As a lash artist, you most likely enjoy most of the relationships you form with your clients. Most lash artists are not only great at the meticulous detail work of applying lash extensions, but also have strong communication and interpersonal skills. Your days may be full of warm, interesting, and fun conversations with your favorite clients.
But then, there are those problem clients. You know what I’m talking about. Clients who are rude, toxic, and bring down the vibe of your lash business. Clients who try to negotiate you down on your (thoughtfully determined) prices. Clients who flake and don’t show up to appointments, or are consistently late but then get annoyed when their lashes aren’t as full. Clients with no sense of appropriate boundaries. Some lash artists even deal with clients who yell, swear, or leave mean voicemails.Yikes!
These problem clients might make up only a small percentage of your clientele (hopefully!) but they can have a huge negative impact on you, both emotionally and financially. If you are missing out on the business of easier, nicer clients because so much of your time and energy is being sucked away by the toxic few, it’s time to cut them loose.
You Can Fire Bad Clients . . . as Long as You Follow Some Basic Guidelines
The key to getting rid of problem clients is to do so in a way that is still as professional and gracious as possible. In most cases, you should be able to end your working relationship with someone without them ever feeling rejected or judged. Here are some basic guidelines to keep in mind- and we’d love to hear any additional tips that have worked for you!
Focus on solving the client’s problems. For example, when getting rid of a client who constantly complains about their lashes no matter how beautiful they look, you can try a script like “It seems like you are pretty unhappy with my services and we may just not be a great fit for each other. I’d love you to have lashes you’re happy with, so it’s probably best if we part ways.” Or, for a client who is constantly late or missing appointments without enough warning: “It seems like our location may not be in the best spot for you. I think it would be less stressful for you to find a lash artist closer to your home. I’d love to suggest (name of lash artist).”
Don’t be afraid to recommend your competitors. This allows you to get rid of clients who are bringing you down in a diplomatic way. It also helps you network with other lash artists, especially anyone who is in the early stages of their career and trying hard to find enough clients. They may be thrilled to get your referral business, even if some of those referrals are pains in the butt.
Avoid the need to be right. When you know someone has behaved poorly, it’s easy to get sucked into the need to be right and to win the argument. The problem with this approach is that problem clients are unlikely to ever admit they were wrong. This will just lead to arguing and animosity, which will feel bad for both of you. Arguing can also lead to negative consequences such as bad Yelp reviews. Instead, take a more Zen, big picture approach . . . let your bad client go, let them believe they were in the right, and enjoy your newly less toxic and annoying lash business.
What about you guys? Have you ever fired a bad client? How did you handle it? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
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