Business tips

How to cope with problematic messages from your clients (+sample answers)


How to cope with problematic messages from your clients (+sample answers)

Messenger, WhatsApp or text message blabbers are the bread and butter of every beauty salon. You know them well - they are your regular or potential clients who like to flood your inbox with numerous questions, requests and pricing inquiries. Of course, there is nothing wrong with asking a question, especially one regarding prices or availability - two-way communication with customers is an essential part of running a business in the service industry. However, these types of clients take things to a whole new level, expecting you to engage in a long and very in-depth conversation or give them the information you don’t feel comfortable providing (at least without an in-person consultation). It’s very hard to react to such requests properly - after all, these people are your clients or potential clients. So how should you respond to problematic messages and which requests cross the line? And are there ways to stop clients from sending you annoying messages altogether?

Complex quote requests

Quote requests are one of the most common messages you probably get. Usually, they are followed by an inspiration photo (client’s goal) and one or a few pictures of the current state of customer’s hair, brows, lashes, nails or skin. Usually, you are able to make a rough estimation, based on your menu and the vague information you have. However, some clients are very persistent and expect you to give them an exact, final and unchanging quote, flooding you with their detailed service history. You love customers who are open and thorough about their previous treatments, but flooding you with texts isn't the way to do it.

What can you do?

  • Thank the client for the contact attempt.
  • Give them a price range based on your menu, explaining it is indicative.
  • Invite them for a free consultation, during which you will be able to give the final quote.
  • Explain that in order to give the exact pricing, you need to see them in person - mention that you prioritise providing personalised services and only with a consultation are you able to assess the condition of their hair, brows, lashes or nails with full effectiveness.
  • Allow them to book online and provide easy access to your pricing menu - Booksy’s online booking system lets you describe each service properly this way preventing many customers from flooding you with messages.
  • Run detailed customer records - your existing clients will never feel the need to explain their service history anymore.

Sample message:

Hello Mary! Thank you for your message. The prices of our balayages range from £75 to £125, depending on hair length and thickness, as well as the overall scope of work. Additional costs, such as Olaplex, are not included in the range. To give you the exact quote, I invite you for a consultation to our salon. I want you to achieve the best effect possible and therefore would have to assess the condition of your hair first to discuss your goal in details. Best regards, Julie from My Hair Lady

Raging complaints and refund demands

Even the best of us snap from time to time. Mistakes happen and it’s important to take responsibility for treatments that went wrong (or ones that come out dramatically different than what we’ve promised). However, you have to set some rules. It’s best to include a service guarantee in your salon policies - thanks to this, you dictate the form of compensation and time frame in which it can be requested. You can read more about it in our article on salon policies. It's best to have a refund policy, informing clients that they have 24 hours to address their dissatisfaction with the treatment and ask for reimbursement. Clients can (and should!) reach out to you if they are not satisfied with the service and you should treat each of such cases seriously. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to follow your rules and be vigilant, as it happens that people fake their complaints to receive free treatments.

What can you do?

  • Thank the client for getting in touch with you and mention that you are brought down by the fact that they are not satisfied with the effect of the service.
  • Remind them of your service guarantee policy - preferably add a link to your policies posted on your social media fan page or website.
  • If the set time frame during which your clients may let you know they are not satisfied hasn’t passed yet, or has passed but the situation seems genuine and/or serious, invite them for a fix. Do not accept a refund demand until you see the client in person.
  • If it’s past the 24 hours time frame and it seems like the person is nitpicking and/or tries to extort a free service, let them know that it’s against your salon’s policy. Depending on the situation, you can provide them with a free voucher.
  • If a client informs you about a medical issue they experienced after the treatment, ask them to consult a doctor immediately - never recommend home remedies! It’s considered advising outside of your purview and can get you sued for professional negligence.

Sample messages:

Hello Charlie! Thank you for your message, I’m sorry to hear you are not fully satisfied with your new haircut. I will be happy to further examine the case and provide you with a free fix - will tomorrow at 4 p.m. do it for you? Remember to always inform us if you are not happy with the service as soon as possible - my service guarantee (that you can find here) ensures a free fix if you let us know during your treatment or within 24 hours after it has been performed. Best regards, Julie from My Hair Lady

Hello Ellen! Thank you for your message. I’m very sorry to hear you are not happy with the effects of your treatment. However, according to our salon policies (which you can find here) regarding service guarantee, a client has to inform us about their concerns during their treatment or within 24 hours after it has been performed in order to receive a free fix or a refund. Nevertheless, I will be happy to provide you with a free £25 voucher you will be able to use during your next treatment. Best regards, Julie from My Hair Lady

Formula or technique requests

This controversial topic mainly concerns hairdressers. Oftentimes, customers ask for the colour formula that has been used on their hair and most stylists find that question highly offensive. Firstly, because it implies that the client may want to get it done by themselves or another hairdresser, and secondly, because many stylists consider colour formulas their intellectual property. On the other hand - it’s a subject of discussion if a colour formula can be considered a piece of personal information on a client. If so, it falls under GDPR, which states that the customer has the right to access all information collected on them. Thus, you are legally obligated to give away the colour formula to your client if they ask for it. One can even argue that by paying for colour, the client also pays for its formula. As there is no clear answer so far, it’s best to treat the case with caution.

What can you do?

  • Educate the client by telling them that a colour formula alone is just one of the factors of creating a hair colour and does not ensure success in achieving similar, let alone identical, results. Explain that you create an individual mixture every time.
  • Mention that you don’t feel comfortable providing them with such information, as experimenting with professional products can have disastrous consequences and you won’t take responsibility for that.
  • If the client insists, provide them with very vague information.
  • Never provide clients with wrong formulas! It’s not only petty but can easily come back to bite you! information.

Sample message:

Hello Karen! Thank you for your message. We create every colour formula individually for each appointment and the final effect is a combination of numerous factors. As we use products that are meant for professional use only, I don’t feel comfortable providing you with the numbers, as I cannot take responsibility for possible attempts of achieving similar results at home. I hope you understand. Best regards, Julie from My Hair Lady

Remember that going back and forth with your clients on Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp isn’t the most convenient nor professional way to communicate with them. Using Booksy, you can stay in touch with your customers with features like message blasts, automated messages, advanced targeting and much more. Try it for yourself - grab your two-week free trial today!

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