t bother me if they are quick about giving their hand back to me when I need it. But when someone is extra wiggly and slowing me down, when they jerk their hand I say ‘Oops!’ as if they made me mess up badly. It makes them aware of what they’re doing and lets them think that I am concerned about the quality of my work, not just getting irritated that they won’t sit still. Though, some people just don’t take a hint and I have to come right out and ask them.”

Stacy Senecal


“The girls I work with are my worst offenders when it comes to cell phones at the nail table. All of my other clients know they are not allowed to text or talk on the phone during their nail service. When I explain that we are trying to make a bacteria-free work surface and they touch something they spit on it contaminates the work area. That is usually enough since most people don’t realize that normal use of a cell phone usually means saliva on it.”

Marianne Stuckey


“I post a sign that says ‘No Cell Phones.’”

Patti Gonzalez


“I simply stop the service — with a smile.”

Cat Dawson Hannah


“Most of my clients are fine; they understand my time frames and the whole cleanliness thing (although, occasionally, they do answer their phones. My mother is the worst about eating during her services, though... HELP! I actually yelled at her yesterday! LOL.”

Dana Gonzalez-Kurtz


“With my wiggly or restless clients I usually just ask them to relax and allow themselves to be pampered. I also mention the services will go a lot smoother and quicker if they just relax and sit still. I may gently position the hands/feet to where I need them and from then on they usually stay put!”

— Amber Reis


“I let them talk on their phone because they are paying to be in my chair.”

Shalynn Burningham


“I am just honest with people. If what they are doing disrupts the service in any way, then I politely let them know that I need them to be careful not to wiggle, and also be careful not to touch anything with their nails so that I can prep them for the polish, acrylic, etc. As far as texting and talking on the phone, it’s not too big of an issue, but some people do it occasionally. As long as I have their hand when I need it, I guess it’s fine.”

— Dawn Subora


“After many tries, I came up with the ‘Duct Tape’ trick. I keep a variety of the new designs of duck tape on hand and tell my client if they don’t sit still I will duct tape them to my nail station. They appreciate the laugh and they tend to be a little more conscious of their moving.”

— Ann-Marie Reaves


“If someone is wiggling or shaking or fiddling around and it’s not something I can deal with, here’s what I do: I stop working and put my left hand (I’m right handed, so I don’t lay my brush and/or tool down because this will slow down my work and make me run behind schedule) on top of their hand and I calmly say ‘You’re moving.’ Most times they don’t even realize they are doing it, they then apologize and immediately sit still. We then resume our conversation as I finish working like nothing ever happened. When wrapped in foil to soak off their product, some clients will get fidgety and start tapping their fingers or squeezing their foils. This constant noise over and over grates on my nerves and I finally snap, I quickly lay my hand over theirs and say in a joking manner, ‘Stop! You're getting on my nerves!’ If you say it with a smile then they know you aren’t really angry at them. This brings out laughter and again, the client doesn’t even realize they are doing it (usually because they are talking).

— Jill Wright


“I'm just flat out blunt with them. I tell them to SIT STILL and PUT AWAY the phone. I try to explain that every time they move they move the hand I'm working on and that makes it harder to do their nails. Or that it makes it much EASIER for me to cut them with a file or drill a finger instead of a nail.

— Maggie Franklin


I hope these ideas give you something to think about. For those that post a no cell phone notice please consider sharing the wording with us in comments.


— Holly



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