What happened to my client? I thought things were going well? My loyal client wanted to try something new; I felt confident in the relationship. My client told me she loved it, but sometimes that doesn't mean they "loved" their new hairstyle. Hearing opinions from their friends and family about their new hairstyle or not having any compliments with the new look can be the biggest downfall to losing a client, and there is nothing I can do to fix it. Being in this position as a hairdresser is the worst, and losing a client, for this reason, is the hardest part of my job when you can not correct the problem. It is hard not to take it personally. You have "life happens," and then there are simple things like the inconvenience of your salon location, scheduling appointments, and finances that will make someone stop seeing you. Nothing about 2020 has been easy for anyone. Sometimes it is merely a fresh perspective.
I have a client/hairdresser story that I want to share. This story happened back when I first started building my clientele. I had a lady who would book a shampoo and blow-dry with me once a week, regularly for about six months. She was a middle-aged mom with three kids. As time went on, I would ask her if I could add a cut and color to her services. I knew she had a regular stylist for her cut and color because she told me when I met her, but I still wanted to "wow" her with my skills. The last time I asked her this question, she finally answered me and said, I am not leaving my hairdresser. Do you want to know why? I answered yes, and she said because she is a single mom, a salon owner opening up a new salon, she knows my hair, and if I stop seeing her, that will affect her income. This lady was only booking for a shampoo and blow-dry, so I admittedly felt embarrassed, and I hope I didn't come off unprofessionally and lose her only service. After hearing this from her, I also felt jealous, but I respected her answer and hoped that I would have that kind of client relationship. She had the money to visit any salon and stylist she wanted. She even had her hair blown dry in California and asked me if I knew how to highlight hair with cotton? Back in 2005, that was a big deal, lol. Yet, she stayed loyal to her hairdresser for life reasons.
Everyone is an entrepreneur in the working world today. If your company is not laying you off, it is a customer who decides to move on. It does not take much these days to make somebody unhappy and receive a bad review. Lousy customer service stems from the lack of time we have in our days, which doesn't allow us to build relationships. Too many choices for the consumer or too much work available, and you try to manage too much.
When is it time for a new hairdresser, and how do I break up with my hairdresser? The questions to ask yourself first; are you not happy with your hairstyle, hair stylist, or both. From my experience, three times will tell a new client if this is a fit or not unless the first appointment was terrible. This system works both ways, of course. A hairdresser will also know if they can maintain and accomplish the needs of the client. Learning how to deal with the business relationship part is the foundation to building your confidence as a hairdresser, not just your skills. You can not keep them all, and all clients will not be for you. I started to tell myself that everyone needs a hairdresser, which helped me separate my emotions when losing clients.
I end with this; we are all in the same boat when helping or hurting someone's career. Ask yourself this as a client; does your decision result from a self struggle because you find too many times that no one can accomplish your finished result? Is it you, or is it me? As I age with the humbleness of life, I find better ways to help my client express the main points that I can control. You spend a lot of time with clients as they do with us as well. Having a regular hair schedule will give you a personal relationship. There is a line you cross, and as a good listener, you need to pick up on this before you cross the line. At the same time, you have to give something personal about yourself because your client will provide you with their private life. New clients can be the most challenging because there is not enough history to tell if what you feel from them is real. Losing your regular schedule clients will surprise and sting you. I have to keep my deep thinking from taking over because it does matter how you feel when you leave my chair, regardless of how many times you sit in my chair. Both sides of the chair will have a different struggle. I sometimes wonder if my client and I were just friends, could the relationship be more comfortable to fix? If so, why can't I fix the business-side of this relationship and keep the friendship? I can only hope for the best outcome, and that would be with open-mindedness and integrity on both sides of a personal decision. Sounds easy, but I think this scenario is a lifelong lesson. All I have sometimes are stories, take what applies, and the rest tuck in your pocket because life will bring you a situation that will put you in the other eye view.