THE AWKWARD CLIENT
By Gina Buccilli
You must always be prepared to deal with this situation, like heaven forbid, a salon fire, it requires strategy, fire extinguishers, a cool head and careful management. Obviously in all cases a genuine complaint must be addressed, as it must only be regarded as constructive criticism and a welcome opportunity to simply provide first class service. Remember a happy client tells one or two people and an unhappy client tells at least ten. Embarrassed, unhappy clients will never tell you, but I guarantee you they will tell all their friends and family and you may never have the chance to rectify this complaint or see this client again.
However many of us have encountered awkward clients who are as crazy as a barrelful of ferrets, and compared to a woman scorned, an overheated plutonium reactor is a friend indeed. In she walks with an outfit that hurts like a hangover, and a scowl that would strip chrome from steel, and she looks at you like she just found you crawling around in her salad. Her complaint is irrelevant and totally contrived, this woman is also a world-class emotional blackmailer and a stranger to the truth. When she opens her mouth to speak, you can almost see the venom glistening on her fangs, before she delivers her complaint and prepares for the kill.
You listen, and smile politely whilst considering her highly flawed story, your head nodding with the smooth rhythm of a ticking bomb. You immediately realize that honesty is so far down this womanís agenda that she would require a JCB to reach the truth. If only she had been a diplomat just think of all the interesting wars she could have started.
After overcoming the initial shock, just for a split second, or the time it takes for a cell to divide, or a lawyer to earn ten pounds. You collect your thoughts and using all your courage allowance permit yourself to speak. There is a small moment where she can see a tiny crack opening, just wide enough to get the tip of a wedge in. Feeling this, you react and stop her dead, like a swallow flying into a plate glass window. Only by listening and delivering a rational, and intelligent response to the problem is it possible to diffuse such a situation. The key to this kind of crisis, is always education, knowledge is power!
Eventually suspicion drains from her face like brine from a tin of crabmeat, and confronted by your professional capabilities, she lowers her weapons and withdraws her stance. Strangely enough, after doing battle with a complainer of this caliber, there is often a high probability of transforming this minx into a loyal and retentive client.
Occasionally the awkward client has a justified grievance, unfortunately there are a minority of nail technicians, who believe ethics, is a part of East Anglia, and may not treat this situation with dignity and professional conviction . As a teacher, nail tech, salon owner and distributor the opportunity to pursuit excellence and embrace change, must be through feedback and evaluation, however eccentric. Many problems are often avoided by delivering a concise and thorough consultation and recommended homecare regime.
There are only three occasions when enhancements will divorce themselves from the nail plate. Nails do not have a brain! They do not suddenly decide to occupy new surroundings.
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Ultimately my advice to the awkward client is that telling lies, is a bit like tiling
bathrooms, if you donít know what youíre doing, itís best not to try. If however you require any support or advice please do not hesitate to contact me at