How to deal with a customer complaint or a bad review.
As service providers in the Beauty industry, if we haven’t already come across a negative review or a complaint yet, it’s very likely we will at some point, so it’s best to be prepared to know how to handle it when it does.
No one likes to receive negative feedback and we often take these things very personally, but most of the time it is nothing personal and it can often be resolved fairly easily.
Whatever you do, don’t go gossiping about it with your colleagues or ringing all your friends fuming about this client- that’s not going to help the situation and won’t make you feel any better.
You can’t allow this person’s negativity to take any more time or energy out of you and the sooner you can get it out of your mind and focus on the positives, the better.
Let’s have a look at how we can go about this without our anxiety hitting the roof or responding in a way you might later regret.
Is it a genuine complaint?
First things first- we need to find out whether this feedback is genuine or whether they are just trying to get a refund, free treatment or are chronic complainers.
We don’t always get it right, sometimes the client may have genuinely had a bad experience, just like we all can at times. Think bad-tasting food in a restaurant- a broken zip on a new dress you just bought etc…
The customer isn’t ALWAYS right either- but sometimes they are.
Say they are complaining about being too cold during their facial or they didn’t like the salon atmosphere, maybe they didn’t get the results they expected, it’s your job as a service provider and as a professional to figure out what you can do to prevent it from happening again.
Don’t let your ego get in the way here, we all make mistakes, but it’s HOW we choose to deal with them, that matters.
It’s worth checking what service they had, who they had it with and the time and date to make sure they were actually there that day and it’s not just a false review.
Respond to the client as soon as you can so they know you have received it and when they can expect to hear back from you.
“Thank you for your feedback, I need to consider your comments further and will get back to you within 24-48 hours”.
The longer this client is walking around unhappy with their nails/ hair/ brows the angrier they will get, the more people they will tell and the worse it will be for you, so you’ll want to get it resolved as soon as possible.
Allow yourself 24 hours before you decide what you are going to do.
How many times have you responded to something in the moment and then later thought to yourself ‘I wish I hadn’t responded like that…’ You may have made the situation worse or put far more time and energy into it than you needed to because you acted out of anger instead of waiting it out until that feeling passed.
And trust me it WILL pass.
The thing is, how you are feeling right after receiving any negative feedback, you likely won’t still be feeling the same in 2 weeks or even 2 days.
You probably won’t even be thinking about it at all by then.
Give yourself 24 hours before you decide what action you are going to take and ONLY then let the client know.
Think about something that made you feel worked up in the past… how do you feel about that now?
Much differently I’m sure.
The angry emotions you feel in the moment will pass. I promise.
If you take anything at all away from this blog, THIS is the most important thing I want you to remember.
If deep down you feel you might have missed the mark, then the best thing you can do is own it. Tell them you understand their concerns, reassure them it will not happen again and offer a solution as soon as possible.
“Hi (name), thank you so much for your honesty and for reaching out. I know situations like this can be difficult, so I cannot tell you how much it means to me that you’d trust me enough to bring up this concern.
I understand where you’re coming from and I want nothing less than you to LOVE your hair. I’d love to set up a time for you to come back in so we could take a look at it and go from there.
What times and days would be best for you?”
On the other hand, If you are 100% certain you have done everything right, did your absolute best to give this client a really good experience, nailed the consultation, the treatment and everything and you feel like this client is just after a free treatment or a refund, then after the 24 hours, simply respond and say:
“Thank you for your feedback, I have taken this and board and I wish you all the best.”
No need for disagreements, becoming defensive or trying to argue the situation- that will only put you in a bad light (especially if you are responding publicly).
If you want to learn how to REALLY gain respect from your clients and enforce your boundaries,
My Beauty Boss Guide (scripts & announcements that work) has over 60 scripts, and you can mix and match and rearrange them to create hundreds more – to text or email clients that you are killing your whole vibe.
There are even scripts for the good ones and they’ll show you to communicate professionally, and efficiently- minimising the back and forth and time-suck of many typical communications.
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I’m Hannah Clothier, Brow & Waxing Specialist since 2011, creator of the A-List Beauty ‘Biodegradable Exfoliating Washcloth’, Industry Educator and Founder of A-List Beauty.