Future Talent

7 Types of Salon Client and How to Handle Them

by rachael / last updated November 12, 2014

7 Types of Salon Client and How to Handle Them

Wouldn’t it be great if all of your clients were happy-go-lucky, easy to please characters who you just clicked with? The reality is you’re going to come into contact with all different types of salon client. These are some of the challenges you are going to face.

1. The shy client

You’re going to need to coax this client out of herself a little and that might be easier by taking her to a quiet part of the salon or even a VIP room if you have one.

Mirror their personality by speaking quietly – you don’t want them to feel overwhelmed – and start to point out their features to make them feel good about themselves. If you can find a topic that they are interested in, that can be a great way to get them to open up.

2. The angry client

No matter how good a hairdresser you are, you are almost certain to come into contact with the angry client at some point in your career.
Remember that it might not be you that made them angry – you may just be a straw that broke the camel’s back on a bad day – so take them to a quieter area of the salon and try to figure out what is bothering them.

Your best tactic for handling angry clients is to let them talk (or shout) and don’t interrupt them too much. If you remain calm, empathise with them and make it clear that you are eager to resolve the problem it usually goes a long way to helping them leave the salon in a better place.

3. The client who is unhappy with the result

This probably means you didn’t do as good consultation as you should have done, so when the problem is resolved take some time out to think about what you should have done differently.

In terms of dealing with the client, do not act defensively as that will aggravate the situation. Listen to why they are unhappy and offer solutions to improve the result. If a client is really cross or upset the best solution may be to let them leave and give them a follow-up call the next day to see what they would like to do. Sometimes you will need to give the unhappy client a free service or alternatively offer complimentary appointments to resolve the problem. This needs to be done on a discretionary basis.

4. The impossible-to-please client

You just need to do the best that you can for this client and make sure you have tip-top communication skills so they know exactly what they are going to get. Listen to them, discuss what it is that they want and ask them to bring pictures in so that you can really understand what they have in mind.

If you really feel like you can’t please this client, you might need to hand them over to an alternative stylist who you think they would be more happy with, but you’ll probably find that it’s a personality trait and they will have all the same issues with a new stylist.

5. The hearing-impaired client

Most hearing-impaired clients have fantastic lip reading skills so position yourself in front of them and speak slowly and clearly.
It makes sense to use visual aids with hearing-impaired clients and if necessary you can always write things down to clarify.

6. The visually-impaired client

If you have clients with sight problems, your biggest priority is to create a trusting relationship and try to get a feel for how the salon experience would feel from their perspective.

This is when your communication skills really need to come into their own. You’ll need to speak very clearly and tell them exactly what you are doing throughout the process and describe how they look. When it comes to moving between the styling station and the backwash, don’t assume they will need you to guide them, but make sure you offer in a sensitive manner.

7. The client who speaks another language

Ideally, you’ll have a multi-lingual colleague who can help you out! If you aren’t that lucky then you’ll need to be creative.
Using magazines or iPads as visual aids can help to get an understanding of what they have in mind while hand gestures, body language and simple universal questions will make you realise how much you can say without words.

With thanks to Sally Montague, Sally Montague Hair Group; Scott Smurthwaite, Cream Hairdressing; Anthony Licata, Mahogany Hairdressing.

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