The old adage says that complaints are opportunities. They certainly are; however, only if you look at them that way. 

The thing is that most salon/day spa owners don’t have a system in place for turning those lemons into lemonade.

So here’s an easy six-step rapid recovery process that when implemented, will serve you, your business, and your clients (believe me they want to do business with you—they wouldn’t be with you in the first place if they didn’t!).

  1. Apologize: Does it really matter who’s right? Ultimately the client is, even if he/she is wrong. So get on with it and acknowledge that a problem exits. Say you’re sorry and mean it.
  2. Listen and empathize: Let the client get it out—at this point, she wants “an ear” and not a lecture. Really listen, when you do, the client will feel that you care.
  3. Fix it ‘Fairly’: After you’ve listened, you’ll understand the problem. Now do what you have to do to fix it. Usually all the client wants is what she wanted in the first place, the sooner the better.
  4. Offer atonement: Even if symbolically, your rapid recovery system will earn high marks if you come from the perspective of, “I’d like to make it up to you.”
  5. Keep your promises: You’re already in hot water, so don’t fuel the fire by over-promising and under-delivering. In other words, do what you say you’ll do.
  6. Follow-up: Be it in a few days or a couple of weeks, check to make sure that things really did work out to your client’s satisfaction.

Andrew Finkelstein, President of the Beauty Resource, is a successful New York City-based entrepreneur, author, speaker, and coach who helps professional beauty businesses get more clients. Andrew’s E-zine The Finkelstein Report is the beauty industry’s #1 marketing resource with free articles, marketing tools, and valuable advice for salons and day spas owners. Contact Andrew at