How To Fire A Client

August 19, 2020 Hollie Power
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Are you a salon owner that’s got a really difficult client, and you don’t know how to fire them?

Quite possibly most salon owners have that one client that they no longer want coming into their business – and I know myself because I owned a very large day spa for more than ten years prior to becoming a salon coach.

So I see my fair share of our clients who are struggling with that one or two difficult clients and they’re not quite sure how to deal with them.

So I thought I’d talk about it today because we’ve kind of grown up in this mentality that the customer is always right.

And we should absolutely bend over backwards to make sure that our clients are happy, and it’s our job to do everything that they want – and if we don’t do what they want then we will end up getting bad reviews and we’ll end up getting told off and we’ll lose all of our clients and our business will fall apart.

And this is the message that has been fed to us over and over and over again.

And then you’ve got various sort of gurus and influencers who say, you know, push back from the business, push back to get your money back if you’re not happy, and all this kind of stuff.

And we find that as salon owners, we tend to do whatever our clients want, in order to make them happy, which is deemed, in a way, as wonderful customer service.

But sometimes this goes too far.

And sometimes we get that one client who is very difficult, and this client will have a negative impact on your business because maybe they don’t turn up on time for their appointments, or they’re always moving their appointments last minute and canceling and changing what they want.

Maybe they just don’t turn up sometimes.

Maybe when they turn up they’re rude and they’re negative towards you, maybe they’re never happy.

We’ve all got that one person, right?

And I had it in my business, I must have looked after hundreds of thousands of clients over the years, we had a very, very large spa, with many clients that came through over the time that we owned it.

And of course, we had the occasional client that was very, very difficult.

And it’s hard to get into the headspace, that it’s absolutely okay to fire a client, because we all fear they’re going to tell all their friends and all their friends are gonna think we’re awful.

But the truth is firing a client can have a massive, positive impact on your business.



Because if this is somebody that’s worrying you, that’s stressing you out, that’s causing you problems, that maybe is losing you money, because they’re not turning up and they’re refusing to pay a deposit or cancellation fee, that’s going to have a negative impact on the bottom line of your business, but also how you think and feel about that client as well.

And it’s funny how our brain kind of pigeonholes people.

So if you’ve got one particular lady who’s this sort of age group and she’s very difficult all the time and she does this for a job, you’re going to find you’re going to start looking at anybody else like her in the same way, thinking she’s going to be one of them.

She’s going to be one of these difficult clients, we don’t want these difficult clients.

So it’s really important to feel comfortable in firing somebody if they’re not acting like a good client.

Because quite simply, if you weren’t acting like a good therapist or stylist or technician to them, they’d quite quickly fire you and go and find somebody else to fill your space.

So if you have somebody that’s been particularly difficult and you want to stop them coming to your business and I see this with people all the time and they say, how on earth do you fire a client?

And they’re imagining picking up the phone and saying, “you’re fired”, Alan Sugar style.

It doesn’t need to be like that.

You don’t need to yell at them, you don’t need to be nasty to them.

And in fact, a very, very simple trick that you can use where you flip it back to them.

So if a client is coming to you, they’ve caused you a problem, or they’ve come in and they’ve been negative, or something else has happened and you think enough, is enough.

All you need to say to them is;

“I really fear we’re unable to meet your needs any longer.  We’ve tried to look after you the best that we possibly can.  But based on your feedback, or based on the experiences that we’ve had with you, we just feel that we’re not the right salon and there would be another location, another salon out there, that would be so much better to look after you because ultimately you’re the client, and we want you to be happy, and we just are unable to make you happy. So please, we’d encourage you to find an alternative salon because we’re unable to offer any services for you any longer.”

It’s super simple.

It’s to the point.

It’s said in a kind way, and it works every single time.

Every time I’ve told somebody to try this, they’ve said, “okay“, and it’s worked and that client is gone.

Or, “I’m so, so, so, so sorry. I’ll never mess you around again“.

You can make a choice where you want to go from there.

Or they said, “Yes, I think I will find another salon” and they no longer have a problem.

I hope that’s helped. If this has resonated with you, let me know.


Hollie xx




Photo by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash