We ALL get them. Even the most amazing technicians and salons get them.
It’s your business and it can hurt. Emotionally it can hurt you. It can damage your business. You had no intention to upset the client (you wouldn’t be in business if that was your basic intention), so why the hell did they complain and what can you do about it?
We live in the age of social media where bad news and bad reviews can travel rapidly and afar.
So how do you handle it both personally (so it doesn’t hurt you so much) and from a professional viewpoint too?
Never, ever, ever, ever reply when you are at all emotional. Never.
It will start a ‘I am right you are wrong’ war and we know that that outcome is never pretty.
Take some time to calm down and remove your emotion from the situation.
If it means not replying for 24 hours, then that is a better option than replying when you are emotional.
Do not under any circumstance ignore the complaint.
Don’t engage in lots of writing back & forth on a public forum. It will look bad for your business. On the public forum, politely acknowledge their complaint, apologies that they feel that way and say you have private messaged them so you can work to fully resolve the situation.
The customer is not ALWAYS right. That is a false idea.
However it is extremely important to not make the customer wrong (even if they actually are). We all know what it feels like to be wrong and how as part of human nature we will fight to be right, even when we know we are not right.
Making the customer wrong in any way, will only ignite a storm.
Actually LISTEN to what the customer is complaining about. Remove your viewpoint and ‘side of the story’ and listen to theirs. Try and fully hear and understand what their viewpoint is.
You don’t have to agree with their viewpoint, you just need to fully understand where they are coming from.
Put yourself in their position and see what you could have done or could do in the future to avoid this problem happening again. There will be something that you did. It may have been that you didn’t fully educate the client, or maybe you didn’t do a full quality control before they left. There will be something that you did. You need to find that and take responsibility for that by handling it internally so it does not happen again.
Believe it or not, if you take full responsibility for what YOU did to create the situation, it will make you feel better and more causative over handling it. It’s just how the universe works.
Find out what actually happened. Find the real cause of the situation. Retention? Then find out what aspect of retention you didn’t apply or that the client is doing. Really find out what caused the situation.
Acknowledge the customer and thank them for giving you the opportunity to handle the situation. Apologise openly and sincerely.
Tell them that you have done an investigation internally to rectify the situation so it does not happen again.
Suggest some solutions to the problem. Maybe they come back in so you can handle it personally. It is up to you and the circumstance on what the solution would be.
Work out with the client what they would like you to do to fully handle the situation.
Go over and above to help and satisfy the client. Go the extra mile and typically it will be completely appreciated and more often than not, the client will change their review. If they don’t do it on their own accord - once the situation is fully handled, ask them to.
RULE #11: PREVENTION FOR THE FUTURE
It is often recommended to not give refunds. However, by putting a blanket rule of ‘no refunds’ is not a great idea in a business for it does not allow for individual circumstance.
Locks Lash HIGHLY recommend that you have Policy in place that all customers read and sign before their appointment, going over the full procedure if they are unhappy in any way with the service.