Hairdressing and Dealing with Difficult Customers

The hairdressing industry depends on customer loyalty and often relies on word of mouth to attract new customers. Therefore, it is essential to do everything that you can to maintain the good reputation of a salon.

It is likely that you will get complaints, but it is important that you handle these in the right way, leaving a customer feeling that you have done your best for them. Here are some examples of the issues that you might face and some tips on how best to handle them.

Customer service

It is important to create a good impression from the moment that a client walks through the door. Be sure to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, greeting your client with a cheery tone and smile from you and your receptionist.

If your client feels welcomed, then they are more likely to have a positive experience. Remember that customer service should be a focus all the way through your client’s appointment from taking their coat when they arrive to chatting, in a friendly way, during their treatment.


Welcoming your client also helps to make them feel relaxed and you can go that bit further by offering them a complimentary drink when they are seated in the chair, offering them a magazine or asking if they find the temperature in the salon ok.

All of these are very easy to do and help to great a positive customer experience.

Communicate with your clients

Take time to keep your clients informed. If you need to make any changes to your client’s appointment, either the date or time, then contact your client as far in advance as possible. Try to be as accommodating as possible when rescheduling.

On the day of the appointment itself, you might be in a situation where a client’s hairdresser might be running late due to the previous appointment overrunning. If this is the case be sure to explain this to the client, keeping them informed and offering them a drink or magazine while they are waiting.


If you are faced with the situation where a client is not happy with the cut or the colour of their hair, then do your best to be patient. You should always complete a colour consultation before the appointment and be as clear as you can with your client about what cut they would like. This will help you to reduce the chances of a client being dissatisfied and running into a situation where you need hairdressing insurance.

Make sure that you show your client that you understand that they are not happy and offer them solutions. It is often best to offer a couple of alternatives so that the client themselves can make their own choice about the next steps.

Bad reviews

You might see a negative review of you or the salon that you work in online or via email. The best way to deal with complaints such as this is to communicate with the person leaving the review directly. So, if their review was on Facebook, don’t post a response on Facebook. You can indicate that you have seen their review and would like to respond it but then email them or message them directly to avoid a conversation in the public arena.

Deal with the complaint or negative comments straight away with a view to resolving it as quickly as possible. Explain to the complainant what steps you have taken and offer a voucher for a discount on their next treatment.

Angry clients

You will likely have come into contact with an angry client, whether you were to blame or not. The best way to handle this situation is to stay calm, be clear and to avoid getting angry yourself. If possible, suggest moving to a quieter area to discuss the matter, moving the confrontation away from other customers in the salon.

Keep your body language relaxed and show them that you are listening. Make sure that they know that you understand their frustration and offer an apology (this is not admitting any fault or mistake on your part).

Next, offer them a solution and demonstrate that you are prepared to help resolve the situation. You might want to offer them a hot drink while you fix it, offer a partial refund or a discount off their next treatment. What you offer will very much depend on the nature of the complaint that they are making.

Complaints Policy

It is advisable to have a complaints policy in place. Make sure that your staff are aware of this policy and understand what steps are to be taken if they need to deal with a complaining customer.

You are likely to come across difficult or angry clients at some point or to experience a bad review. It is important that you handle the situation in the right way, maintaining professionalism and remembering that delivering good customer service is the best way to preserve your reputation.

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