How to deal with difficult customers?
Each and everyone of us has dealt with difficult customers in the past. But did we really know how to deal with difficult customers or did we guess?
It could have been a customer that comes in with high expectations, wanting to look like Kim K. and we now need to explain to them that this simply won’t be possible. It could have been someone who is a very rude and loud customer that makes us nervous and feeling completely incompetent.
15 years ago, when I just started out in the Beauty Industry, I was totally terrified to deal with customers all together. If I had a difficult one, I would sometimes feel like running away and many nights I cried because I took everything so very personal. Over the years I have learnt how to deal with difficult customers and that we need to be psychologist. And that relates to all areas in the service based industry. how to deal with difficult customers
We need to get to know our customers and decide within a few short minutes, sometimes seconds what type of customer we are dealing with here, so that we can respond and react/act accordingly.
Learning how to deal with difficult customers and the knowledge about the 4 different types of customers has totally changed my perception of and reaction to people. I now know what clues to look for and how I can stay professional, tell them how it is, without offending them or taking it to personal myself.
Have you heard “The Customer is King”?
Well…. I agree on that … but only to a certain extend. How to Deal with Difficult Customers
Imagine you had a very rude and negative customer. Would you want to offer a service to this person in the future? Would you want them to pull you down every single time they saw you and tell you how much they disliked everything and everyone? I think not.
There is only so much I am willing to try to get through to them. There will only be so many attempts to try and change their mood, to try and make them happy, to try and fit them to my personality. If all fails after a few visits ( and yes, I always try for a few times) I will let them go.
If I wanted to have to deal with horribly rude people everyday I wouldn’t have chosen to be self-employed but would still work for someone else. Luckily we have a choice. So please do me the favor and don’t continue to work on people that pull you down. Cut the ties. Tell them that you and them are not the right fit and you won’t be able to continue to do their lashes. That’s it. You are better then that. It will make you a happier person and your work will also benefit from it. How to Deal with Difficult Customers
I always like to mimic my customers to a certain extend when I meet them for the 1st time. I will look at their body language, listen to the flow and volume or their voice, the vocabulary they use. I then mold myself into their ways. That means, if they speak firm and fast, I will speak firm and fast. If they louder talkers, I will talk louder.
I will try and be on the same “wavelengths” as them to make the customer feel more connected to me. This is also called “mirroring”. It is very consciously and cleverly used in sales but also unconsciously used in everyday life. See if you notice it when you talk to someone in person. How to Deal with Difficult Customers
A lot of the time you can actually make a customer feel at ease if they think that you are a little like them and they will change their ways in speaking to you, trust you more.
Imagine you had a client that was super quiet and timid and you would in turn be very loud and talk very fast, this client would feel extremely intimidated and would most likely not return. So please, always take the time to look at your client’s behavior, analyse them.
Now I want to talk how to deal with difficult customers and about those types that are difficult but not so bad or rude that you would not want to lash them ever again.
I will tell you how to analyse them and how to deal with them…. soften the waters.
The Director is the type of customer who thinks he/she knows it all and doesn’t really want to listen to suggestions. She knows exactly what she wants and she want’s it done NOW. Let’s call her Cathrin. How to Deal with Difficult Customers
How do we recognize a Director Type?
- Cathrin comes in for her 1st appointment and wants Lashes that look like she could fly away and she want’s them done in 30 minutes.
- She is also not prepared to pay more than xy amount of $.
- She pulls out her phone to answers calls and text messages and she hates lying still for too long.
- She speaks fast and firm.
- She can sound a bit rude at times.
- She will most likely tell you which products you can and can’t use on her.
- She will not listen to your advise. How to Deal with Difficult Customers
The Director type is the most difficult customer to deal with.
In Cathrin’s case I would talk louder,be extremely firm and professional with her.
- I do not leave any doubt in her mind that I am the boss and I know what I am doing (even if I don’t particularly like to deal with her personality).
- Lay the facts down on the table (quickly cause she is in a rush) and tell her what’s possible with her lashes in a friendly manner.
- If she is not happy with her Lashes at the end of the day you will tell her why you could not achieve her desired look and that her lashes need to strengthen.
- Talk facts. Never apologize or offer a refund if you are in the right..
You would be surprised how many “Directors” have returned to me, a little more tamed, and really trust in my work. However, if you have someone come back and complain every single time then it’s probably best you let them go. It’s just too stressful. How to Deal with Difficult Customers
The Analyst needs to know everything into detail and have probably already researched it all in advance. They can quite often be a little bit insecure or panicky at times if put into a new situation.
How do we recognize an Analyst Type?
Let’s call her Abby.
- Abby comes in for the 1st time and wants to know everything.
- She keeps asking you questions. From product over procedure to aftercare.
- Abby probably called up before the Patch test to ask for the ingredient in the glue and how the lashes are applied. How to Deal with Difficult Customers
- Her eyes may flutter because of nerves.
- Abby probably won’t fall asleep because her brain is constantly ticking.
- The way I deal with Abby is by easing her mind, taking the time to explain EVERYTHING to her.
- I will schedule an extra 5-10 with her to really sit down and have a chat about the procedure. Most of the time Abby would have booked this in anyways.
- I will go through the chosen eye styling and ask her for her permission and if she is happy.
- I will show Abby my certificates and tell her that I am very particular in everything I do.
- I will tell her where I get my products from and as I am performing the cleanse I will prepare her for every new step.
- I will ask her every 15 minutes or so if she is still comfortable.
If I keep Abby happy the entire time and make her Analyst brain feel comfortable and satisfied she will be a very loyal customer. How to Deal with Difficult Customers
This is my favorite type of customer. Let’s call her Lana.
How do we recognize this type of customer?
- Lana is a joy to be around.
- She is bubbly and warm.
- She has a very welcoming personality and loves a good chat.
- She knows a lot of people and tell you about it.
- Lana may like to chat a little during the procedure which can also result in fluttery eyes.
- Lana is happy with your suggestions as long as you explain everything with a smile.
Solution: How to Deal with Difficult Customers
- Keep Lana happy even if you are in a bit of a mood or had a stressful day. Be super friendly and accommodate her wishes.
- Offer Lana a free Lip Collagen Mask that will keep her quiet.
- Make sure you don’t rush the greeting and saying goodbye. Lana loves to stay behind for a bit of a chat. Make sure you accommodate her…so maybe book an extra 5 minutes after you are finishes.
- Relaxing music will make Lana fall asleep.
Lana will be very loyal if she is happy with our work and you.
The Timid Type
A timid customer may not return if you don’t know how to handle her. She needs a bit more tender loving care and small little pushes to make her feel at ease.
Let’s call her Sue.
How do we recognize this type of customer?
- Sue is a little shy and insecure. How to Deal with Difficult Customers
- She speaks quietly and slowly and is a little unsure of what she is after.
- She comes in with a shy smile doesn’t talk much at all.
- A lot of the time, asking Sue what she want’s may result in a “I am not sure, what do you think?” answer.
- Explain to Sue in detail and very calmly what you can achieve with her lashes. She will most likely agree and lie very still for the entire time.
- At times timid customers can get a little claustrophobic, so make sure you ask her is she is comfortable every 15-20 minutes.
- Be gentle when cleansing her lashes and explain what you are doing.
- Sometimes a gentle touch on the shoulder will make Sue feel more comfortable and relaxed.
- Sue needs a lot of calming music and some relaxing soy candle smell. When she returns have this all on already so she will have the know, like and trust factor building through her senses.
- If Sue doesn’t like her lashes she will most likely not tell you and never return.
- Tell Sue after the procedure that she can tell you if she is happy or not and that you would love to see her back.
You will have a very loyal customer in Sue if you take the time with her to break the ice. Don’t be rushed.
Now you know how to deal with difficult customers. I am sure there are many more customer types but I found these 4 to be the most common in my salon. So why don’t you give this a go next time you have a new client? I am sure with some practice you will start to read people very well and start to mirror them so that you can build a long and strong customer relationship. How to Deal with Difficult Customers
Stay awesome and don’t forget to sparkle!
💋 💋 💋
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