It's not me - It's you

Who Should Be Removed From Your Client List - And How To Do It With Class.


You are dreading your day. After lunch you have an appointment with “that” asshole client. Whether it’s someone who complains non-stop about trivial things throughout their scheduled time with you, or the clients who is never satisfied with the outcome of the service you have provided, they steal the enjoyment out of your job. Like any bad relationship – it needs to end! Break-ups are never easy, especially if ending the relationship has the potential to affect your income. Believe me these “enjoyment suckers “cause more detriment to your earnings, because they rob your awesome clients of your desire to make them happy. Sure, a quick eyebrow wax or other minor appointment may mean tolerating the intolerable in some of these people. But hours at a time spent with this lot will leave any fabulous spa technician feeling drained and hating their job.

Here is a short list, suggestions, of people you may want to cut from your client list…. And how to do it without completely offending the person (even if they deserve it):


1. “Debbie Downer” I usually make my schedule of available appointments extremely limited in these cases. After trying to get in with no luck, or appointments spread way too far apart, these clients usually go in search for another accommodating provider. Easy Peasy – although it may take a few appointments for “Debbie” to give up and move on.

Although this person doesn’t necessarily deserve the “it’s not me – it’s you” talk, the    mental energy they require to empathize with is exhausting, and ain’t no one got energy for that.

This client has 99 problems, and she wants you to know about all of them. Granted, in the beauty industry we service providers frequently also fill he roll of therapist to our clients. We are usually an open and understanding ear for our clients to vent off some steam. But generally an appointment is not completely filled with rants of irrational frustration. This type of client uses the majority of her time with you to ooze out negative commentary on every aspect of their life, most often dodging the blame for any of his/her own life circumstance.


2. Never Satisfied

Despite our best effort, after several appointments, some of these clients are still not quite satisfied for whatever their reason. In my experience many of these clients have un-reasonable expectations of the final outcome. I refuse to out-do myself on a regular basis for someone I cannot please – it’s a confidence destroyer.

“It’s not you – it’s me” approach. Refer the client elsewhere. Maybe there is another technician in the same spa/salon who provides the same service. Book a trial appointment for this demanding client with your colleague. Sometimes a small difference is what that client is after. Or refer them out to another specialist in your area. It’s perfectly ok to suggest to these clients that you feel your style of application (or whatever) isn’t a good match, as “they” don’t seem to be happy, and that perhaps a different technician may be able to give “them” exactly what they desire. Problem solved.

At our salon we have a 7 day guarantee on our eyelash services. Meaning that we will fix anything the client is not satisfied as long as the technician who provided the service is notified within the first seven days after the application. No refunds.

3. The Sociopath  

This over-entitled, Prom queen “has been”, will use any tactic to get her way. This includes demanding discounts (or free services) and refunds to accommodate him/her for what they believe to be an injustice (scheduling mishaps, unsatisfied with service, etc). Sometimes threatening to slag the business publicly or taking legal action when these demands aren’t met.

In this case I believe it’s actually ok to “fire” this client. Their business and presence are not welcome when making unreasonable demands or threats towards any individual at our salon or towards the salon in general. 

Abuse should not be tolerated by anyone.

Might this individual try to drag your name through the mud? Count on it. Let the cards fall where they may. It’s situations like these that force me to rely on our good overall reputation for outstanding results and unbeatable customer service. If your name and reputation are already good, then one or two occasional mud slingers won’t do much damage. Likely the complaints will fall on deaf ears – I’ll be the first to put money on the chance that their aggressive and entitled attitudes span across the many people and service providers they encounter. I have a toddler at home and deal with enough tantrums as it is thanks – good riddance!


4. The Unicorn Whisperer.  

This special client lives in an alternate reality where forgetting their wallet (on a semi-frequent basis), or rescheduling their appointment 4 hours prior to booked time because of their aunt’s funeral (for the 4th time this year), is perfectly ok. These client’s do not respect your time or the fact that you too have bills that need to be paid…. On time.

If late rescheduling or late payment are a problem, explain to your space cadet client that because this has occurred more than twice, you require payment up-front (or at least a deposit) to be made when their next appointment is booked. Deny booking further appointments until the client’s balance is paid in full. Harsh? No. I didn’t sign up to work for free – I’m guessing you didn’t either. No-show’s and client who reschedule last minute are a liability to your income. Unless you are paid by the hour, an empty chair earns nothing. Set the boundaries and make policies clear with all your clients – if they can’t respect your time and work, they can move on to technician who has yet to learn this lesson.

While some of these suggestions may seem harsh or difficult to follow, I firmly believe that my work has value and I should be compensated for my time and skill. I also have the right to a positive, safe, and supportive work environment – anything short of that breeds discontentment which will manifest itself in the quality of my work and my personal relationships. Anything or person who cannot be a part of my positive professional environment can be removed – or I can remove myself from the environment. I spend too much time at my workplace to have a miserable day!