Be Super Savvy: How To Deal With Difficult Clients

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Running a nail salon business is bound to come with its high points and its challenges. But one of the things that you will eventually come across is the tough clientele.

It can be stressful, but you shouldn’t let it stop you from enjoying what you love doing the most: having fun running your nail salon!

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Identifying Difficult Clients

If you find yourself unsure of how to do this, then do not fret. It may seem scary and out of your depth but it can be done – even if you have a crisis of confidence – so don’t worry.

So how to deal with difficult clients?

Here are some top tips to bear in mind when dealing with difficult clients.

How To Deal With A Difficult Client

1. Keep Calm

When dealing with difficult customers, it is essential to remain calm. Even if it seems hard, keeping calm and carrying on is a mature and helpful way to deal with a difficult client. Never react in anger – that will not go down well at all.

2. Listen And Empathize

First and foremost, listen. Listen closely to the challenges and problems the client raises. 

We’ve all been guilty of zoning out during a conversation, but when it comes to your clients, giving them your undivided attention is key. 

When they sit down in your chair, make it a point to truly listen to what they have to say. Whether they’re sharing their nail goals, their concerns, or even just venting about their day, be present and attentive.

But why is listening so important? Well, for one, it shows your clients that you genuinely care about their needs and preferences. It helps you understand their vision and allows you to offer personalized recommendations. 

Plus, it’s a great way to build trust and rapport with your clients, which can lead to long-lasting relationships and repeat business.

Listening is just the first step; the next is empathy. Put yourself in your client’s shoes and try to understand their perspective. Maybe they’re nervous about trying a new nail design, or perhaps they’re dealing with brittle nails and are self-conscious about it. Whatever the case may be, showing empathy can make a world of difference.

3. Don’t take it personally

Sometimes, if a client is being demanding, it’s just an aspect of their personality, so don’t take this to heart. It’s very unlikely that their words are aimed at you. Perhaps they’re nervous about the service – some clients may have had bad experiences before at other salons so they might feel tense.

Do whatever you can to reassure your customer and make them feel relaxed and at ease. You could even start a friendly conversation and build up a rapport with them.

4. Deliver A Prompt Reply

In the world of instant messaging, a prompt reply goes a long way. Aim to respond to your clients’ messages within 24 hours, if not sooner. This shows that you value their time and are committed to providing excellent customer service.

5. Choose your words carefully

As a business owner, you should always be careful of what you say and watch your tone. Don’t react aggressively or lash out because that’s a poor reflection on you as an owner and on your business, and as you know, people talk and word of mouth is commonplace. 

A negative review whether it’s online or offline because of bad behavior will hurt your business.

6. Figure Out What Happened

Figuring out the client’s issue is all about using your observational skills, research, and expertise to solve nail mysteries. 

By identifying the problem, documenting the situation, analyzing the evidence, and seeking guidance when needed, you can crack even the most challenging cases. 

Remember to provide actionable solutions and educate your clients to prevent future problems.

7. Offer A Solution

As a nail technician, your ultimate goal is to make your clients happy and satisfied with their nails. And one of the best ways to achieve that is by offering solutions to nail-related problems. 

Whether it’s helping them grow their natural nails, fixing a broken nail, or creating a stunning nail art design, being able to provide solutions is what sets you apart from the competition.

8. Review and Learn

In any profession, including nail technology, continuous learning is crucial for growth and success. As a nail technician, it’s essential to review your work, learn from your mistakes, and constantly seek opportunities to improve your skills.

9. Time out

Without a doubt, learning how to deal with difficult clients can definitely take a toll on your mental wellbeing. If you can, take a break. Take some time out and de-stress.

You could take a break after an appointment, during your break or at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter when you choose to unwind as long as you don’t skip out on it.

10. Build a thick skin to learn how to deal with difficult clients

When dealing with tough customers, you will have to develop a thick skin so that their comments and behaviors don’t get to you. 

As previously mentioned, sometimes the customer might be reacting out of nervousness and tension so don’t take it personally or view yourself as the problem – unless the service is an issue for them.

11. Don’t overload yourself

Even though running a nail salon is bound to keep you very busy, you should not be taking too much on.

Too much stress is very unhealthy and is bad for the mind, body, and soul. Burdening yourself can lead to burnout, will cause you to not work to the best of your ability, will mean that the services you offer will not be up to par and you’ll be more likely to react badly to wearisome clients.

12. you must Follow up and go the extra mile

If a client is not satisfied with the service, then ask them to formally give feedback. Getting their feedback is one of the easiest way on how to deal with difficult clients. Ask them questions such as:

  • What did you like or dislike about the service?
  • How would you rate the service out of ten?
  • What could have been done differently?
  • Would you come back again?
  • Would you recommend the nail salon to a friend or a family member?

By trying to get an idea of what the client didn’t like, you can improve your services for the better. Also, by asking for feedback, it shows that you can about your customer and that means that they are more likely to come back again and/or recommend to a friend or a family member. Knowing what your customers wants is one way how to deal with difficult clients.

You can check this article about how to effectively handle negative reviews online to learn more about how to make extra effort in these situations.

13. Stand your ground

Be assertive. Even though dealing with challenging clients can be hard, there will be times when you’ll have to say enough is enough.

There’s a difference between a customer who’s just unhappy with the service or the level of treatment they’re receiving and a customer who’s just downright rude, nasty, and aggressive. 

No matter what, it’s your nail salon and it’s your business, and it’s not acceptable for anyone to come into your place of business and disrespect you. It’s a sign of poor character.

If a client is being really horrible towards you then (politely) stand your ground and tell them that you will not tolerate their behavior and (politely) ask them to leave. You’re well within your right to do that.

How To Avoid Difficult Clients In The Future

As a nail technician and salon business owner, you’ve probably encountered your fair share of difficult clients. You know, the ones who are never satisfied no matter what you do, or the ones who constantly push your boundaries.

Dealing with difficult clients can be both mentally and emotionally draining, not to mention detrimental to your business.  It is always important to be prepared when things get messy.

Here are some tips on how to avoid difficult clients in the future.

1. Manage Client Expectations

One of the main reasons clients become difficult is because their expectations are not aligned with reality.  Clear expectations through open and honest client communication will go a long way.

Discuss what they can expect from the service you provide, including the limitations and potential outcomes. Be transparent about pricing, timeframes, and any potential risks or side effects. 

By managing their expectations upfront, you can avoid any surprises or disappointments down the line.

2. Don’t Compromise Your Well-Being Or That Of Your Team’s

Let’s face it, there are some clients who will push your boundaries or make unreasonable demands. It’s important to remember that your well-being and that of your team should always come first. If a client is consistently difficult or disrespectful, it may be time to part ways. 

Your mental and emotional health should never be compromised for the sake of a client. Remember, you deserve to work in a positive and supportive environment.

3. Update Your Contract Or Engagement Letter 

Having a solid contract or engagement letter in place can save you from a lot of headaches down the line. Make sure your contract clearly outlines your expectations, policies, and procedures.

Include clauses regarding cancellations, rescheduling, and any additional fees or charges. By having everything in writing, you have a legal document to fall back on in case of any disputes or misunderstandings.

4. Consider Terminating Difficult Client Relationships

When worst comes to worst, you can cut ties with a difficult client.

Remember, it’s okay to let go of a client who is causing more harm than good. Your well-being and the success of your business should always be a priority. 

By terminating a client, you create space for new and better opportunities to come your way. So, cut your losses and consider the terminating client. Your sanity will thank you!

Why Is Dealing With A Difficult Client Important? 

Dealing with difficult clients is an unavoidable part of being a nail technician. No matter how skilled you are or how great your customer service is, there will always be those clients who test your patience. 

But why is it so important to handle these difficult clients with grace and professionalism? Let’s dive in and find out.

The Importance Of Customer Satisfaction 

Customer satisfaction should be a top priority for any business, and the nail industry is no exception. Happy clients not only provide repeat business, but they also become valuable brand ambassadors, spreading the word about your salon and services.

On the other hand, unhappy clients can quickly tarnish your reputation and deter others from booking appointments with you.

7 Types of Difficult Clients 

Here are some of the difficult customers that you may encounter every day:

1. The Impatient Customer

We’ve all encountered that client who is constantly tapping their foot, checking their watch, and sighing heavily. They want their nails done and they want them done now! 

It can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that impatience often stems from a busy schedule or high expectations. Take a deep breath, reassure them that you’ll do your best to work efficiently, and focus on providing quality service.

2. The Indecisive Customer 

Indecisive clients can be a challenge to work with. They often struggle to choose a nail color or design and may change their mind multiple times during the appointment.

This can be time-consuming and frustrating, but it’s important to remain patient and offer guidance. Help them narrow down their options and offer suggestions based on your expertise. Remember, they’re relying on your knowledge and experience to make a decision.

3. The Angry Customer 

Dealing with angry customers is never easy, but it’s crucial to stay calm and composed. Listen attentively to their concerns and validate what the client feels. Apologize for any mistakes or misunderstandings and offer a solution to rectify the situation.

Remember, a sincere apology can ease upset customers and can resolve the problem.

4. The Demanding Customer 

Demanding clients can be challenging to please. They may have high expectations or specific requests that go beyond your usual services. While it’s important to set boundaries and manage their expectations, it’s also an opportunity to showcase your skills and expertise. 

Go the extra mile to exceed their expectations and demonstrate your commitment to providing exceptional service.

5. The Vague Customer 

Vague clients can be frustrating because they struggle to articulate what they want. They may use unclear terms or simply say, “I’ll know it when I see it.” 

In these situations, it’s important to ask probing questions to get a better understanding of their preferences. Show them different options and ask for feedback along the way to ensure you’re on the right track.

6. The Customer Who Demands A Refund 

Handling a customer who demands a refund can be tricky. While it’s important to have a clear refund policy in place, it’s also important to consider each situation on a case-by-case basis. 

If a client is genuinely unhappy with their nails, offer to fix the issue or provide a partial refund. Remember, customer satisfaction should always be a priority, even if it means taking a financial hit in the short term.

7. The Unhappy Customer 

Unhappy clients can be disheartening, but it’s important not to take it personally. Instead, use their feedback as an opportunity for growth and improvement.

 Ask them specific questions about what they didn’t like and how you can make it better next time. Show them that you value their opinion and are committed to providing the best possible service.

Training Courses And Workshops To Manage Demanding Clients 

If you find yourself struggling to handle difficult clients, consider attending training courses or workshops specifically designed to improve your customer service skills. 

These courses can provide valuable insights and strategies for managing challenging situations. They can also help you develop the confidence and techniques needed to handle difficult clients with ease.

Activities To Handle Difficult Customer Conversations

In addition to formal training, there are also practical activities you can do to improve your customer service skills. Role-playing scenarios with colleagues or friends can help you practice handling difficult customer conversations. 

Focus on active listening, empathy, and problem-solving techniques. The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you’ll become in dealing with challenging clients.

In Conclusion

So there you have it! Now, you have several ideas on how to deal with difficult clients. Handling difficult clients is a challenging but manageable task. 

By maintaining professionalism, setting boundaries, and offering thoughtful solutions, you can navigate these situations with grace and ensure the success of your nail salon. 

Remember, it’s not personal—sometimes, clients just have unrealistic expectations or unique preferences. Stay calm, be assertive, and always strive to provide exceptional customer service. 

Have you ever dealt with difficult clients? 

How did you overcome these challenges? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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I'm Lynda Le, a licensed nail technician with over 20 years of experience in the nail and beauty industry. Passionate about sharing my knowledge, I took up blogging in 2016 to connect with others who love beauty as much as I do. For the latest tips and insights, follow me on Twitter at @polishperfectt.

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