Business Tips

What If I Could Tell You How to Turn Every Color Disaster into the Most Loyal Client You’ll Ever Have?

By Amanda Risser | 

Have I told you? I secretly LOVE a good color correction. You know why? I am confident in my communication skills.

Let me paint you a picture…

When my client called the salon and said “hi, I am having a bit of a hair crisis” I knew it was time to pump the breaks. This was clearly not going to be your basic full balayage.

Meeting her with grace, because everyone has had a bad hair experience at some point and doesn’t need more judgement, I started asking questions. Turns out, a previous salon had left her feeling incredibly unheard, and disappointed. So we set up an in-person consult.

Here’s the nitty gritty :

Natural level 2, black hair to her mid back. Previous dark color. Bringing with her a picture of pale platinum hair.

Now coming to me with incredibly spotty, calico kitty blotchy, orange + yellow like the sun itself inconsistently balayage’d locks. You guys the pics don’t even do it justice.

But before we jump on her for having unrealistic expectations – let’s be clear.  The cause of any unhappy client ALWAYS comes back to communication during the consultation. It is up to the stylist to educate. It is our responsibility to explain what is realistic, how long a certain look will take to achieve, and how much they will have to fork over to achieve these potentially drastic results.

I personally think we as stylists need to get comfortable asking even MORE QUESTIONS when it might seem like we’re not on the same page with our clients. Rather than “okay we can do that. I’ll go mix up” and panicking in the back room.

*and let me take a moment to say that I’m the last person to bash on another salon or stylist. I truly believe the stylist who saw her must have been overwhelmed and short on time. Most likely an all too common over promise / under deliver situation. Everyone starts somewhere and I swear every stylist has had a few “oh shit” moments – If not, they’re lying. BUT what I am trying to say is that it can be all too easy for stylist / salon to blame a client for having “unrealistic expectations” when it truly comes down to poor or rushed execution. 

Now that I’ve set the scene for you… My new client assured me first thing that she KNEW it was going to be a process getting to her platinum goal. She was willing to invest the time for multiple sessions, and understood that it would not be cheap. She was willing to go along with the necessary process and wanted to trust a stylist to guide her through it. In my opinion and experience, she was the ideal client for this scenario – kind, reasonable, and patient. Now she found herself very stressed out, ready to pay triple what she had originally intended, hoping that the spotty mess could be managed… So we made a plan together. It would take about 6 hours We would need to spot treat the balayage. Every single piece of her hair would need to be painted. She would need a trim to clean up fragile ends. She would need bond builders and treatments to maintain her hair’s integrity. She would need to be okay with a brunette shade – before we can even think about working her into a blonde. And there was the ever dreaded “there will be warmth” conversation.

Ultimately, we embarked on the first session of what will be many. I was able to achieve this beautiful light brunette shade and even out the canvas which is always the first step in any color correction I take on. And do you know how my client felt after the chaos of her correction? She was HAPPY to hang out with me allllll day as I painted her hair. She was happy to pay the big bucks for my time and expertise (even AFTER paying full price at another salon). She followed every piece of advice and treatment recommendation I gave her. I had successfully turned her terrible experience into an exciting and trusting client relationship. -By taking the time to communicate with her about her situation (and being non judgmental) you will able to calm clients and help them to feel comfortable in your space.  -By asking questions you are able to make a plan with her, and establish yourself as the expert she can trust. -By remaining calm and not allowing her stress bleed onto you, you can hold onto your creative plan and maintain a peaceful experience for both of you. And don’t we all want better days in the salon, happier clients, and an opportunity to make good money doing something we love?

Want more tips and talk about elevating your COMMUNICATION behind the chair? Follow me on instagram @amandarisserhair.

Amanda Risser