Common client challenges to handle head on


No two clients are ever the same. Still, among clients, several challenges occur frequently enough that you want to be aware of them if you aren’t already and have a strategy for handling them.  Among the common challenges are:


Fail to convey expectations

How often do you find that clients never get to the heart of the issues that drove them through your door in the first place? Or even if you get agreement on what the problem is, clients fail to let you know: what their preferences are when it comes to products you use, expectations about results both immediate and long term, and what type of interaction they want with you or your team members during the session.

To avoid any misunderstanding, you need to dig as deeply as possible during your intake session and ask for feedback at the end of the session, especially with new clients. You’ll also want to make it clear from the start that some treatments will require several additional sessions or at-home care to ensure lasting results. Never take anything for granted and never assume since the client didn’t raise an issue that they don’t have questions that need to be identified and addressed early on.


Argumentative or chronically dissatisfied

Who hasn’t had an argumentative client? They may argue about the service or pricing or even the way you are providing the massage or skincare treatment in general. It goes without saying that some people are just never satisfied. However, in some cases, an argumentative disposition may be a sign of something else that is troubling a client. That’s why when confronted with an argumentative or difficult client, the first thing to do is remain calm and use your best listening skills to allow the other person to speak their piece. Try to sympathize and convey your understanding of the situation. Also, avoid assigning blame to anyone. Instead, focus on providing a solution, so the situation doesn’t happen again. In fact, some client complaints may prove to be constructive and result in needed changes at your spa or massage practice.


Always late

Some clients show up late; others at least call in advance to say they are running late. In either case, late clients throw off your schedule. If clients are always late, and no matter how much you bring up the issue, they never change; you’ll need to decide if you can afford to continue the relationship.  Regarding clients who call a few minutes before the scheduled appointment to say they will be late, please find out how late they plan to be. If it’s more than 15 or so minutes, advise them that you may need to adjust the session's time. You can consider charging a late fee.


Wants something for nothing

Some clients love a bargain so much that they expect some services to be discounted or, worse yet, for free. They never hesitate to ask that you add something to the treatment. On occasion, you might want to reward long-standing clients with extra time for a massage or throw in samples of retail products. But your time and professional products cost money. Clients who always want extras need to understand you charge for additional services or products.

These are just some of the more common issues that come up with clients. In most cases, setting boundaries along with being understanding can resolve most problems.


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