5 Ways – How To Deal With Difficult Clients

How To Deal With Difficult Clients

Being in the nail industry means being in the frontline whether you’re a business owner, a nail tech and/or the manager. We all have to deal with clients and at some point, difficult ones. Yes, it can be frustrating at times that you either find yourself in a screaming fit with the client or walking away with the problem not solved. Either way, it does not do your business any good.

So, here’s 5 Ways On How To Deal With Difficult Clients


Take it with a grain of salt. Let’s try to calm down and think, perhaps the client had a previous bad experience elsewhere that may explain the bad behaviour displayed. For instance, a client takes the file from you and starts filing her nails (what more filing in the wrong way and ruining her nails); what would you do?

First things first, let’s battle with our emotional feelings. With a client having to do so doesn’t mean we are not good enough of a nail tech. It could simply be just a habit without knowing that it is rude to do so. Or, it may be the case that the client has been to several nail salons and not one person could file the nails in the exact shape that she wants resulting in the client taking matters in her own hands.

What you can do: If the client decides to file her own nails, advise her that her way of filing could result in damaging her nails in the long run. It’s better to let you take care of that and ask her how exactly does she want her nail shape. File one nail for her until she is happy with the shape and continue with the rest. Remember to educate your clients but not teach them on how to do so.


Let’s admit, it’s human nature to be defensive but let’s drop that shield down for a moment. Arguing with a client is not going to get you anywhere even if it is not your fault. Say, a client did a full set of extensions with you and came back 2 days later with a few extensions gone.

What you can do: Evaluate your work. Is the gel not cured properly or perhaps premature lifting?  Did you provide the proper care information during the service? Understand your client’s lifestyle. It could be the result of the missing extensions. Most of the time, clients are going to tell you they did nothing out of the ordinary. So, the best we can do is to blame ourselves, apologize and offer a solution.

One great solution is to offer a free fix but do inform the client that if this happens again (give a timeframe), there may be charges the next visit. If this client is constantly coming back for free fixes, then it is pretty obvious that something in the client’s daily routine is causing the extension to come off or it’s simply just the case of trying NOT to pay full price for your service. So, you have to be firm and not rude about your decision on how you’re going to tackle this client.

Nail Pals Free FB Group


There are also going to times that the client is a repeat offender. So, to be able to fully enjoy what we do and give the best of our ability; we have to let go of clients as such. Choose quality over quantity; customers whom are willing to pay for your services. Afterall, this is a skill that we’ve all invested both time and money. Be selective of clients who respect you and your business.

What you can do: Let the client know that you can’t make their experience 100% great and up to their expectations. Make sure that you do it in person or via phone. It’s more personal and effective. SMSes, Whatsapp, WeChat and emails aren’t going to make the cut. If the customer gets upset with your choice to do so, you might end up find that your message is being circulated on social media making you look bad instead of someone who was trying to remedy the situation. Anything in social media can always be distorted and hurt your business at the end of the day. Moving forward, offer a solution by referring the client to another nail tech or salon. By doing so, your client walks out of the door with no hard feelings or grudges against you and vice-versa!

Having to push away a client can be the hardest thing to do but just as long as you remain professional at all times; the situation will be easier to handle.

Real Life Example Of Clients You Might Want To Avoid:

  • Threatens you and your business
  • Choose to pay what your service is worth
  • IOUs
  • Repeat offenders; late comers and no-show
  • Serial complainers; complaints about every single thing under the moon
  • No respect for you and your business



Right from the very beginning, you must have policies and guidelines for clients to refer and adhere to. And yes, it can be hard to enforce them especially if it is a long-time client, family and friends. Your policies should be placed everywhere visible; in the salon, social media, your website and even informing your client by mouth during the course of the service. This is great especially for appointment scheduling and payments.

When it comes to appointments, not everyone is punctual. And because of that, it can result in an appointment disaster (or tragedy as I would call it). If one client turns up late, then mostly likely you will be servicing the rest of the clients later than their scheduled appointment. You will have understanding clients who are going to tell you it’s okay, they can wait. But, there’s always that one client who’s going to tap their feet and fingers, demanding that they be served on time.

What you can do: If its the first time it’s happening, nicely inform the late client that her service may have to shortened down which means you may have to do what you can with the time left. Alternatively, reschedule the appointment. You can also implement a “booking fee”; about $10-$20 whichever you feel is more acceptable. If there is a no-show or late to the appointment, this booking fee is non-refundable and forfeited. This is to ensure that your client will be more responsible towards the appointment because there is a consequence.

If you already have some appointments booked in a while ago, it will be a great point to remind the client 1 day before the appointment. This is to ensure you have done your best to remind the client of the appointment.

Some policies that you can consider:

  • No IOUs
  • Charge a booking fee
  • No children allowed
  • Pay prior to the service
  • Late appointments require re-scheduling
  • No show results in a forfeiture of the booking fee
  • 24 hours quality policy



Always let your clients know you want the best for them. Show your concern and let them feel that you care for their well-being especially their nails.

What you can do: Recommend products to combat any nail problems or disorder they have. Provide professional advice and tips on how to look after their nails. If you’re on social media and have a website, have a page dedicated to providing general information and tips; anything nail-related. A source that clients can refer to even when they don’t have an appointment with you and can’t get one.

Mostly importantly, we must provide top notch quality service to minimize the risk of having to deal with difficult customers. Aim to build a long-lasting and healthy relationship with your client. At the end of the day, your end goal is to be able to get revenue and profits to sustain and continue your passion.

How To Deal With Difficult Clients

Kelly T.
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.