February 05, 2016 4 min read

Many of us have had at least one horror-like experience when sitting in a spa or salon chair. It can take just one bad utterance to leave a bad impression in the clients mind, making it likely that they will not return.

Top offenders that should be left unsaid:

Badmouth the Competition

There is psychological scientific research behind this advice. It turns out, whenever you hear someone else speak ill (or nicely) about someone else, a person will automatically associate those words with the speaker not the subject. Example: Talking about how horrible your co-workers are will make it seem like you too are likely to be mean-spirited. Example 2: Talking about how great it was to see your friendly cousin will enforce feelings that you too are friendly. There is definitely something to be said for only speaking nice words and leaving negative ones unsaid.


On a similar note, don’t gossip with or in front of your clients. It’s a bad habit to nip in the butt in general. Focus your energy on positive, interesting topics instead.

Someone wise once said, “If they gossip to you, they’ll gossip about you.”

Overall, your client will leave with a bad feeling about the time they spent with you, so just don’t gossip in front of them. You don’t want your client to feel like once they walk out the door, they will be the topic of your next conversation.

“I feel like I’m coming down with something…”

This is definitely the last thing you want to hear when you’re allowing someone else to enter your person space to touch your face, your hair, and so forth. Keep any rhetoric regarding cough/sniffles/sickness to yourself, and hopefully the client does the same. Even better, keep hand sanitizer nearby, and make sure your area always looks pristine and germ-free.

Ramble On

Keep just enough conversation going to keep it light and friendly. Unless your client has known you for years and you’re basically extended family, monitor yourself and make sure you’re not giving your first-time clients your entire life story.

You don’t want ___, You should get ___.

Don’t refuse your clients what they want! It’s challenging enough getting clients in the door in the first place. Think of a time when someone tried to talk you out of something. Did they do it because it was in your best interest or because they were trying to sell you something else? If you’re simply looking out for their best interest, use the phrase, “Just to give you another option…” instead of flat-out rejection.

Be a “yes” person when you’re with clients.

“S*#t, my day has been terrible.”

Swearing is something that is fine with some people but makes other people cringe. Even if it is fine with the client, it’s safer and more professional to leave the swearing at home. Push thoughts of complaining out of your mind when you have a client in the chair. It is their time to relax and be pampered not listen to negative thoughts.

“Oh, My next appointment…”

Chances are the time the client has with you are precious to him or her. It is pure “me time” that they have chosen to spend with you so that they can relax, enjoy, and let somebody else take the reins for once. Allow them to get lost in that “me-time.”

Do not remind them of your busy schedule as they are trying to escape theirs.

Bare Minimum Conversation

        Don’t assume a client doesn’t want to chat, especially if they’re a first-time guest.  I know what you’re going to say. What if the client doesn’t want to talk at all? Great point. (It’s why some salon and spas have started offering “Quiet Chair” services in order to avoid awkward conversation all together!) Keep in mind, you should feel comfortable with a few “conversation-openers” with each client appointment , if the case is that your client does feels like chatting or venting. You can use, “How has your day/week be so far?” or even better- ask them something personal that you remember about them from the appointment beforehand.

Lending them a caring ear may be just what they need.


Ask for feedback; Make sure they are satisfied with their service.

If there is a way for them to do this anonymously, such as on a card at the front desk, do it this way in order to encourage an honest response. Include at the top, “If I could change anything about today’s service…” and at the bottom add, “Today, I just loved…” and they will most likely leave with a positive impression of their time with you.

Gently offer add-ons without being pushy.

Once a client is in the chair, and a service is readily accessible right then and there, it is hard to say no! The small add-ins may be just what they are looking for whether it’s a add-on scalp-massage, a blow out, or a hot neck wrap, a hot tea, a shoulder rub, or a tube of RapidLash® or RapidRenew™ that they can use themselves every day.

Try something like, “Just in case you need a little extra ‘you-time,’ we’re now offering an oil-infused scalp treatments for $__ . Would you like to relax for an extra 10 minutes today?”

Offer Your Direct Contact to Schedule Appointments

If possible, when you become comfortable with a returning client, make it super easy for them to get a hold of you. Offer them your e-mail, Facebook page, blog link, e-mail or even phone #, and let them know that they can reach out to you for any questions, advice, or to schedule their appointment. Feeling like they have a personal stylist/skin/beauty professional on speed dial will have clients trusting you and returning to your chair in no time.

Get “Better” Clients

The best way to ensure you get “good” clients is to make their service as comfortable as possible. And then guess what? They’ll have no problem referring you to their friends. Make it impossible for them to walk out unsatisfied by listening and offering them services that really speak to their individual needs that day. Sometimes, all it takes is a single phrase to leave that long-lasting, positive impression.

Catherine C., Lashing Out