Why do customer complaints and unhappy customers, in general, bother you?
Perhaps it is the way this outburst of anger from your clients that really worries you as a business owner- unpredictable, upsetting and worst, demoralizing. Yet, regardless of size, nature and level of success your business has, there will always come a time that you will fall short of your customer service and as uncomfortable as it can be, knowing how to deal with unhappy customers and lash clients is crucial.
And of course, a lash artist is nowhere 100% safe from a lash client’s bad lash day rage. Bad retention, after- treatment irritation, schedule mixed- ups and refund disputes are just a few of the reasons that make your unhappy clients come at you.
While it’s never easy to deal with customer complaints , it is not yet a lost deal if you can turn the situation from being negative to an insightful one. Here is a guided flow of actions to take in managing unhappy lash clients and leave them feeling satisfied with their experience instead.
- LISTEN ACTIVELY
The first and really important step to resolving a customer complaint is active listening. To truly understand what the concern is all about and how frustrating it must be to your lash client, then you must first listen to comprehend.
If your client is complaining about poor eyelash extension retention, others may be keeping quiet about the same concern so being inattentive to the complaint is also neglecting your chance of getting into the root cause of the problem.
As Steve Covey says, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply,” thus, don’t come to your defense right away. Instead, give the complaint your full attention.
What happened already happened and it happened to them. That is why you have to be in their shoes, understand their frustrations and empathize with your lash clients. They came to your lash salon in the hopes of achieving that glamorous look and getting that well- deserved good customer service. Thus in every bad experience they’ll have with your lash extension service, you are always a contributor to it- maybe not entirely, but surely with the slightest. So don’t ever come off clean. Instead, let them know that their emotions are valid and that you understand them.
Showing empathy to your lash client is your first step to your resolution, calming the storm within and regaining back her trust in you and your service. If it was about the quality of your work, with empathy, your client may also activate a more understanding mindset of giving you the benefit of the doubt and another chance.
- DETERMINE AND DECIDE THE COURSE OF ACTIONS TO TAKE
Because you listened actively and understand the issue fully well, then you can also pinpoint the root cause of the problem. With this understanding, you can draw out a comprehensive course of actions to take that will resolve the issue
Gather all facts, examine both sides and come up with both immediate action and a long term solution that serves your lash client’s interest without compromising your own.
- ACKNOWLEDGE THEM AND THANK THEM FOR RAISING THEIR CONCERN
A lash client feedback is a learning experience. The truth is your worst customer complaint will be your greatest lesson. And as absurd as it sounds, a complaint is something you’ll be thankful for. Be grateful for the fact that your client raises it to your knowledge and so you won’t keep repeating the mistake throughout your lash career hurting your reputation to come worse later on.
Feedback, whether good or bad, is your indicator if you’re doing things right or lacking. When a client complains about a burning feeling or irritation after you did her eyelash extension, then you gain information about your client’s sensitivity, the importance of a patch test and the kind of eyelash extension glue you should use next time- a handful of useful information presented to you.
No customer complaint does not mean good customer service. Receiving no feedback will leave you out in the dark throwing hunches away on what really works and what doesn’t. And if you’re a growth minded business, this definitely helps you at all.
- APOLOGIZE AND REITERATE YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE ISSUE
As important as expressing your gratitude is your apology to your lash client that they had to experience such an unpleasant situation.
And then reiterate your understanding of the issue. Ensure that you and your client are on the same page, that you get the entire picture of the situation and not just portions of it. Repeat and narrate your understanding of the problem to your client in a calm way. By doing so, you are showing to your client that you were listening to her and sincere with the empathy you expressed.
- PRESENT YOUR SOLUTION
Come up with a working and fair solution. Your solution should be a balance of upholding your policies and your virtues as a professional while also considering the welfare and interest of your client. If your client had a terrible lash retention despite doing all your aftercare reminders, you can offer a discount on her infills.
Yet no matter how pleasing the solution is, there would always be two outcomes to this- your client will be happy about it and accept it or she does not agree with you and wants something else. Either way, you both have to meet halfway. And more often, it is you who will need to compromise more. If you know that the quality of your lash extension is affected by the temperature and humidity of your lash salon because you had a broken humidifier, then you have to make it up to your client. Remember that unhappy clients will tell 5 times more people of their bad experience than a happy client of her good experience. You definitely wouldn’t want that for your business.
- FOLLOW- UP AND CHECK IF THEY ARE HAPPY WITH THE SOLUTION
Do not just connect and ghost. Ensure that you have a way of communicating with your client so you can reach out to them and confirm if the issue has really been fully resolved. Ask for follow- up or updates of that lash client who got her eyes irritated if she’s well no or that client whose schedule you got mixed up and had to postpone if she’s happy with that discount code or still fussing about you wasting her time.
Extending your sincerity in making up for your client who had a bad experience at your lash salon can really go a long way in changing that 1-star to maybe at least 3 or 4-star- review and above all, salvaging your most precious artist-client relationship.
- LEARN YOUR LESSON
Yes! Dealing with an unhappy client does not end when the client’s temper has cooled off or when that 1-star review changes to having more stars in it. The greater responsibility lies in learning your lesson from the situation and taking action so that it never recur in the future.
If a lash client had a bad retention, reassess your procedure, the eyelash extension products you use or the environment where you work. This does not mean throwing away all your products immediately, or changing your entire lashing technique because hers might be an isolated case- but still worth noting. Improve the way you do things or if it’s the first one, then at least be careful next time.
Customer complaints can be frustrating, uncomfortable, upsetting, and time-consuming. Yet, you should yet be appreciative of them and focus on the positive side it brings. While you’re upset because of the complaint, it also took a huge deal for the customer to raise that up to your knowledge so you can be better. Without complaints, you wouldn’t truly evaluate your overall business operation.
And as a lash professional, your clients are more than just customers to you. So you always strive to provide them with the utmost customer care they so deserve. Learning how to deal with unhappy lash clients may be one of the not-so-pleasant parts of your career but as the old adage says, “Calm seas never make skillful sailors.”