OK let's be honest. This is not an easy subject but it needs to be talked about.
So when is it time to say goodbye to that client? Well this is done case by case. We all have boundaries and although we are a service based business and want to make everyone happy, we sometimes have to put our foot down to bad behaviors by our clients. Here are some deal breakers for me...Would you agree?
- If the client is late every single appointment and I mean late, like 30 to 45 minutes late.
- If they cancel their appointment more than 2 times within an hour of their appointment time. You can also ask for a deposit before their service if you want to make it work. Typically half of their service is sufficient. Use your best judgement.
- If they have bounced a check more than twice and never paid you the money they owe you. I stopped taking checks years ago to solve this issue.
- If they are just plain rude and disrespectful to you or your team. Now don't get fire happy. This is really if they are yelling and carrying on and demeaning your team. Not if they are unhappy with their service. That is totally different.
- If every time you do their hair they are unhappy and come back every time to complain. We cannot please everyone. But if you have done their hair 5 times and all 5 times they are unhappy, it may be best to recommend another stylist within the salon or another salon in general. It's great to have relationships with other salon owners in your area. A client may be a fit for them and not for you, so send them on down.
Now how do you do it? It is not easy. I have been in this business for over 21 years, and I only had to fire 3 or 4 clients. Its best to do it in person, but if that is not possible, then having a cool, honest, respectful conversation over the phone is best. You can say something like: First, I would like to thank you for being a loyal client, I am so sorry we cannot please you. I would love for you to try a stylist or even a salon that would better suit you. I want you to be happy. OR, I am so sorry, I have tried to make this work, but I feel you are not being respectful of our time etc. We have clients on a waiting list and it is not fair to them if you keep canceling your appointment or showing up late. I pride myself on truly being as fair as possible.
You always want to be as positive as you can be. Just stay true to yourself and do what is best for your business. Good Luck!!