How To Set Boundaries With Clients
Advice On How To Set Boundaries With Clients
Clients, they mean well but just like an ex who refuses to move on, they struggle with boundaries. Does a text from a client while you’re on vacation make you want to throw your phone into the nearest body of water? What about the clients who reach out to make an appointment on a Sunday night at 8pm? Trust us, we get it. That’s why we reached out to the BTC Team to get their advice on how to set boundaries with clients. Keep reading to see what they had to say!
Set Ground Rules When Giving Your Number To Clients
She typically avoids giving her number to clients but when she does, Rachel Williams (@rachelwstylist) says she’ll explain when and when not to contact her. Because she works with her hands—making it difficult to answer every call, text and DM during the day—she tells them to call the salon to schedule an appointment. But if it’s an emergency, like they have the flu and need to cancel or they accidentally turned their hair green, Rachel tells them to contact her directly.
Respond During Business Hours Only
Almost every stylist is guilty of answering clients after hours, but learning to ignore your phone is crucial when establishing boundaries. A year after becoming a suite owner, Kristina Cheeseman (@kristinacheeseman) says she was feeling drained because she never had time away from work. Eventually, it all clicked: “If I worked in a salon, the salon isn’t open 24/7. Those calls would be answered during ‘business hours,’” she notes. “It took me awhile to realize that just because someone is calling or texting me at 7am or 10pm does not mean I need to respond and answer. It can wait until normal business hours—or they can book online.”
Or Better Yet, Leave It At The Salon Altogether
If you have a separate work phone, leave it at the salon during the week instead of bringing it home at night. That’s what Ashley Lewis (@the_blondologist) does! Just be sure to let clients know that it’ll probably take you a day or two to respond to them. “I find that they understand because I am being up front and honest with them about my schedule,” she shares. Here are a few other things Ashley does to preserve her boundaries:
- Turn the work phone off at the end of the workday Saturday and resist the urge to turn it on until you’re back in the salon.
- Have set time limits for viewing social media, including responding to DMs, engaging and posting.
- During office hours, make the most of your time by replying to texts, scheduling/rescheduling appointments and pre-planning Insta posts.
Setting Boundaries & Social Media
Social media brings a lot of good BUT it also makes it so much easier for clients to contact you at ungodly hours or inappropriate times (like when you’re on your first vacation in years!). So here are some general rules Farhana Premji (@xo.farhana.balayage) follows:
- Have an email address dedicated to all things hair. It’s super easy to set up AND it directs clients away from DMing and texting you.
- Don’t give your personal cell phone number out. If you accidentally give it to a client (we’ve all been there), don’t stress. If they start texting about appointments, simply ask them to email instead so you can keep everything organized.
- Set boundaries with kindness. If you’re asking a client to email you instead of text, maybe throw an emoji in so they know you’re not annoyed by them. “You can be professional without being rude,” says Farhana.
It’s OK To Be Selective About Sharing Formulas
Sharing formulas with clients is another type of boundary and some colorists are all for it while others are totally against it. For Sarayah Politi (@hairbysarayah), it depends. When a client recently asked for her root retouch formula because her daughter has a license, Sarayah gave it to her because, “In my opinion, she’s going to do it anyway so I might as well give it to her because it’s going to make my life easier,” she shares.
Sarayah will also give formulas to clients who are moving away BUT toners are the one thing she def won’t share because she’s against at-home toning sessions. So why is she OK sharing her formulas at all? “You have to be confident in yourself so that you are OK to give your secrets away,” she shares. “People can try to duplicate you but no one can replicate you. Your eyes and your hands are uniquely yours.”
Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Up
If you’re ever bothered by something a client is doing, know that you have every right to speak up. “Being honest with your clients is an essential thing to keep your salon and your staff happy,” says Evan Joseph (@evanjosephcurls). “No stylist should feel guilty for speaking up and standing up for themselves when appropriate.” Even though speaking up can be SCARY, it’s much healthier than letting these feelings build up.