Aestheticians seem to be struggling with how to respond appropriately when difficult situations arise between them and their clients.All too often, the advice seen being handed out to these struggling aestheticians is to cancel, fire, or delete their difficult clients and move on, but is this really the course of action that should be followed?
This is not just a social media issue. It is not an uncommon practice for a skin care professional to choose to remove the problem by firing the client and moving along to the next transactionwhen a client makes a situation difficult. Of course, when the problem is removed by firing a client and blocking them on social media, the immediate conflict may be escaped.However, the potential problems that a client might cause businesses could be exponentially larger than the original problem itself.The loss of revenue from the client is bad enough, but the potential losses and damage to a spa business goes well beyond just the loss of revenue from that one client.Some of the potential losses can include loss of future referrals from that client, loss of revenue due to negative social media from the client, and loss of other current clients that former client might associate with.
Now certainly, there are rare occasions where it becomes necessary to fire a client, but that should occur after every effort has been exhausted to solve or rectify the issue and save the relationship.Here’s three practices to start implementing in your business today to turn upset clients into raving fans.
MINDSET OF SERVICE
When our focus is turned inward, it is easy to forget skin care professionals are in business to serve others – clients.Therefore it is important to have a mindset of service – one focused outward on the needs of clients above all else.The success ofaestheticians depends upon their mindset.When they practice a mindset of service, they are acknowledging the value clients bring to the business. Without them, practitioners quite literally have no business at all.So, in a sense, be selfish and think of clients first – it’s in the best interest to serve the client’s needs.
When a mindset of service is practiced, it becomes much easier to view those problems in a different light.Whenfocused on others, ego and pride exit the situation, which now enables a view of problems from a different, more positive perspective. See each problem as a mystery to solve, as a chance to innovate and figure out the best possible solution to the client’s situation.Once the solution is revealed, they, in turn, are not only turned into satisfied clients but raving fans.Adopting a positive approach to problems, not only gets us to a solution faster, it makeslives better.
The idea of practicing extreme ownership is quite simple – the business owner is responsible for everything that goes on in the business.As a spa business owner, it is incumbent to create an environment in which clients have the possible experience. Set the tone for this with the environment created and with the carefully communicated guidelines, policies, and procedures put into place.Often, it is the policies and procedures, or the lack thereof, that cause many client service problems.For instance, if there is no clearly defined cancellation policy, then it is easy to understand why clients see no problem with last minute cancellations.Do practitioners really have a right to be angry with a client that has not been properly trained on how to interact with the business?
One the oldest sayings in the business world is, “The customer is always right.”In the real world, every client is special and important to the business they choose to utilize.The make-believe land of social media offers very little, if any, accountability for what is said or done to othersand often advises that the best way to resolve a conflict is to simply block the offender.In business, if you choose to treat customers that way, you’ll soon find you no longer have any clients to serve.Truly successful business owners do not take negative interactions with clients personallybut instead, see them as opportunities to shine in their client’s eyes by offering exemplary customer service and truly innovative solutions to meet their needs.
Client complaints are really a client’s cry for help.This is a time for innovation and problem solving, so in the end, you will become the client’s hero.Business owners that complain are broadcasting their failure to be innovative and findsolutions to problems they are presented by their clients. A soft reply turns away anger.The phrases, “I’m so sorry to hear that; how can I help?” or “I understand how that must make you feel; how can I help?” are music to an upset client’s ears. Aestheticians are in the service industry, so let’s learn to serve the needs of clients in the best and most professional way possible.
Darcy Debernarde, voted Favorite Licensed Aesthetician inDERMASCOPE Magazine’s 2019 Aestheticians’ Choice Awards, is a renown paramedical skin therapist and owner of Skin by D in Orange County, California. She is an educator in advanced skin needling, as well as a highly sought-after aesthetics business performance coach. Debernarde is also the owner of Pink Door Cancer Spa, a donation only, non-profit spa for those undergoing cancer therapies.