Should I take it personally when a client doesn’t tip?

February 24, 2015

Should I take it personally when a client doesn’t tip?


Some clients tip because they like you as a person, some tip because they like the service you provided, and some tip just because. Some clients don’t tip because they feel your service prices are high enough or because they simply don’t have the money. All clients are different. My answer is no, don’t take it personally. Still, I can share some strategies for getting bigger tips.

First of all, be yourself. Let your personality show and be authentic. I had one client say, “I love that you’re such a great mom” after I shared pictures of my daughter’s ballet recital. On one occasion I came in on my day off to do this client’s service. She told me she wasn’t feeling good about herself, so I boosted her spirits. She left a $265 tip! So be accommodating, reevaluate your work schedule, and be more available, if you can.

Of course you have to offer top-notch skills. Practice until you’re the very best at what you do. Always give clients the “wow” factor. You must be versatile, as well. If you specialize in nail art, OK great...but think of creative, extravagant things other than that. For example, I started offering couples waxing and other specialty services you can’t get anywhere else. I also added male Brazilian waxing and those customers are big tippers.

You can also actively target an affluent clientele. Those who are willing to pay top dollar for services normally tip well. You have to ask yourself where these clients hang out. Where do they live? Where do they eat? What education do they have? Then saturate those places with your marketing efforts.  

— Michelle Brown is the owner of Beauty Education & Resources ( and Rejuv’e Salonspa in Raleigh, N.C.

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How can I cut costs and finally make a profit?

I’ve been doing nails for almost two years and have built a decent clientele. The only problem is, I did the math and over 50% of my income is going back into nail products. I’m using top-of-the-line brands and disposable files. How can I cut costs and finally make a profit? I know our prices are too low as well, but we are trying to stay competitive. Any advice?

As a mobile tech, how do I ensure I get paid?

I have a question about working as a mobile tech. When clients book group events or nail parties, how do you go about getting deposits and payments? Have you ever traveled to a client’s house and they were unable to pay? What did you do?

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What should I do differently with male clients?

I’m starting to get more and more male clients. I am wondering how long a manicure for a man should last and how to price it? Also do you have any recommendations on what else I can do to give them an extra masculine sense of comfort?

Should I Use Punch Cards?

I recently started working at a high-end salon and I’m looking for marketing ideas. Should I do punch cards? I can’t do “refer-a-friend” because I don’t have consistent clients yet. We are already doing social media.

Should I start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments?

I want to start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments. My posted hours are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. by appointment only. I am ridiculously flexible with my schedule, and let people book earlier and later if they can’t get in during normal hours. Recently, I had a 7:30 a.m. no-show! She was supposed to get services totaling over $100, and I forfeited holiday plans to accommodate her. She comes every two weeks, so I can’t lose her, but this is the second time she’s no-showed. What should I do? And how would I go about informing current clients of the new policy on off-hour deposits? 

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