Enjoy my Tip of the Week: Dealing with a cranky client can be very difficult. This is especially true when you are having a long busy day. It took me a long time to realize a client’s mood was typically not directed towards me but was a reflection of a deeper issue going on in their life that I had nothing to do with.
Early in my career, I would sometimes take my client’s mood very personally. However, with experience, I learned how to look at my client’s temperaments differently. I realized that usually these situations had nothing to do with me or the services I provided. I also began to understand that it was an opportunity for me to create a stronger bond with my client by showing my support.
I learned several things from dealings with cranky clients. Here’s a few ideas you may find useful, know that your client is most likely under stress if they are acting cranky. Challenge yourself to help your client to calm down and relax. After all, our job is to help our client feel good which transcends far past just doing their hair.
One of the ways you can accomplish this is by allowing your client to set the pace of the conversation. This means don’t push conversation. Sometimes a client just wants to be quiet and unwind.
Next, keep the subjects of discussion basic. Sometimes the last thing a client wants is a heavy conversation or to rehash a subject that they may want a break from. Let the client decide if they want to disclose the issues they are facing to you or if they prefer to keep the conversation light. I always want my clients feel they can talk to me about anything but I also want them to know if they don’t feel like speaking, they don’t have to.
Contrary, the client may need a listening ear. If they do, lend it. Put on your therapist cap and be the sounding board they need. Remember, if they trust you enough to disclose to you, it’s important you show them that you care. This means that you need to look them in the eye, comment on what they are telling you and be attentive. First and foremost, be sincere in your interaction even if it’s a topic that you’re not interested in.
With every client, ask them how they are. Assist them with unwinding by taking a couple of minutes to massage their shoulders and neck. I like to give a brief hand massage with our GLOVE product. It’s something special and it shows my client them that I care.
If they are cranky about their services with you, listen to them and hear them out. Sometimes you may not agree with their position on something that they are sharing with you. Remember, even if they are wrong, communication is the key to building a successful business. Always stay calm and do not argue with you client. Be understanding of their concerns and find a way to reconcile the issue.
By nature, people need to be affirmed and encouraged. Someone is always looking for a pick me up so, suggest something a little different. When I say different, I mean nothing major but something that may pick them up emotionally.
Finally, pay compliments to these folks. This can charm even the crankiest of clients. Paying someone a compliment is not only kind, it may be all they need to hear that day to change their attitude. After all, you want them to leave your chair feeling great even if they didn’t when they arrived.