How to Turn Tough Customers into Loyal Ones
As a hairstylist or barber, you’re passionate about making customers look and feel great at the end of every service. Professionally, it’s what you live for! But sometimes, despite your best efforts, a customer may be upset about a haircut. (If your stomach just sank, you’ve been there!)
We all know tough customers happen to everyone—even the most experienced hair professionals. While this may offer a little reassurance, it doesn’t change the fact that these aren’t the most fun experiences to land in your chair.
The truth is, hair is incredibly personal, and some personalities can get worked up if they don’t like what they see. Customers may express their concern or displeasure through something as simple as a statement such as, “I think this layer might be too short,” or it could involve someone saying, “Stop!” You may even experience a customer erupting in an outburst of tears.
As a professional, you want every customer to feel happy and confident, and situations like these can be incredibly uncomfortable. But they are not unmanageable. With the right techniques, you can turn a negative experience into a positive one without breaking a sweat. Here are a few tips that will help you glow like a pro and ensure even your toughest customers walk out of the salon with a smile on their face and a bounce in their step.
3 Steps to YesSTEP 1) Take your feelings out of it
When a customer is upset, you must put your ego aside. This is about your customer’s hair, not you. You may have given the customer the exact haircut he or she requested, but they don’t see it that way and their number one concern is wanting to love the way they look. Approach the situation from a place of professionalism and manage your emotions. You have the power to set the tone for how this issue is resolved. Take charge with sincerity and a level head.
STEP 2) Reassure your customer that their happiness matters
Sometimes feeling seen and heard is all it takes to diffuse a hot situation. Let the customer know you will do everything you can to make sure they get the haircut they want. Make eye contact so the customer knows you mean what you say. By calming the customer down, you’ll both be in a better place to find a good resolution.STEP 3) Revisit the consultation process
Let your customer know that you’re going to ask them a few questions so you can better understand what they want. You might ask questions such as:
- “Let’s take a look at the photo again and compare what you have now so we can find out what we can do differently.”
- “Let’s start with the length. How are you feeling about the length of this bottom layer?”
- “Your layers are medium in length with the first layer starting at your cheekbone. How are you feeling about this?”
Listen closely to what the customer tells you and repeat their responses back to confirm the new plan. This will reinforce the customer’s confidence in your willingness to remedy the situation to their satisfaction.
After completing the final cut, offer styling tips for the customer to help them feel confident about recreating their new look at home.
Converting a tough customer into a loyal one is all about patience, service, and a willingness to address customer concerns. By addressing difficult customer situations head-on you can build vital solution-oriented professional skills that will boost your confidence and expertise.
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