The goal of our cosmetology program at Collectiv Academy is to prepare you for the real-life demands of a salon, and a big part of that is client interaction. Your performance at important tasks is vital, of course, but clients can find several options for stylists who can handle their requests – how you separate yourself socially and verbally can make a big difference.

In particular, there will be times in the salon where you’ll face client complaints. Some will be legitimate, and others will be ridiculous and completely unfounded. In both cases, you have to respond professionally and with class. Here’s an itemized list for handling client complaints.

Acknowledge Disappointment

Do your best to read the face and body language of a client when you sense disappointment, and do your best to get to the root of it quickly. Give clients opportunities to provide feedback, even before they say anything – ask them about their look and how they enjoy it. In a case where there’s disappointment present, do your best to note it and relate to it.

Repeat Their Complaint

For consistency and to be sure you heard everything correctly, repeat the complaint back to the client. They’ll appreciate you clarifying, and even more so if you add on a couple suggestions to help fix the problem.

Show Appreciation

Acknowledge them as a valued client, whether they’re a regular or this is their first time in. Express your apology at their disappointment, and explain that you understand it. If you create a safety net, you allow them to respond with a second opportunity to correct the issue.

Keep Your Promise

If you’re given this second chance, make the most of it. If you go in a different direction and offer separate compensation for their complaint such as a gift card, make sure it’s honored. Clients need to see that you’ll follow through on what you say.

Open Communication

Ask probing questions and be a conscious listener. Clients appreciate both these traits, which cultivate a trusting and faithful environment.

Despite your best efforts, sometimes a client will not be satisfied with how their hair has turned out. That’s what makes learning strong customer service skills so important. These tips are great start, but we find the best lessons are learned by experience, which is why providing salon services to real customers is an integral part of our program. If you’d like to learn more abut the advantages of our hands-on approach, read the blog we wrote about it or check out the program description.