Unfortunately, complaints happen. When you work in a customer facing role, it’s essential you’re prepared to handle an unhappy client. While handling a complaint can be an unpleasant experience, it’s important that it’s dealt with well to avoid any further upset. Thus, hopefully, your client will return a happy one.

Take Complaints Seriously

No business owner likes to receive negative feedback about their products and services. However, it is important that you put your personal feelings aside and deal with a complaint in a professional and compassionate manner.

When someone makes a complaint, they want to be acknowledged and for their issue to be addressed. Remember, this is their experience and one for which they have no doubt paid for. What they have to say is valid, so trying to argue that they are wrong is never going to end well.

Even if you don’t agree with what they say, you need to acknowledge their feedback and take their concerns on board.

Taking the Right Steps

First and foremost, you should be aware of the language you use in every interaction with clients. This is most important when handling a client complaint. Using positive and sincere language can turn a negative situation around and encourage your client that a resolution will be met.

Summarise what the client has said to you to show that you are listening and understand what the client has said to you. Take the time to provide a genuine apology that the service your client has received has fallen below the usual expectation. Offer a solution to the issue in a way that keeps the client happy without undermining yourself, your staff and their skills and make sure expectations are being managed appropriately or the outcomes of treatment to avoid any confusion here.

A Positive Attitude Breeds a Positive Outcome

Most clients who complain expect their feedback to be handled poorly. This is why you must enter into a conversation with an unhappy client with a positive and upbeat attitude and a resolution up your sleeve.

Face to face interaction is the most effective form of communication in most situations. So where possible, invite the client back to the salon to talk through their issue. This is especially important if the issue is with the treatment work carried out. Make sure your client gives you the opportunity to evaluate and put right any issue with your work in person. Pictures or messages by phone can be misinterpreted or even tampered with. Don’t offer refunds for this kind of complaint and insist the client returns to you first.


  • It’s advised that you avoid lengthily written communications. Try to speak to the client in person.
  • Try not to take constructive feedback or complaints personally. Most clients wouldn’t make a complaint if they were unhappy and just wouldn’t return. Look at it as an opportunity to improve your business and make important changes.
  • Keep language positive and clear. So avoid using jargon or hard to understand phrases.


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