A beauty pro deals with a difficult client and diffuses a situation.

 How to Deal with Difficult Clients

 A Cosmetologist's Conflict Guidelines 

The beauty pro world is a rewarding one–there’s virtually no ceiling to your potential, it’s a fun gig, and you get to express yourself creatively while running a successful business.

Seems like the best job out there, right? Totally.

But here’s the thing–just because this gig is amazing doesn’t mean there aren’t negative aspects to it. One of those aspects? Because you’re working with people, you’re going to deal with conflict.

Yep, we said it–conflict. The word that no one wants to hear. Part of that primary conflict is likely going to be dealing with difficult customers.

The most comforting thing about this harsh reality? Conflict is going to happen no matter what–and in most cases, conflict doesn’t necessarily say anything about you, your skills, or your customer service. Conflict just happens­­–and thankfully, there are plenty of things you can learn from it.

But before you can learn from conflict, you need to learn about how to deal with conflict–and that’s precisely what this blog is intended to help you do.

How to Deal with Difficult Clients in the Cosmetology World

We’re not saying you can win with every single difficult client out there–but that doesn’t mean you can’t work on your conflict management skills along the way.

The best advice we’ve got for dealing with difficult clients?

Remember that no matter how talented, conscientious, or skilled you are, conflict is going to happen–instead of fearing it, embrace it and learn what you can from it.

Listen, Listen, Listen

Some of the biggest customer service issues can arise when the service provider (that’s you, beauty pro) refuses to listen and acknowledge a problem a client is having.

Yes, sometimes a client is just going to be difficult and complain no matter what you do–but sometimes, clients are going to have real problems that you need to solve. You can’t figure out the difference until you focus on listening to them and acknowledging them.

Empathy Goes a Long Way

By this, we don’t mean fake sympathy–we mean trying to empathize and really relate to their problem. When you do this, you’re putting yourself in the client’s shoes, and that’s a gesture they’ll appreciate.

Think of a time you had an issue with a service provider­–did you feel heard? Empathizing with a client can ensure that they feel listened to and acknowledged, and that’s often the quickest way to resolve any problem.

Don’t Take it Personally (It Most Likely Isn’t Personal)

This is a super important piece of the solving the problem puzzle. One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a beauty pro dealing with conflict is to take that conflict personally.

Most likely, there’s nothing personal about it.

Remember, a client with a problem isn’t there to attack you on a personal level–a complaint or conflict, at its core, isn’t necessarily a personal attack on your character, your business, or the way you run your shop.

If you avoid taking things personally, you’ll avoid emotion clouding your judgment–and that’s an important part of resolving customer-related issues.

Calm & Collected is the Best Approach

Like we just mentioned, try to keep your emotions cool, calm, and collected. Dealing with conflict can sometimes make emotions run hot–and that’s understandable.

But as a business owner and beauty pro, it’s up to you to handle customer service with a collected approach. Keeping calm while talking to customers, acknowledging issues, and resolving issues is a big part of keeping conflict to a minimum.  

Stand Your Ground When Necessary

Spoiler alert–that whole “the customer is always right” adage is not necessarily true. Should you treat your customers with respect?

Of course. Should you listen to their problems and acknowledge the issues they’re dealing with? 

Absolutely. Should you roll over and let them push you around when they’re in the wrong? Not a chance.

Being a business owner isn’t all roses and rainbows­­­­–and it’s not your job to make sure that that happens at any cost. Sometimes, a customer is going to be in the wrong, and you’re going to need to stand your ground. So do that. Remember, your customers matter, but so do you, and so do your employees. Stand up for yourself, your employees, and your shop when necessary.

Acknowledge the Problem but Focus on the Solution

You need to make sure you’re acknowledging and recognizing a conflict, but try your best not to spend so much time focusing on the conflict–direct your attention to the solution.

Obviously, don’t just breeze over the complaint your customers are bringing to the table (that would go against our earlier advice). But try your best to hear them out, acknowledge the problem, and then quickly shift focus to a solution that works.

At the end of the day, conflict is going to happen. But instead of fearing it, focus on how you can embrace it and mitigate it. Do you have some go-to moves for resolving conflict and dealing with unhappy clients? If so, drop them below–we know the beauty pro community is always ready for helpful advice along these lines.

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