How to Fire a Client
Updated: Nov 9, 2018
What if it was just that simple...bye girl bye! But, we all know it isn't.
I have a disclaimer before I go into this.
If you work in a commission salon, you need to abide by their policies. It is most likely inappropriate for you to take it upon yourself to fire a client. Luckily this to me is a positive! If you have an unhappy, disgruntled client, chances are the receptionist or manager is going to have to deal with them, not you!
Ok, so moving on to the good stuff...you work for yourself, you are a salon owner, or you are taking notes for the future...
Firing a client should be the absolute last resort.
Ideally you are doing the most amazing consultations that you never ever end up with an unhappy client. You also are human, and there is a little thing called "human error." Own it! If you give someone hot roots on accident, own it! If you let them leave with a foil bleeder and they find it...first of all shame...own it!
You should have cancellation policies, payment structure, and a code of conduct in place and posted on a website for any booking client to reference and familiarize themselves with. But when all of that preparation fails...You fire a client because they are hurting your business, not your ego.
Reasons to fire a client:
1. You are unable to provide a service that makes the client happy on multiple occasions. Therefore requiring repeat "fixes". There are some people that you are just NEVER going to make happy, and at some point you have to cut your losses because it is going to start costing you product and time, which are both money. 2. A client has had repeat failed payments after a service is completed. This goes back to the good old days of check bouncing. Now, there is the horrible occasion when someone's card is declined checking out. If they fail to remedy their payment for services rendered that is an immediate termination in my book...nobody has time for, or deserves this! 3. A client consistently is a no call no show, or severely late to appointments. 4. A clients behavior towards a stylist or management is so volatile that it is not longer acceptable. So we're here...someone has broken one of the rules and its time. How do you do it?
I have taken the stand of cutting my losses. People might disagree with me on this, but honestly getting worked up and in a battle over a few hundred dollars just is not something that I have the mental fortitude for. I choose my battles.
If it is a client who has a failed payment, not respected appointment policies, or mistreated you or an employee that is a quick, to the point call/text. Let them know you/your salon are no longer going to be able to provide services for them.
But, what if they want their hair fixed and you're done with them? Or what if they want their money back?
I had a client who's hair I had been doing for over a year. Each time I did her hair she would find a highlight in a spot she didn't like, or want a low light in another. I tried so hard to accommodate her. After a year and 6 appointments of not getting it right the first time, I decided it was COSTING ME MONEY! So, when she texted that she wanted to come back in for a tweak after her last service I responded with this..
. "Hi *insert name* I am so sorry to hear that you aren't completely happy with your hair. I have noticed that in the past year I have been unable to provide you with what you want at your initial service appointment. I think it would be best for both of us if you find someone who is able to accommodate your needs better. I will be refunding your card the total of your service including tip today and it should hit your account in the next few days. Thank you."
WHAT? WHY? I didn't do anything wrong! Why am I giving her her money back instead of just saying "bye"! Well, read that text. There was nothing more to say. She couldn't argue. She couldn't say I owed her to fix it, because she was about to get all of her money back
. I am sure a million people (or the 3 that read this...ha!) are going think I'm nuts with this, but I don't care. When you recognize that a client is not going to be able to be given a service where they leave happy, whether it is your fault or not, they deserve a refund. But, with that refund comes an understanding that you are no longer their service provider. Then you are done. There is no argument, not bad review about how they spent all this money and you messed up their hair. Done.
So what do you think? Is this how you would or have handled firing a client?? I want to know! Send me a message @soyoureahairstylist .