When is it OK to Say "No" to Clients
The mantra is wrong; the customer is not always right. Saying no to clients is an essential skill all nail technicians should have in their repertoire as excellent customer service should never be compromised. Here are three examples of times when a technician can and should reject their client.
Sometimes a client will walk in with a picture they have seen on Instagram, an image they wish to replicate on their own nails. With one glance at this image, you know that the pictured nails require more time than you have in the appointment or a technique with which you are not comfortable. When nail expectations surpass your abilities, you must be apologetic but honest with your client.
Pressing ahead can result in a nail that does not match your professional capabilities and a disappointed client ready to find a new technician. Find a solution that will satisfy both of you and which will result in a gorgeous set of nails of which you can both be proud.
The Perennial Latecomer
You have been sitting in wait for 15 minutes when your client finally comes barrelling through the door with a smile and an excuse at the ready. Traffic was awful; they couldn’t find a place to park; they lost track of time. You have heard it all. When dealing with late nail clients, you need to be firm.
Make sure your salon has a policy against awarding discounts or refunds to latecomers. Every customer needs to be well aware that they have paid for allocation of their technician’s time. If they are not there to use the service, they still need to pay for it. Make sure that they are aware that their appointment can’t run over because you have new or established clients to see.
If they are so late for their appointment that you cannot feasibly complete anything, you must be confident enough to tell your client “No,” and turn them away from the appointment completely.
Healthy is Happy
Sometimes, you need to tell a client “No,” because proceeding with the appointment can be detrimental to their health. Saying “No” could be because you recognise something on their hands or feet that needs to be treated by a medical professional and/or the service they want could cause them some discomfort.
In the first scenario, you need to be adamant with your customer. This business is your livelihood; you cannot risk its reputation over one client’s wishes. Emphasise your concern for their health and encourage them to seek out the relevant medical practice to fix their issues.
If you face the second scenario, sometimes a client’s nails aren’t suitable for specific services. For example, someone with particularly damaged nailbeds cannot get acrylics for risk of damaging their nailbeds further. Instead, recommend they choose a procedure such as gel polish which will still allow them to have a fashionable manicure without risking the health of their nails.
Remember, it is your business and its success (or failure) is dependent on you - sometimes saying "No" is the only way to manage its established, positive reputation.