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Posted By:JLawHair on: 3/10/2007 9:20:11 PM

Author: Thread: *How would you handle this?*
Posts: 16

*How would you handle this?*
Posted: Saturday, March 10, 2007 9:20:11 PM

I have recently left the salon I was at for 2 years and began booth renting. The salon I left was not very happy to hear I was leaving and gave me some grief about it. ( good way to make me stay, huh?)

Anyway, I went in to get my last paycheck and the owner pulled me aside. She said that she had to take some money out of my paycheck ( it was a commission-based salon) because on of my regular clients wrote her a long e-mail. In it she said that I had done her hair ( I did an all over color on regrowth only) and she was very happy with the way it looked. When she left the salon, she went shopping, and after about an hour or so, her head started to itch. She said when she reached back, that there was still color on the nape of her neck. ( AS a side note, I did not style her hair, per the clients request that day, so she left with it slightly damp.) She went home and rinsed out her hair, and she had developed a rash that was red and very itchy where the color had been.

The owner also said that in the e-mail she said she would never be coming back to the salon and she was just very nasty. I was very surprised to hear this. This client was a pretty good client of mine, very sweet, and I really enjoyed doing her hair. I just have a hard time imagining her being nasty. But I am sure that if someone left color in my hair and I got a rash from it, I would be unhappy too.

Well, when I switched to my new salon, I sent out postcards to all of my clients informing them of my move, including this client. I also wrote a little note on hers because I knew she already had appts. booked at my old salon and it just said that I would be happy to switch her appts over to the new place. This was before I knew of the e-mail.

Now I am unsure of what to do. I would of course like to keep this client. Like I said, I really did enjoy her company, and she was a very regular client. ( cut, color, and every other time highlights every 5 weeks.) I am not sure if I should try to contact her to apologize for the mistake ( if this really happened I feel horrible about it!) or if I should wait to see if she contacts me. My other worry is, my former boss was a little malicious. I would not be surprised if she told me this just to kind of "get to me" one last time. That is another reason I want to call, I want to know if this really happened. The last thing that my former boss said to me before I left that day was " I hope she doesn't sue us." Which makes me a little suspicious. I also thought about instead of calling, just writing a little note of apology and offering a discounted service as compensation for the mistake, and hope that she can understand that it was just a slight mistake, and it happens.

I do fear making a phone call because it would be so uncomfortable , but I also know this is something that as professionals in the service industry, we have to deal with sometimes.

What would you do? Should I just suck it up and take the loss of this client? Or should I make the call?

Thanks for any advice you have!

Posts: 1174
Platinum Member

Don't call.
Posted: Sunday, March 11, 2007 2:39:45 AM
No matter what, don't call. You need to leave it
to the client to decide whether or not to come back to you. The postcard offering the discount was MORE THAN ENOUGH.Don't send ANYTHING ELSE (I will explain*)

Stop focusing on the loss and start being positive and learn to let go. I have had some very bizarre experiences like this, thankfully not often!

Ethically, you need to respect your old boss because you do not know EVERYTHING that she said or what she offered to the client, and half of the relationship she had belongs to your old salon. This will weigh in her decision to follow you or not.

Because you are no longer working for the old salon, you aren't in ANY place to try to negotiate anything- If the client is furious, it could actually be the fuse that makes her do something and continues the negativity. This will be bad because your old boss may try to blame you or pull you into the situation again.

The only energy your old boss holds over you is your own feelings. Don't bad mouth her, put all the bad feelings down, and learn to let go and forgive her of everything she did to you before the bitterness seeps into your new place... (i.e, If anything doesn't go the way you want, you will try to blame it on "something your old boss did to you" rather than really trying to solve the problem).

Sometimes when we focus so hard on losing a client we're not focused on all the positive things that will attract new clients in our chair.

We also become so focused only on the three top spending clients we forget all about everyone else. Move on and move up, and spread the love around!

* Several years ago, I got a terrible stye infection on my eyelid. I had it for over a month before going to the doctor because it would swell, then go away, and come right back. It was very, VERY frustrating. (Have you ever noticed how people are quick to point out your stye and say how horrible it looks?)

I didn't have health insurance at the time, so I got a referral from my eyeglass shop for a specialist. I really expected to walk out with it healed, or at least some sort of medication to make it go away.

That visit cost me HUNDREDS of dollars, and the doctor said, "Oh, it's harmless, come back in a couple of weeks if it doesn't go away". I didn't get ANY TREATMENT. I also couldn't afford another visit!

I had that stye for another 3 MONTHS before it finally cleared up on it's own, and cursed that doctor EVERY MORNING I looked in the mirror until it did.

To this day, I still get handwritten, expensive looking BIRTHDAY, CHRISTMAS AND CHECKUP CARDS from that doctor, and everytime I see them in the mail I get FURIOUS all over again.

And THAT is why you should not do anything else.

Posts: 16

Thank you so much for your advice Russnyc.
Posted: Sunday, March 11, 2007 7:26:38 AM

I definitely needed advice from someone who has been in the business longer than I have and have experienced situations similar like this before. I am still learning to try to not take things so personally when it comes to clients.

I am so excited about the new salon and have already made a very conscious decision not to bad-mouth my old salon. Although I do have some bitter feelings, that are being replaced everyday when I enter my new salon with feelings of excitement and joy for my job again.

I guess I will have to bite the bullet and lose the client. I guess I was having a hard time because as a new booth renter, I am much more aware of every client I have and one loss, is money loss to me. But I am working hard to gain new clients, so although I am sad to see her, I know she will soon be replaced.

Russnyc, I always look forward to reading your replies. I feel like you are always very insightful and honest without being rude or too harsh.

Posts: 1174
Platinum Member

No, thank you...
Posted: Sunday, March 11, 2007 11:05:44 AM
The best thing you can do is answer questions from newbies that can give them confidence. Good luck on your new job!

Once more, be positive! You haven't lost her yet. If you are booth renting, now is the time to make decisions about your clientele, and how you handle things like this in the future- the new salon owner won't do this for you now. Don't be so quick to offer discounts, keep your prices in line with the workers around you, and stop beginning sentences with "I guess".

Make the decision in your mind and stick with it.

Posts: 31

Posted: Sunday, March 11, 2007 9:14:14 PM
great advice I agree totally..focus on the future at your new place and let go of the old!

Posts: 2

Posted: Saturday, July 03, 2010 1:40:54 PM
I read all that was posted. I didnt see any place that you had seen this email your old boss had gotten from this lady. I'm an analyzer by nature. I have to say that I think your old boss was so upset about you leaving and taking all your clients with you, (money loss for her/him) that this was their way of lashing out one last time. Basically, you hurt me im going to hurt you one way or another. I do agree with the rest that this is only one client that you may or may not have lost, but it is also word of mouth that gets around faster than a wild fire. Keep your chin up and focus on the ones that do follow you. We are in the business to please everyone we come in contact with and when we find out we didnt do that then yes we do worry about it. Its our nature to be helpful, pleasing and to basically kiss their ass from the moment they sit in our chairs. After all they are our paycheck, without them we have nothing. I jumped from one thing to another in this post, i know, but i had many thoughts in my head to convey to you. good luck in the future and just do the best you can. Thats all we can do.

Lori's Hair Co
Posts: 6

Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 8:34:40 PM
Which is EXACTLY why I work alone...