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Kathryn

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Hi all

Thanks so much to those of you who posted your views on training last month. I've included as many responses as I could in the September issue of Professional Nails and you can pick up your copy at the show.

(BTW - I hope you all like the new standalone issue and I look forward to hearing your feedback - it's you guys who really matter afterall!)

Anyway, I'm back again to post a topic for the October issue and hope as many of you as poss will give your two pence worth on the dilemma below.

As always, please enclose your full name, salon/business name and location and I'll do my best to include as many of you in the mag as possible.

Look forward to hearing from you...

Cheers
Kat
Professional Nails

Q: One of my clients keeps telling me about her problems, I don't want to be unsympathetic but I'm not a counsellor. Do I give her advice? It's beginning to get me down. How do I tell her I'm not her therapist without losing her as a client?
 

casey

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Hi kat,

Although I'm not a nail tech YET, I deal with the public everyday on a one to one basis in my business. My personal viewpoint on this is that as we may not like to hear it, this is just part of dealing with the public. They actually look forward to chatting to someone they have deemed as a listening ear and this also helps to make then stay a loyal customer. People on a whole are not generally looking for advice but like to hear themselves talk to release frustration. Our staff are taught to listen and just think of how fortunate they are compared to others worries. Unfortunately dealing with the public is not always roses but as much enjoyment as you make it. I hope this has added a little help on the subject.
 

geeg

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I hate to say it but you are in the wrong business if listening to your client's woes is getting you down.

In our profession of Nail Technology, we enjoy a closer interaction with our customers than in any other business providing personal services. We have an hour and a half, on average, one to one time and if you think about it, it is often more time than we spend with members of our own families. It doesn't get more up close and personal than that.

As nail technicians we wear many 'hats' from movie critic to fashion advisor to personal and marriage guidance counsellor to name but few. Your clients know you are not a therapist and are only looking for a sympathetic ear rather than your personal involvement.

Gigi Rouse
Co founder Designer Nails
Location now is the Costa Blanca, Spain
 

crazy'n'creative

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have to agree with gigi you do wear many hats, in the last few weeks i have had clients ask me on children, marriage, illness, gardening what to do for supper etc but i listen to each one and enjoy my time with them but then i do love a good chat !! but at the end of the day they are my clients and i treat them as such i am polite and listen to each one but do not get personally involved

caroline lunn
crazy 'n' creative nail salon
leicestershire
 

nailzone796

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I also agree,

as a nail tech we are a neutral person who our customer can talk to in confidence and they as we usually don't know who they are on about. I am a marriage guidance councillor, child care expert, fashion entrepeneur
a slimming expert as well as a nail tech, but if it keeps my ladies happy, give me the hat and i will wear it! :rolleyes:
 

Nailsinlondon1

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Kathryn wrote:
Q: One of my client's keeps telling me about her problems, I don't want to be unsympathetic but I'm not a counsellor. Do I give her advice? It's beginning to get me down. How do I tell her I'm not her therapist without losing her as a client?
Well I agree with all of you, we are there to listen, it's part of our job.......
The main reason we are in this business is because, we want to make a difference, not just to the appearance of our clients , but also make the clients feel that they are the most important person in our chair...........

With this comes the skill of having the ability to listen, to stay impartial, specially in marriage situations............ It's ok for client X to call her hubby a sod, but we can't............so it's a polite and friendly......"Oh he didn't, did he really?" ..So the ball is back in her court.....Most of the clients don't come for advice on relationships, they just want to vent.

But should one client say, "well what would you do", then I am afraid I would tell her, as she trusts me enough to ask me in the first place, but then point out, well thats me but what will you do???
Ball back in her court so to speak...............

Does it get me down, no at the end of the day, they take there problems with them, I have a happy fulfilled life and some of the clients problems just re-confirm that a hundred fold.....................

The only problem I would get personally involved with, would be one that is nail related and boy then try to shut me up............

But as I said in my headline..................If you can't take the chat, then you are in the wrong job...........

I love my job and all that goes with it, tears, tantrums, laughter and most important, making the Nail appointment the most wonderful experience they could wish for, and if that includes an hour and a half of moaning and groaning then let it be just that....Thats what they pay me for.........The next client is bound to be a bundle of joy ...................


just my thoughts on this
love Ruth xxxxx
 

The Geek

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This post got buried really freaking quickly so I am going to make it a 'sticky' post (i.e. it always sticks to the top) for the next week as I was very chuffed with the results of the last one.

Please make sure you throw in your 2 cents, penth, yen, euro, or cows(respective of your countries currency).
 

ella

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Having grown up in the restaurant business, I have watched my father (a true master of listening) make every customer feel as though they were his favourite and most important customer.

If dad felt uncomfortable about the topics they were talking about, he would steer them onto a subject he preferred. The way he would do this was to ask open questions (i.e cannot be answered by yes or no) encouraging them to talk about recent events / TV / other more acceptable subjects. It is amazing how much you can control a conversation whilst saying very little yourself. The customer would never notice.

Fenella Oatley
Perfect Ten
Penryn, Cornwall
 

mui

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Sawadee ka

The number 1 thing i think listen not speak too much .

When lady have problem can listen and but not speak too much if lady want say what you think then can say what you think .

Kop khun ka mui
 

Debs

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If peoples problems get you down then you`re in the wrong profession. How would you feel if you couldn`t air your problems and had to keep them bottled up?
I came into this profession because I love to make people feel special and if that means listening to their groans and moans once in a while then so be it. People cannot be happy all day and every day, we all have problems and if I can help by being a sounding board then I`m more than happy to oblige.
 

Nails At The Hat Hire Company

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i agree with all of the above.. i think we are nail tech/councellors... with customers spending 1 1/2 to 2 hours sat directly in front of you , you have to expect them to dicuss their personal lives with you. i think dependant on the topic the replies you give have to be as 'neutral' as possible... obviously if shes disscussing leaving her husband.... and she does..you'll get the blame...but we are a bit like hairdressers people expect conversation when your in each others space for so long...... you could always start the conversation on a different topic.. and each time her personal problems are aired answer then gently and tactfully change the subject.
personally i'm a helpful person and i quite enjoy advising people and helping...... the job of making peoples nails beautiful goes much deeper if they leave the salon feeling like they have been listened to.
jenni walker
the hand sanctuary
oxfordshire
 

beautifulnails03

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I enjoy the fact that Customers come to me with their problems. It makes me feel that they can trust me. In Legally Blonde, the first place she goes when she has a problem is to her nail technician! I like to think that my Customers feel they can come to me for a pick-me-up when they are feeling down.

If I don't know what advice to give them, then I just listen. Half of the time it is not advice they want, it is just to tell their troubles to somebody who is not directly involved. These are mainly my valued regular customers.

Beautiful Nails
 

Dawnie

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I agree with you all..............I think most of us nails techs are of the kind hearted nature why I don't know but we will gladly listen and give advice as we see it, which is a bit harder for me as you all know I am deaf but my clients still like to talk about there problems and they don't even mind that they are with me longer as I have to stop work to be able to lip read lol.
It may take me longer to finish there nails but they still keep coming back so a chat about whatever speaks for itself (oh and the fabulouse nails of course).
Take care Dawnie
 

smiler13334

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The first thing my clients are greeted with is a smile, if they are having a bad day it is my job to cheer them up while l pamper them, if they need to talk it is a good thing, not everyone has someone to talk too and they know it is always confidential. It is the same even if i'm having a bad day, my clients never know about it. You can guarantee each client goes home happy with their nails and a big smile on their face. Your clients see you as a friend aswell as a nail technician. Trese
 

FatalAttraction

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I dont mind listening cos it makes the time go by quicker.

When customers dont talk its boring

Cazza
 

UltraViolet

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Winning a client's confidence is something very rewarding for me. Client relationship dynamics is important because a type of friendship slowly forms and it becomes associated with loyalty...and also positive word-of-mouth. They tend to believe you care about them, and perhaps it's because of this that they feel comfortable sharing their true feelings about things. This type of self-disclosure is just like talking among friends. Generally, I'd say most of my clients are people I like. I honestly don't think there's one I dislike. I've had many friendships form in a service setting, some for nearly 20 years. I tend to believe that some clients like and trust you enough that they feel a level of intimacy with you. Kathryn, if you feel uncomfortable with the situation, you can tactfully say you're not too good at advice and perhaps just listen instead.
 

The Geek

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Cheers for your input on this issue guys.

I am now 'un-sticking' it as the deadline for input has expired for Kats feature (though don't let that stop you giving your 2 cents)

toodles
 
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