It’s easy to guarantee your work when you’ve put in the time and attention required for a quality set. But what happens when a client comes in wearing another lasher’s work? Sometimes no matter how good your lashes are, you simply can’t combat a poor previous application.
Stefania Sedita, an independent lash artist based in Montreal, was encountering this on a regular basis. “I would book a fill, but would then end up spending more time and effort fixing the lashes before I started to refill them. Plus, if the lash extensions were stuck together, were too heavy, had too much glue, etc., the client’s natural lashes would likely be damaged,” she says. While she could tell the client that she’d have to remove all of her lashes, that’s not what the client came in for, and you risk some serious disappointment. “In the end, you’re left with an unsatisfied client, and you comprise the quality of your work and your reputation.”
To combat this problem, Sedita adopted a no-refill policy for other artists’ work. “I was getting too many clients coming in with badly done lashes. As a lash artist, the only way we can do our best work is on a clean canvas,” she says. Sedita’s policy is not an uncommon one, and it’s one you should consider if you’re struggling with these types of requests. There are different ways in which you can handle the situation, though, depending on the clients you see. For instance, if a no-refill policy seems too strict, take a cue from Integrity Lash in Pasadena, California. The salon’s policy is that they don’t typically fill other technicians’ work, but they will on occasion. However, before they begin work, they ensure the client knows what she’s getting into. “We always make sure the new client understands that we can’t vouch for how long the lashes will last,” says Paul Leubbers, general manager of Integrity Lash. “Most clients don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that we can’t guarantee. Still, some are desperate and will want the fill anyway,” he says.
If you decide that you want to set a firm policy, get started with these steps:
1) Put Your Rules in Writing. When you instill any new policy, make sure it’s noted on in-salon signage, on social media and websites, as well as on your new client intake forms. “It’s also important to let the client know before they book that you don’t offer this service any longer,” says Sedita.
2) Create a Special Service. You don’t want to leave these new clients high and dry, so offer a special menu item specifically for this type of client. “You can offer a free consultation and discuss the removal process, booking a full set, etc.,” suggests Sedita. “I book a removal first and then we book a full set. This is done in two separate appointments,” she says. At Integrity Lash, “We give them a small discount [on a full set] since they’re coming in with lashes already,” says Leubbers.
3) Stick to Your Policy. It can be hard to implement a new rule, but it’s important to stick to your guns and enforce your policies. “You don’t make policies so you can negotiate with clients,” Leubbers notes. “They are boundaries that you need to stick by so your business runs at its best,” he says. If you find a particularly argumentative client, she’s probably not the right fit for you anyway, and you can politely refer her to another local salon.
This story first appeared in the March/April issue of Eyelash magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
[Image: Getty Images]