Did you just a die a little on the inside when you read the title?
Firing a client is something that I believe a lot of us WANT to do but most of us are afraid to do, so I want to share some perspective on this topic.
First and foremost, firing a client can seem terrifying and daunting but sometimes, it's an absolute necessity.
Before we get in to the "HOW"...let's talk about the WHO and the WHEN.
The WHO. Who should be deemed "fire-able"
- A client who steals from your salon
-A client who does not pay, or has a check that bounces. (I know this makes me sound old, but there are still clients who prefer to write checks, lol)
-A client who directly disrespects you, you space and/or your staff.
-A client who is impossible to please.
-A client who is consistently late, after you have made it clear that it is a problem.
-A client who has consistently no-showed their appointments.
-A client who has unrealistic expectations for their hair.
-A client who is draining (physically and emotionally)
-A client who is toxic to be around
-A client you just don't VIBE well with
(I go into more detail on my podcast, make sure to take a listen!)
These are a few examples of when firing a client would be very justifiable. Ultimately, as a professional it is up to your discretion on why you would want to fire a client.
I'm here to tell you this, sometimes, it could be as simple as "I feel stressed every time this client comes in". Your space, your work, and your mental health is reason enough to say NO or fire certain clients.
Often times, I've heard stylists say that they feel bad or they don't want the client to be upset..which is why they won't fire them.
What I hear is that the clients feelings are more important than their own.
Which is COMPLETE BULLSHIT. imo.
If you are a stylist who is putting your clients feelings before your own, I'm here to tell you, its going to be a rough ride in this industry for you. You will get walked over, taken advantage of and burnt out if you don't start learning how to set healthy boundaries.
The WHEN and the HOW. When is a good time to fire a client and how do you go about it.
This 100% depends on the situation and the reason for firing them.
Let's say that the reason is because they are always late, or they are consistently no call/no showing you.
If they are more than 15 minutes late AFTER you've told them that its a problem, a simple call or text saying "Hey, it's been 15 minutes since your appointment time and at this point I will have to cancel your appointment. This has been an ongoing issue for me and I have explained to you why this is a problem for me and my schedule many times. Thank you for understanding and at this point, I will no be rebooking you"
I know its hard but BOOM, that's a healthy boundary.
Let's say you want to fire them because they are consistently no calling/no showing you.
There are a couple of ways to handle this.
1- Take payment up front for their appointment. Either PIF (paid in full) or a deposit. This way you are guaranteeing that you do not lose income if they fail to show up.
2- If you don't want to continue servicing them, especially if you have been lenient more than twice, a conversation needs to be had. You can call them or text them, saying something similar to the first example.
"Hey, this is the 3rd time that you have not shown up to your hair appointment without letting me know ahead of time. At this time, I will not be rebooking you for any future services. Thank you for understanding"
*TAKE DEEP BREATHS*
If you are dealing with a client who is seemingly never satisfied YET they keep coming back and complaining, My go to is something like this:
"I appreciate having you as a client but it just seems like no matter what I do, you're not 100% satisfied with your hair. Its important to me that you are happy and love your hair and it just seems like I am not a good fit for your needs. I would be happy to give you some referrals"
My best advice is to just be honest, professional kind and firm with your client and if possible, do the firing face to face or via a phone call. IF they don't answer, then a text is ok.
Some of you will choose to just ignore them, block them, not answer their calls or tell them you're "booked".
In my honest opinion, that's a bit cowardly, but like I always say...do what works for you.
If you absolutely need to, texting should be last resort. It's just more professional and things won't get misconstrued when you have an actual conversation.
I want to quickly go over what NOT to do..because this has happened before.
- Don't raise your voice and yell at your client.
- Don't call names, even if they are. YOU are the professional.
- Don't bash them on social media.
In general, be the bigger person.
A few things to remember:
- YOU are responsible for your own behavior
- You are not responsible for how your client reacts.
- Firing a client does not make you a bad stylist.
- Firing a client is NOT a reflection of your skills.
- Firing a client is exercising healthy boundaries for yourself.
- Firing a client can FREE up space for you to take on your IDEAL clients.
- I know it can be scary, but do it scared. You just might be surprised that your client may actually take it well, especially if you conduct yourself professionally.
Remember, DO IT SCARED!
Until next time,