Handling Difficult Clients: 3 Golden Rules

Handling Difficult Clients: 3 Golden Rules

Have you ever had a client that left you completely emotionally drained, with a bitter taste in your mouth for the rest of the day? You are not the only one.

It happened to all of us at some point in our careers. There is only one difference: how you handle difficult client situations and what it takes not to take them personally.

In the services industry, you are dealing with people, and because you are working with people, there will always be conflict.

Sometimes it is the client’s attitude, clients constantly coming in late, or over-demanding clients. But the truth is – you can’t avoid difficult situations, you can only learn how to manage them in your favor, and learn how not to let them affect your self-confidence.

Rule no. 1: Believe in yourself

Conflict doesn’t necessarily say anything about you, your skills and expertise, or your customer service.

The easiest thing to do when we face a conflict is to feel personally attacked and turn on either defense or self-pity mode.

But, 9 out of 10 times, your clients are frustrated with something else, or feeling deeply insecure and anxious. So whenever a client is mistreating you, and you know you’ve done nothing wrong – it’s not you, it’s them.

We know, this is easier said than done, but let’s take our artist Angela’s story as an example.

She’s been in the microblading business for 3 years already, and one day she just finished a microblading session with her new client.

Her client sits up to examine her freshly microbladed eyebrows with a handheld mirror.

“What have you done? This looks nothing like what I asked for!”

You’ll agree, hearing something like this is every artist’s worst nightmare. But it shouldn’t be.

Instead of turning on the defense mode, Angela politely said:

“I apologize if it isn’t to your expectation. Can you please specify what you’re not happy with?”

The client (raising her voice): “Everything! The shape, the color… I look ridiculous. I can’t believe I trusted you.”

Angela: “I’m truly sorry you feel that way. Let’s discuss each concern. The color may appear darker now due to the fresh pigment, but it’ll lighten in a week or so.”

The client (sarcastically): “Oh, so I just have to walk around looking like a clown for a week? Why didn’t you tell me that earlier? I’m attending an event tomorrow!”

Angela: “I did mention during our consultation that the color tends to darken initially before settling into the desired shade. I also advised avoiding major events for a few days post-procedure. I’m here to help. We can discuss potential solutions.”

The Client (snidely): “You artists think you can do whatever you want and get away with it. I should’ve gone to a more experienced professional.”

Angela: “I apologize for any miscommunication or misunderstanding. I’ve done my best to provide the outcome we discussed. If you have further concerns after the healing process, we offer one touch-up session to make adjustments. It’s essential to communicate and work together to achieve the desired look.”

The Client: “I just can’t believe I wasted my money here.”

Angela: “I genuinely want you to be satisfied with the results. Please follow the aftercare instructions and let’s schedule a follow-up in a couple of weeks. I’m committed to ensuring you’re pleased with the outcome.”

As you can see, Angela tried to stay calm and professional and had trust in her expertise. She knew that they agreed upon everything during the pre-procedure consultation, so instead of turning a day into a drama scene, she decided to believe in herself and knew that sometimes it’s not her, it’s them.

We have shared an article about building trust with microblading clients, so feel free to check it out:

Rule no. 2: Drama doesn’t solve problems, but focusing on the solution does

As we previously said, sometimes is not you, it’s them. But in the same way – you can make a mistake too. We are all human, we can’t be flawless.

Maybe something is going on in your life right now, you weren’t focused during the procedure, you’ve made a mistake, and now you ended up with a frustrated client. What should you do?

Whatever the situation or the conflict is – drama is never the answer, but if you focus on the solution, things will instantly get better.

In situations like this, you may feel the surge to blame it on someone else (worst case – the client), but avoid that at any cost.

No matter whose fault it is, or what happened, ask yourself:

What is the main problem here?

What can I do to make it better for myself and the client?

Once you are solution-oriented, and the client sees that you are acknowledging the problem and looking for a solution, drama leaves the chat, and the client is on your side again.

Rule no. 3: Set your boundaries. Immediately!

Do you know what happens to microblading artists that don’t have boundaries in place?

Their clients are constantly coming late for treatments, rescheduling appointments because they feel more like “Netflix and chill”, or they are bringing their fur friends and their children, leaving you and your colleagues to sit them.
In other situations, they are bargaining and lowering the artist’s prices and telling them what to do during the procedure.

In other words, not having boundaries 100% leads to chaos and an unhappy career, and unhappy life.

Having boundaries means communicating openly what’s allowed and what’s not. Not allowing people to treat you and your business in a harmful way.

And having boundaries doesn’t mean that you are arrogant. You can say no, and still be professional and nice.

Here are some boundary-setting sentences that you can use when handling difficult situations:

Late clients:

“To ensure the best results and respect for other clients’ appointments, it’s essential to arrive on time. If you’re frequently late, we may need to charge you in advance.”

Price negotiation:

“Our prices reflect the quality of work, expertise, and materials used. We believe in providing value for your investment.”

“I understand budget concerns, but our prices are set to ensure the highest quality service and results.”

Chatting on the phone:

“For the best precision and to avoid any potential mishaps, it’s best if you could refrain from phone conversations during the procedure.”

Changing mind on shape/color:

“To achieve the best results, it’s crucial to finalize your preferences before we begin. Let’s discuss this in detail to ensure we’re aligned.”

Not following aftercare:

“Aftercare is critical for the longevity and appearance of your microbladed brows. Adhering to the guidelines will ensure you’re satisfied with the results.”

Questioning your expertise:

“I’ve undergone extensive training and have years of experience in microblading. I assure you that my recommendations are in your best interest.”

Excessive nitpicking:

“I value your feedback and aim to provide an outcome you’ll love. However, it’s important to remember that some tweaks and adjustments are best made during the touch-up session after healing.”

Unrealistic expectations:

“While I strive to meet your vision, it’s essential to set realistic expectations based on your brow’s natural shape and structure.”

Disruptive behavior:

“For the comfort of all clients and to maintain a professional environment, I kindly ask that we keep our interactions respectful and cooperative.”

We have previously shared an article about the effective communication in the microblading world, so make sure you check it out:

To conclude…

You can’t run away from conflict or difficult situations, but following these 3 rules will ensure that you keep the same energy and focus even with the toughest clients.

Let us know if you’ve recently had any difficult situations during a microblading procedure.