Professional Tips & Advice

How to handle an unhappy client

2 Min Read Friday 20th October 2017

Running a successful salon means taking the rough with the smooth. And occasionally one of the roughest bits is dealing with a client who’s unhappy with your services. Here’s what to do if your customer wants to make a complaint:

Actively listen

Your client may feel upset, angry or shortchanged — let them air their grievances in full in a private area of the salon until they feel fully listened to. Don’t make excuses; simply listen, speak calmly and respond with kindness. Your reputation matters and maintaining a friendly demeanour may save you from losing a valued client.

Repeat it back

Once you’re aware of your client’s complaint repeat it back to them in summary form so they feel like you’ve taken their criticism on board. They’ll feel instantly validated by your personalised response, which will help to calm them down quickly.


It’s important to take responsibility for your mistakes and apologise for any issues that may have arisen during your client’s treatment. Take criticism positively and use it as a way to improve your business and focus on any customer service blind spots. Perhaps you need to take a bit longer to give the perfect spray tan, offer more aftercare advice or refresh your skill set? Even if you don’t feel like you’ve made a mistake, it makes better business sense to de-escalate the situation and find a solution fast.

Repair the situation

Is there anything you can do to fix the problem immediately, like calling them back for a repeat treatment later that day? Reducing the price of your client’s treatment or issuing a full refund will also go some way in alleviating their grievances. You could suggest a free treatment for later down the line to ensure their return to your salon too. This will also guarantee that you get a second chance to get things right and don’t lose potential custom.

0 item in your basket