Difficult client

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francesXXX

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I have a lady whose hair I’ve done for years and years, she is probably my longest and most loyal client. The problem is, I don’t actually like her much because I don’t think she treats me very respectfully. She wants a colour change done almost every appointment, makes me feel anxious as it’s developing by constantly asking questions like “what EXACT colour will it be?” And “it’s definitely going to suit me isn’t it?”. She’s extremely insecure and this is the reason she always wants a change like a big ‘new me’ kind of thing, but often she doesn’t like the result and comes back consistently to have it redone for free. Yesterday was the last straw for me when she’s just had a semi permanent colour done, saying she doesn’t want a strong regrowth line when her grey root comes through, and I warned her that it doesn’t cover grey 100%. Today she has rung me up saying she can still see grey and it hasn’t covered completely, so can she come back to get a permanent colour done (she means for free). I’ve lost hundreds over the years on this woman due to her free colouring touch-ups, she makes me feel like I’m a bad hairdresser with her constant nitpicking, and then the next minute she gushes about how she could never go to anyone else and she loves me and is never letting me go etc. She properly cries when her hair comes out how she likes it and she properly cries when it doesn’t. It’s all so OTT emotional and very draining and exhausting speaking with her whenever she comes in, and the couple of weeks after she’s been in when she always wants to be fixed! Any advice on dealing with people like this?! She passes on such bad energy!
 

Trinity

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Big girl pants on! She treats you like this because you allow her to. Only you can stop it.

What do you want from this situation?

To sack her - easy, next time she wants to book you say 'I'm sorry, so often you are not happy with your hair and I feel we are not a great match, I think you need to find a hairdresser you will he happy with'. She may not be aware of what she's doing at which point she'll be all apologetic or indignant. This is where you stick to your guns and get direct if necessary. If she says No shes happy then you say 'but I'm not in a position to repeatedly correct issues free of charge any longer' - you don't need to justify your decision, it's your business, you are not obliged to do her hair. Don't get in to discussion, just repeat the same reply above.

Some respect? - then demand it by not taking her abuse, and lets face it, that's what this is. Call her out, if you don't have yhe courage to do it then you need to find a way to be OK with it. That may be just nodding and smiling and ignore it. Just make non committal noises and remember the money.
 

AcidPerm

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Oh dear. :eek:

@Trinity is spot on.

You know that’s she’s not really a loyal client at all. She’s a total USER.

the next minute she gushes about how she could never go to anyone else and she loves me and is never letting me go etc

Of course she‘s not going to let you go. She keeps returning to you because you’re the mug who will put up with her nonsense and even keep re-doing her hair colour for free. 🤦‍♀️

C’mon, you have to stop allowing her to treat you badly. You know that you’re a good competent experienced hairdresser and at every appointment, she’s bringing you down.

@Trinity’s suggestion is the best one but if you don’t want to be direct you could try a different approach.

When she rings to book her next appointment, tell her that Covid has made you realise that you need to surround yourself with only positive energies and so you’ve had to let a number of clients go and that includes her so you won’t be able to do her hair in the future.

When she argues or pleads, reply that you’ve made your decision and you wish her well, good bye.
END OF CONVERSATION.

You can do this and when it’s done, you will feel amazing.
 

OG Stylist

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I have a lady whose hair I’ve done for years and years, she is probably my longest and most loyal client. The problem is, I don’t actually like her much because I don’t think she treats me very respectfully. She wants a colour change done almost every appointment, makes me feel anxious as it’s developing by constantly asking questions like “what EXACT colour will it be?” And “it’s definitely going to suit me isn’t it?”. She’s extremely insecure and this is the reason she always wants a change like a big ‘new me’ kind of thing, but often she doesn’t like the result and comes back consistently to have it redone for free. Yesterday was the last straw for me when she’s just had a semi permanent colour done, saying she doesn’t want a strong regrowth line when her grey root comes through, and I warned her that it doesn’t cover grey 100%. Today she has rung me up saying she can still see grey and it hasn’t covered completely, so can she come back to get a permanent colour done (she means for free). I’ve lost hundreds over the years on this woman due to her free colouring touch-ups, she makes me feel like I’m a bad hairdresser with her constant nitpicking, and then the next minute she gushes about how she could never go to anyone else and she loves me and is never letting me go etc. She properly cries when her hair comes out how she likes it and she properly cries when it doesn’t. It’s all so OTT emotional and very draining and exhausting speaking with her whenever she comes in, and the couple of weeks after she’s been in when she always wants to be fixed! Any advice on dealing with people like this?! She passes on such bad energy!
Bless your heart... there are some clients you just don’t need in your column!
You will be relieved once you‘ve made an exit plan .. you’ve got this!! X
 

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This client would appear to have mental health issues and is using you as a crutch. She may not be intentionally doing it but nevertheless it’s toxic for you and it’s costing you too much financially. The pandemic gives you the perfect opportunity to offload this person, it’s obvious to everyone how much businesses are struggling to survive, there will never be a better time to bite the bullet and politely ask her to find a new hairdresser . Don’t feel guilty, you have been kind given her what you can but it needs to change now . Good luck
 

Lizziefin

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Agree with all above comments. I had a client a few years ago who made me feel inadequate and not worthy. I used to dread her coming in. Last straw for me was her contacting me on an Easter Sunday first thing in the morning. After that I made sure I was fully booked. You will feel such a relief when you stop doing her hair
 

fab fingers

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She just doesn't understand the boundries. Say to her that is the colour she asked for and you explained the grey coverage issue. Tell her if she wants it re-done, that's fine, but then it will be treated as a new colour appointment, and charged as such. If it makes you feel any easier, tell her your boss or your accountant has come down on you hard for doing free treatments and so every treatment or add on now has to be charged at full price. If she continues, do as the others say....be very busy!
 

Bel's Gels

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I had a client once I had to get rid of.
She was never cheeky expecting freebies but rather she was more clingy.
She could not really afford my services but came anyway and complained the whole time how poor she was.
I think she treated the appointments as therapy sessions.
Even after I stopped booking her she would call me. First time I did answer thinking I had better stop her in her tracks but rather than her wanting to book she wanted a catch up! Because as she stated we were 'friends'.
After that I answered once more but cut her off after a few minutes saying my client had arrived. Moving forward i did not answer anymore calls and then blocked her number.

Just remember people can only take advantage if we allow them too
I agree with Trinity's advice.
Good luck.
 

House Beauty

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I have a lady whose hair I’ve done for years and years, she is probably my longest and most loyal client. The problem is, I don’t actually like her much because I don’t think she treats me very respectfully. She wants a colour change done almost every appointment, makes me feel anxious as it’s developing by constantly asking questions like “what EXACT colour will it be?” And “it’s definitely going to suit me isn’t it?”. She’s extremely insecure and this is the reason she always wants a change like a big ‘new me’ kind of thing, but often she doesn’t like the result and comes back consistently to have it redone for free. Yesterday was the last straw for me when she’s just had a semi permanent colour done, saying she doesn’t want a strong regrowth line when her grey root comes through, and I warned her that it doesn’t cover grey 100%. Today she has rung me up saying she can still see grey and it hasn’t covered completely, so can she come back to get a permanent colour done (she means for free). I’ve lost hundreds over the years on this woman due to her free colouring touch-ups, she makes me feel like I’m a bad hairdresser with her constant nitpicking, and then the next minute she gushes about how she could never go to anyone else and she loves me and is never letting me go etc. She properly cries when her hair comes out how she likes it and she properly cries when it doesn’t. It’s all so OTT emotional and very draining and exhausting speaking with her whenever she comes in, and the couple of weeks after she’s been in when she always wants to be fixed! Any advice on dealing with people like this?! She passes on such bad energy!

Stop responding. You no longer have any availability, but you can recommend (someone you don’t like? 🤣🤣🤣).

If you use online bookings you can set it so they can’t see your availability sneakily so you appear totally full to people you don’t want.

Thing is this woman has been walking over you all these years because you let her. If you did stick up for yourself now and say no or refuse to do these things she wants and freebies and let her speak to you like crap, she will not like it because she’s used to treating you like crap and you allowing it.

Say she was a product and every time you used the product the client was saying they need it fixing with some other product because it didn’t work or suit your business..would you keep using it? Even though every visit cost you more than you made? NOOOOO it’s not good business sense. She’s an expense plain and simple she needs to go.

If you ever see her, ‘oh, no I didn’t get anything/don’t remember, you look well! I’ve got to run bye.’

I think we all have a black list. Make one and put all her contact details on so you don’t accidentally email/post/message her. Don’t block her on social media, only unfollow so you don’t have to think about her and restrict so she can’t be visible.
 

essentia

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Every bit of advice that has been given is valid but I think you should examine why you accept this type of client. Maybe because of a sense of misplaced loyalty? Because when we are self-employed we need all the clients we can get? It took me a long time to realise that self-employment means choice. The right choice for me excludes clients that drain and cost much more in the long term. Negative clients feed off the fear that you need them to survive. It will be a relief when you make the decision.
 

Lola k

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Tell her you’re giving up hairdressing. I’ve done that in the past to get rid of those clients. But have to say telling her how it is will give you so much satisfaction. I have one at the moment that I’ve been doing for nearly 30yrs. The anxiety I get before she comes in is driving me mad. No problem with her hair but she brings her own gown, towels, brushes and shampoo and conditioner. She’s started emailing me before appointments to confirm I will be at the salon..... I’ve never cancelled her. Even when I’ve been ill I done her hair. She books me 12months in advance and pays very well but she’s driving me mad. I’m just thinking of a way I can get rid of her 🤣
 

Ebrew85

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I have a client who has her nails done with me regularly. She is THE most negative person I have ever met! The only good thing is that I don’t have to talk to her because she holds her own conversation for the whole hour!🤣🤣
Anyway, For your situation, I feel for you. You’re obviously a nice person and at the start just wanted to make her happy and now I’m sure it feels like you’re being mean to suggest now she pays etc etc.
the hairdresser at work always makes a point at the end of every colour to check they’re happy with it and even repeats in front of everyone ‘I’m really happy you’re pleased with it and you like it’
This makes it a little easier for when she comes back to say she’s not happy for you to confirm ‘but you were happy when you left’
‘I explained X, Y and Z about how it would look and you were happy to go ahead’
‘So unfortunately I will have to charge you to do it again’
She won’t be so quick to keep calling you knowing you WILL be charging her to re do it. Covid is a great excuse because your costs have gone up.
Just tell her you’ve had to charge everyone for corrections. Especially if they were happy when they left last time
Or yes just block her number and shut the blinds when she comes by🤣
I wish you the best of luck
 

cmsuper

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Just block her this is ridiculous
 

BARBERsammi

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Bless you, I once had a client that I found was a real mood hoover, I used to sit on the drive before I went in and gave myself a talking to... I wrote to her in the end and said I'd got a lot going on at home atm and I was sorry but I'd be unable to come anymore.. Tbf she left a lovely message on my answer phone in return but I definitely did the right thing... Good luck x
 

leia88

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Bless you for being nice to her for so long, but I agree with the advice in this thread. If you don't want to lose the customer altogether, then it can be an option to just explain you won't be able to provide free corrections anymore, like Ebrew85 suggested. But if you doubt this would work, might be better to cut her loose!
 

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