How to Deal With Unhappy Salon Clients?

The first rule should be: don't react negatively.

It does not help to resolve the complaint.

Listen to the client and put yourself in the client's shoes. It will make solving the issue a lot easier.

Try and think about a complaint you might have made over a client / business issue in the past and how you reacted. How was the customer service in your complaint issue handled?

Always acknowledge the client's unhappiness honestly and make it clear that you will be working towards a clear and expedient solution during the complaint procedure.

What You Will Learn In This Article?

The article focuses on the ways to deal with unhappy clients in a salon and gives advice on how to effectively address them and improve their customer experience.

Table of Content

  1. How Do You Handle Unhappy Salon Clients Step By Step?
  2. What to Do When You Make a Mistake?
  3. Should There Be a Refund?
  4. Conclusion

How Do You Handle Unhappy Salon Clients Step By Step?


The first move when a client mishap happens is an apology.

Start off with: "I'm sorry for the inconvenience." and go from there. Do not grovel but respect the client's point of view.

Also, a manager or an owner of a salon and spa should always be involved in coming to a resolution over a client complaint.

The next step is attempting to find some middle ground. What is the middle ground? It is an area of compromise or possible agreement between two positions, each position having a separate point of view.

Do not act defensively over client complaints.

As a salon owner or service manager, you are naturally protective of your salon and your staff and it's easy to be defensive. Keep in mind, the client is an integral part of the business triangle; the salon, the staff, and the clientele.  

It can help being empathetic.

Empathy is oil on troubled waters. In doing so, don't be phony. Display a real concern over the client's complaint and assure the client your salon has a good reputation that is the result of resolving issues such as the one under discussion.

Every client deserves a full reply to a complaint.

Consider the client's point of view. They can view the problem better than you can.

A big step is letting the customer offer some ideas on how the complaint matter could be resolved.

Give the client your whole attention in the discussion.

Ask the receptionist to hold all calls.

Always keep in mind; an unhappy customer's complaint, if justifiable, can be a goldmine of information on how to improve your salon's relationship between clients and staff.

What to Do When You Make a Mistake?


When you have made a mistake, it’s natural to feel distressed and embarrassed.

It's important to shrug these feelings off as quickly as possible and come to terms with the fact a mistake has been made. 

It is important a salon owner recognizes complaints as being part of doing business.

No matter how thorough your training, mistakes with clients will happen; from an entry-level employee to an experienced stylist up to management. It's human nature.

Very simply, follow the advice in "How do you handle unhappy salon clients step by step?"  and after the issue has been concluded satisfactorily, a next day call to the client is great PR.

When an amicable resolution has been reached, ask the client if they can be used as a reference in return for a freebie of some kind, perhaps, a free haircut.

It’s also good PR.

A client who has had their issue resolved can be asked if you can expect to retain their business.  Most of the time, the answer will be in the affirmative. If negative, you have the right to ask why.

Your goal should be - improved customer relations.

After a resolution to a mistake is concluded to everyone's satisfaction, you will also feel a weight off your shoulders.

Should There Be a Refund?


Every business should have a refund policy. Salons are no exception.

Refund requests can be annoying but they do happen from time to time. When a client asks for a refund have some questions ready to ask.

A request for money back can be an opportunity to get client feedback about your business policies and, if the client's request for a refund is vague, you have the right to ask questions such as:

Common Related Questions?

  • Why did the salon not live up to the client's expectations?
  • Why does the client want a refund and not another service or product?
  • What expectations did the client expect from your salon staff?



You can possibly get a better understanding of the client's needs by asking those few questions. With the answers, you may be able to offer another solution other than a refund if you haven't done so already, this also applies to online complaints.

As a final word, a client request for a refund can spoil a good day - if you let it.

If you handle refund requests tactfully, the experience doesn’t have to be a totally negative one. 

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