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Creative ways to satisfy an unhappy client

Posted on 17th April 2013 by Madeline Maguire

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Nobody likes hearing bad feedback – but whether you are receiving it in person or via a Spotlight review, you should consider yourself lucky.

Why, you ask? Because instead of going and writing a scathing review on their social media pages or Yelp, this client has given you the golden chance of being able to change their mind.

One of the common questions we hear from salon owners on this topic is about how they should act on negative feedback, and specifically: “On top of fixing the service, do I have to discount or waive the charge for every unhappy customer?”

And the answer is, of course you don’t! In some instances, such as a serious error by your team, this will be the right thing to do. But its important to know this isn’t the only way to satisfy an unhappy customer. In fact, with a little creativity, other less-costly methods can be just as, if not more, effective.

Here are a few other ideas:

  • Offer your clients a pre-loaded gift card with $50-$100. Not only will this hopefully cheer them up, but it is also a gift that is going to bring them back into your salon and boost client loyalty.
  • Prepare for these situations by going out and investing in small ‘goodwill’ gifts such as movie tickets. After you have fixed the service, providing this added (inexpensive) offer with a heartfelt apology and ‘thanks for your patience’ can be incredibly powerful.
  • Throw in a free new retail product suited to their skin/hair type or alternatively the chance to experience an exciting new service.

The key to any of these is to make the gesture as personal as possible. Of course, we assume that any issues with the actual service should always be rectified so your clients are looking as fabulous as they should; these are additional goodwill gestures that will bring them back without refunding the original service. As well as saving that individual client, preventing a bad review being published about you online can save your business a great deal of pain in the long-run.

Blog Author Madeline

about the author

Madeline is a seasoned marketing specialist, having worked with a wide range of consumer and trade brands throughout Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Working in a global role at Shortcuts, Madeline executes marketing strategies throughout the USA and Australian markets.

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