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How to Deal With a Client Who Tries to Get Freebies All the Time

How to deal with a client who asks for freebies all the time

You know that one client? The one that always tries to get free services from you? Here are a few tips on how to deal with those hellish clients who never seem quite satisfied.

One Time or Every Time?

Is this a one time thing or an all the time thing? Determining if you and your client miscommunicated on color or cut just this once, or if  they are a repeat offender is the first step. Always offer to remedy the situation if possible. This includes toning down a bright blonde or bringing up a cut. However, if this client is someone who always wants more for less after a hair appointment you'll have to address the situation.

Be Confident

You're the professional, not them. I once knew of a client who always got highlights, and every time she called a day later asking for more in the same exact spot. Every time. Her stylist always appeased her, but was frustrated. In this situation you need to be clear that this seems to happen often, and maybe the two of you need to figure out a better way to communicate. Recommend that they bring in a photo of what they want, and ask them what they mean by layers/warm/ash/etc. It's often the case that people have different ideas of what the terms mean.

Set a Time Frame

Make a policy that the client must call and come in within a week or week-and-a-half of the original service. Once it hits two weeks or more it's already past the acceptable time frame, and the client really is just trying to get a free service.

Go Back to the Beginning

Start with a clean slate. If your client asks for the same thing every time, but is unhappy ever time, it's best to start fresh. Go into the appointment as if they are a new client. This means an in-depth consultation and forgetting what you've done on them before. You could even call in another stylist to get another opinion. This might give you a fresh perspective, and will give your client even more confidence in you.

State the Facts

Be upfront with your client. If this is a repetitive occurrence with them, bring it up professionally. Tell them that you feel like you're not sure that you understand exactly what they want, and that you want them to get what they want. That said, you won't be able to give more free services because of budget/time constraints/salon orders. Whatever the reason, the client needs to understand that it's cutting into your resources.

Cutting them off completely is the last, and  most drastic, step. But time is money when it comes to this business. When once a month color services, turn to twice a month because of a "free" fix, you've got a problem. You're next question then will be, is it time to break up?

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