You know the ones I'm talking about...
All of us have experienced a difficult client or two. You know, the clients who blame you for poor lash retention even though you’ve tried every possible troubleshooting option imaginable, the ones who have trouble keeping scheduled appointments and, of course, the clients who just seem to have an opinion about everything. Regardless of what makes a client difficult, there are a few ways you can learn to love them!
1 | Check yourself
When you have a difference of opinion with someone, the best thing to do is listen and empathize with the client’s point of view. Every client does not need to hear or want to hear your opinion. Part of creating a great lash experience is being that listening ear for your client. If the conversation becomes uncomfortable, change the subject, while maintaining your professionalism. You can simply let your client know while using a calm tone of voice, that you work faster when you limit conversation, which is most likely true in all cases. Building and maintaining good client relationships is the most important thing you can do for your business. Make sure to be relatable to your client, yet never forget there is a thin line when it comes to appropriate and inappropriate conversations with them.
One of our artists learned this valuable lesson last year, during the presidential election. She was servicing a client I’ve had for over four years and were discussing current events. Even though they agreed on some aspects of the discussion, they eventually had a difference of opinion. Our artist felt uncomfortable with the things she said and had to decide how to handle the experience to keep the next fill less awkward. The artist decided to send a text to let her know that she didn’t want to dwell on our previous conversation, but the artist still wanted to give her “killer lashes.” The client lightheartedly confirmed that she still wanted her “killer lashes,” and they both avoided any further conversation of the sort. Don't allow your differences to make a wedge between you and your clients. The moral of the story is, no matter how long you’ve had a client, never assume that a controversial conversation will be ok. Maintain professional relationships at all times.
2 | over communicate
When you have clients that miss their appointments, reschedule regularly and run late, make sure to lay down some ground rules. Give these clients a copy of your cancellation policy. As well, be sure to answer phone calls, emails or texts promptly. I find that if I miss a text and don’t respond immediately, there can be long delays in-between messages and communication may be lost in translation. If I suspect a client may not show up to an appointment, I call or text the day before, in addition to the automated message they received from my scheduling software. If no communication occurs by the day of the appointment, I kindly send a message canceling the appointment and carry on. If a client has made poor use of my time more than three times, I will collect a service charge of the full amount, the day the next appointment is booked. Communicating and upholding your expectations not only protects your time and your books, but it also shows your client that you value yourself and your work. Your time is valuable; don’t let anyone waste it.
3 | Ask questions
We’ve all had clients with bad retention; even after troubleshooting the humidity in the room, going shorter in length and switching adhesive, we still have clients that blame us for lash loss, yet, they still come back. This might be the most frustrating situation of all.
My best advice is to capture as much information about your client on your initial intake form at their consultation. Get as much information as possible, such as, how many days a week they wear eyeliner, what kind do they prefer, or what side do they sleep on at night, how often do they work out, etc. Recording this information protects you as the professional and will further help you to figure out the root of the problem if issues arise. Most clients that have retention issues will typically come back sooner. Make note if something has changed, or if you do anything different during their following appointments. The most important thing for you to do is not blame them, even if you think it is something they are doing at home though they swear that nothing is different. All you can do is keep asking questions, adjusting one element at a time, and keep a record of everything.
4 | know your worth
Finally, know your worth and take pride in your work. As lash artists, we must set the standard in our industry and exceed client expectations. My clients come back to me time and time again because they have seen my growth as an artist. Clients will become less difficult and will be easier to love when they believe in you. But first, you must believe in yourself.
If you're not there as an artist, I encourage you to explore further training and mentorship opportunities. You can book a private mentoring session with me, or another Lash Affair trainer HERE. Sessions can be two, four, or eight hours long. The mentoring prices also include a product budget so you can have the tools you need to succeed. Whether your struggle is those inner corners, symmetry or isolation, clients will be easier on you when they know you’re working at your craft, and when you display confidence in your progress.
Above all, remember that there is always one thing you can love about a client. Find that one thing you love in each client, and focus on that even when it’s a challenge! Let your love for the client speak in the experience you provide for them. Love what you do, and others will love you for it!