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Rude clients.. Therapists have feelings too! - 11-08-11, 11:40 AM

This is my first thread so i will be as brief as i can.. Just need to vent a little and maybe make sure im not the only one!!

Ok so i have recently become self employed for the first time, and am renting a small room in a hairdressing salon. Things are going quite well so far, as far as i can tell anyway! Still working on building repeat clients. Most of my clientelle are lovely...

However i do have certain clients that i dread coming! They turn up late, bring children who wreck the place, complain about the price and generally be rude!

Now on a daily basis i do my best to smile and remain professional at all times... As any therapist would!!

But yesterday a client text me to arrange another apt.. She is quite abrupt generally but in her text she said 'make sure u dont have anyone in straight after me' this made me so mad!! How can someone seriously have the nerve to say tht?!

She is making reference to the last time she was here, it was a friday.. I was fully booked, she turned up 10 mins late and was then annoyed when i told her i wouldnt have time to do gel nails with her manicure, it would have to be polish instead... To which she said ' oh skip a different part and do the gels'

So.. I omitted the massage and made more time for her gels!! Obviously this made her feel rushed, but i dont want to run her apt late, and keep clients back who do turn up on time!!

So i thought long n hard and decided not to text her back until i had calmed down! Then i replied to say i had an apt at the time she requested and she wouldt be rushed if she was there at that time! To which she replied, oh i didnt like my nails last time... I know in my heart there was nothing wrong with her nails... This is obv an attempt to make me feel bad?!

What i really wanted to say was your welcome to come on a tuesday when im much less busy but i refrained! It just upset me that ppl can be so rude!!

And another client last week, text to say can i have gel nails, ebw and a hollywood wax and can i pay £xx??well below the stated prices!! So i replied to say yes u can have those things but it will be £xx. My prices are very low and reasoneable!! She couldnt get it anywhere for the price she stated! So she text back to say ok thts fine can i book in? So i booked her in.. But on the morning of the apt she text to say ' oh i wont have time or any of that today, i may pop in for the ebw'

This upsets me when people assume its ok to text at the last minute and cancel as if my time is worthless! ANYWAY... so she popped in at the time her apt was supposed to be at... She had to wait as i had taken another apt as she didnt give a time tht she would pop in! Then, to my amazement.. She came in and said oh look what happened, showin me her nails, i went to a girl this morning to get gel nails and look what she did they were terrible and i made her take them off... Her nails were left in such a state!! The girl was only charging her £12! I had already done her gel toes and she was looking for her fingers to match... But obv for £12 this girl was not using quality products (i am) so they were not the same!

So she then said to me... Oh u have to fix them! (ehh no i dont u should have came to the apt tht u booked with me then this wouldnt have happened!)

So she had to come back tht afternoon and i fixed her nails, then when i finished i said to her tht will be £xx please.. And she said to me.. Oh i thought it would be at least £5 cheaper as they were already filed and rough!! I thought to myself if anything it should be more for me to fix someone elses mistakes!!

Why is it that people can be so rude!! Especially in text msgs? Am i being too soft? I could never be that rude to people?!

These people really dishearten me! Do any of u have clients like this? How do u deal with them? Any advise?

Xx
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11-08-11, 12:00 PM

I would defo start a 24 hour cancelation period state this at time of booking don't lower your prices your not doing treatments for fun you are a business trying make money. If you know the lady is always late offer her appointments on your quiet days I was going to say book more time out but why should u not your fault it's her. And also in a nice way explain to the gel lady in a nice way you get what you pay for and also not a case the other therapist has done half your work you had to start again. Cheek some people x
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11-08-11, 12:05 PM

Theres always them few clients who speak there mind and are rude to us. I have a few in my salon and i know how u feel id rather them not re book! lol

As for the texts they are just plain cheeky! put your foot down Id ring them back and speak to them rather than just keep sending texts. I think they think its easy to cancel by text because they dont have to speak to u or see you face to face.

If their late and it will make you run behind with your other (nicer clients) just turn them away she'l soon learn.

You shouldnt have to be spoken to like that
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11-08-11, 12:40 PM

aww bless, I agree with the 24 hour cancellation and and tell your clients because they were late you arent willing to run over on to clients who turn up on time for their appointments! I find it hard but i think with time my confidence will grow,
I had one client who on the evening of her tan pushed back the time 3 times 7.30 - then 7.45 then 8.15 this was right before I was due to leave the house!! because she was running 'late' at work, but when i got there, theyd had been at the pub... this was my 2nd paying client, so i was unconfident, but when she tried it the next time, I said no sorry I had a client straight afterwards so does she want to cancel? funnily no- she would just rush instead...
then the day before her tan last week said she had a bad sickness bug that wasnt shifting and she would cancel sorry..
forgetting shes on my facebook profile and was tagged in a wild night out.
ive sacked her now, I dont need it. plus she smokes lots so i always smell horrible when i leave,

Im hoping as time gets in I will hold my ground this is my business!! x
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11-08-11, 01:01 PM

My tactic if I don't want the client anymore if they're a pain is say something along the lines of what I told one this week is " my next available appointment for you is 16th September" they soon get the message as it's a polite way of saying I don't want you as a client anymore!
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11-08-11, 01:10 PM

People try it on all the time, when I started I would let people get away with it because I was trying hard to build up clients and most of the time I could accomodate them because I wasn't busy. I almost felt bad for charging people my prices, even though they're very reasonable! Now I'm busy most of the time though and I can't stand it when people mess me about. If they're late and I have to cut short their treatment, tough luck, they should have been on time and as for the woman saying she didn't like her nails last time, well they can't have been that bad or why would she be back?! I've worked in customer service in one form or another and the one thing I've learned is the customer is NOT always right. It's just learning diplomatic ways to express this to them which is the tricky bit!
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11-08-11, 02:11 PM

This has probably all been said but....

Don't worry about these clients! Eventually you'll see your better off without them!
Clients that moan about prices- kindly explain your prices aren't unreasonable they cover your stock used and time ect x

Clients who cancel- I blacklist now! Anybody who cancels with less than 24hours gets blacklisted and when they make another appointment I either explain I'll need a deposit due to my busy schedule or if they get funny about that I say you can call me on the day then and just see if I'm free but doubt i will be! x

As for the client that told you to make sure you didn't have anyone after her!!!
Well I don't think I'd be able to stop myself telling her a few home truths but...
My calmest reaction would be to say "okay then the charge will be *add £20* and when she asks why I'll say because she has asked me to be free after her appointment.
Time is money!
Id purposely book somebody in dead as her time is up- even if I just asked my mum to come in and pretend to be a client!

Hope you figure something out x
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11-08-11, 02:14 PM

P.s only contact clients over the phone!
It's true people find it easier to complain/mess you around when it's via text or facebook! x
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11-08-11, 07:21 PM

Aww i'm sorry that you are experiencing this, you will get some really nice, loyal clients too I am sure. But for the time being just be polite but firm at the same time. It is sooo hard I know when you are put in an uncomfortable position and just dont know how to respond, but stay strong and stick to your prices and schedule.
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11-08-11, 07:24 PM

You will toughen up as you go my darling. You have not let these off too much and all you need to do is make them feel that they are lucky to get an appointment! This works a treat! As you are doing an treatment with anyone who you think might be a problem you need to chat to them and bring in a couple of stories (can be fictional) about clients you have sacked because of bad timekeeping or being rude. Then add that it is lovely to have so many nice clients who you enjoy treating. They soon get the message! If they want you to do their treatments they will behave themselves. You just have to give them the impression that you are particular about who you have in your salon and that they have to behave themselves.

This tactic has always worked for me because it is actually true, I do sack rude clients and I do tell clients off if they are too late or too early. Sometimes they will ask for an appointment at, say, 9am and when I tell them my first appointment is at 9.30 they will say that's fine. They then turn up at 9.05 knocking at the door and always say 'sorry I'm a bit early'! I now leave them on the doorstep until 9.30!

Like I say you will find your own way and be more in control of your clients. Once you have built up you will be old and wizzened like me with a full book of lovely, lovely clients who are like old friends, except they pay for my company!
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12-08-11, 01:36 AM

Very wise words said & great advice.

Well done for waiting until you had calmed down to reply to that text, my blood was boiling for you! What a bloody cheek saying make sure you dont have anyone booked in after her - how demanding is that?!!

I think we all come across clients like this, but in time you learn how to deal with them, & now I think, I would sooner not have them types of people as clients!

100% you definatly need to bring in a cancellation policy!
Through being let down, last minute cancellations etc I had to introduce one, & even as a "threat" it works a treat. Mine says something like;
"Due to many no-shows & cancellations & 50% deposit is required for all treatments over £20.
24hrs notice is required to cancel/postpone an appointment or a 50% cancellation fee will occur"

Then the no-shows/ late cancellations will know it is them that has lead you to start doing this!

I still get the odd rude client, how is this for a story;
A new client walked in last week & booked for a pedicure tuesday at 11.15, I took a contact number from her (landline), then on Monday (just gone) we had to close the shop early due to the riots & decieded to keep the shop closed on Tuesday to be on the safe side! So late Monday night I text all my Tuesday clients to let them know, & told them I was coming in the next day on Wednesday (normally my day off) to make up for this, Tuesday morning I try phoning this new client to explain, wrong number! I tried a few times changing the digits around etc - no luck........ so at 11am Tuesday she phones my mobile number (was on the appointment card I gave her) I answered & apologised & explained..... she went mental! Saying that all the other shops were open, I said I am working the next day would that be any good, no I need it done today, I will have to go elsewhere, blah blah blah.... THEN SHE HUNG UP ON ME!!
Can you believe it, riots going on all over London our local shops got smashed & looted & she is more conserned it getting a pedicure!!
The police came round at 3pm on Tuesday & told all the shops to close - so glad we stayed shut!!
Something people still shock me! x
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12-08-11, 07:13 AM

Lol silly woman some people more bother about her feet. Don't need clients like that x
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12-08-11, 07:45 AM

Can you get a land line installed in your room? As someone posted previously it is so easy to send a text to cancel something. It's a cop out of facing or dealing with a situation.

Also, in my opinion a land line is more professional and would encourage clients to (hopefully) act more professional, and if they still don't -sack the b@*>%#~'s!
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12-08-11, 10:38 AM

Thank u all so much for the advise!! Im sure this post will help more people than just me! @billie173 i do offer clients like her apts on quieter days but you know these types, they always want the busiest days! I think u ladies are right i should stop accepting texts and just call them back as u said @keeley20. @sam81 i am totally the same!! I actually feel bad charging people my prices, and they are very reasonable!! My other half is always saying that i need to be tougher if im going to succeed in business! Iv worked in customer service before too so i know that the customer isnt always right... But they will insist that they are! Ha! @lou x i LOVE the blacklist idea! I am definitely starting one of those in the back of my diary!! Iv already mentally filled it with names! Ha!
@mbzh i do have lovely clients already! Thankfully these rude clients are not the norm... If they were i would give it up! @shedunlop your right i do need to be tougher, it should come with experience, and age i suppose?! I may have to think up a few of those 'fictional stories' ha. @emma at elite, i really like your sign! I might have to devise something similar! I cant believe that client on tuesday! Clearly someone with no regard for others, or their property! Safety comes first, not pedicures!! Silly woman! And @sharkster i do have a landline in the shop its just that my mobile number is on my business cards so people use it as a cop out rather than ringing in person! I think from now on i shall be ringing back anyone who texts!
Your advise has all been invaluable! Now all i need to do is grow a back bone and be firm with these naughty clients! x
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12-08-11, 10:15 PM

Remember my darling they are very lucky to have you!
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