When Should You Block A Client? Read This!
Blocking Clients: When It’s Necessary & How To Have That Difficult Conversation
When is it time to let a client go? Short answer: If the client’s business isn’t worth the negative experience of having them in your chair anymore, it may be time to say goodbye. From constant no-shows to more extreme situations like toxic or inappropriate behavior, we’re here to help you navigate the difficult process of “blocking” a client.
We reached out to the BTC community to find out reasons why stylists have decided to block clients, and different communication strategies for navigating that final, last-straw conversation below.
Disclaimer: The responses featured in this article were sent in by stylists to BTC’s private Instagram messages, and will be kept anonymous for privacy reasons involving sensitive topics.
11 Reasons Why Stylists Block Clients
Typically, by this point in the stylist-client relationship, the stylist has made every effort to make the client happy and they may no longer be a good fit. Or, in some more extreme situations, the client crossed a boundary that calls for immediate blocking. Here are some reasons when it might be time to fire a client.
- “Cancel clients” and no-shows
- Not respecting a stylist’s time, for example: Always late or rushes the stylist through the service.
- Guests who are never happy with their results
- Tries to negotiate prices
- Bossy/controlling clients, for example: Client passive aggressively holds up sections and tells stylist to, “Cut here, cut there.”
- Client threatens to give negative reviews online
- Disrespecting the stylist, other clients or co-workers
- Client repeatedly oversteps boundaries: Calls and texts demanding a response (even when the stylist has a day off.)
- Always trying to get discounts, free product or services
- Mentally- or emotionally-draining clients
- Inappropriate or abusive behavior: Some stylists reported stories of clients stealing personal items, showing them inappropriate photos, threatening their stylist, verbally abusing them and even cases of assault.
How To Block A Client: Read This Helpful Advice From The BTC Community
Here are some different communication strategies for “blocking” a client, sent in by fellow stylists—from navigating difficult conversations to taking more extreme measures in uncomfortable situations.
- Refer the client to another stylist. Try this: “I think you would be better served by another stylist who’s a better fit and can meet your needs. I wish you all the best.”
Pro Tip: Before you pass along a client, take into consideration WHY they were not a good fit with you. Have that conversation with the next stylist to avoid another negative situation.
- Be straightforward. Try this: “Unfortunately, this will be our last appointment and you will not be able to book with me moving forward.”
- Explain that there’s a lack of connection that could be causing the client to continuously be unhappy with their results. For example: “I don’t believe we’re on the same page, so I cannot give you what you want.”
- Some stylists use scheduling conflicts as a less confrontational approach to firing a client. For example: Let them know you’re downsizing clientele or have a lack of availability in the near future.
- Put their happiness at the forefront. “I want you to have the best results and experience as possible. I think you would be happier in someone else’s chair.”
- Other stylists send a text or email to “block” a client. If the situation turns hostile with extremely difficult clients or harassment, some stylists have even gone as far as actually blocking the client’s number.
Remember this: You KNOW when it’s time to let a client go. Trust yourself and remember, you’re going to get through this! Don’t be afraid to ask your salon owner for help or advice. It’s your career, and your safety and comfortability is a priority.