Eager to build your business and generate revenue, breaking up is hard to do! Of course, not every client relationship is a good one. Join Maggie and Ella in this Mailbag episode of ASCP Esty Talk as they share your stories about the right time to fire your client.
ASCP Esty Talk with Maggie Staszcuk and Ella Cressman
Produced by Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) for licensed estheticians, ASCP Esty Talk is a weekly podcast hosted by Maggie Staszcuk and Ella Cressman. We see your passion, innovation, and hard work and are here to support you by providing a platform for networking, advocacy, camaraderie, and education. We aim to inspire you to ask the right questions, find your motivation, and give you the courage to have the professional skin care career you desire.
About Ella Cressman:
Ella Cressman is a licensed esthetician, certified organic formulator, business owner, and absolute ingredient junkie! As an educator, she enjoys empowering other estheticians and industry professionals to understand skin care from an ingredient standpoint rather than a product-specific view.
She has spent many hours researching ingredients, understanding how and where they are sourced, as well as phytochemistry, histological access, and complementary compounds for intentional skin benefits. In addition to running a skin care practice, Cressman founded a comprehensive consulting group, the HHP Collective, and has consulted for several skin care lines, including several successful CBD brands.
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About Maggie Staszcuk:
Maggie has been a licensed esthetician since 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stephens College. She has worked in the spa and med-spa industry and served as an esthetics instructor and a director of education for one of the largest schools in Colorado before coming to ASCP as the Advanced Modality Specialist.
Connect with Maggie Staszcuk:
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0:00:00.7 Maggie Staszcuk: DMK is the world leader in paramedical skin revision education, with certification programs designed to give licensed professionals a thorough understanding of the skin and an in-depth study of the DMK concept of Remove, Rebuild, Protect, Maintain. Created by the botanical visionary Danné Montague-King, DMK offers skin revision training and education for all ages, skin conditions, and ethnicities in more than 35 countries, harnessing the body's innate healing mechanisms to change the health of the skin. Learn more at dannemking.com. That's D-A-N-N-E-M-K-I-N-G.com.
0:00:47.9 MS: You are listening to ASCP Esty Talk, where we share insider tips, industry resources, and education for estheticians at every stage of the journey. Let's talk, 'cause ASCP knows it's all about you.
0:01:03.5 MS: Hello, and welcome to ASCP's Esty Talk. I'm your cohost, Maggie Staszcuk, and ASCP's Cosmetology Education Manager.
0:01:10.3 Ella Cressman: And I'm Ella Cressman, licensed esthetician, certified organic formulator, ingredient junkie, and content contributor for Associated Skin Care Professionals.
0:01:19.9 MS: It's another mailbag.
0:01:21.5 EC: Favorite. I love these ones.
0:01:24.2 MS: This time, we asked you for your worst client horror story and when you decided it was time to say bye-bye. Have you ever had to fire a client, Ella?
0:01:33.4 EC: Oh my gosh, more than I'd like to say. In fact, it's not that easy. Oddly enough, this weekend, one came back. I think we talked about it during consultation or like nightmare clients a few podcasts ago, the client who was just completely unsatisfied through every step, and then loved her skin, left with product, and then called the next day to tell me that she had mask lift and one pore.
0:01:58.3 MS: Oh yeah.
0:01:58.7 EC: Remember her?
0:02:00.2 MS: I do remember her.
0:02:00.2 EC: Yeah, well, I had told her I don't think that I am the one for her, and I'm happy to refer her. She declined. And anyways, long story short, she called... Somebody called this weekend, they said, "Do you have this product?" I said, "Yes, I do." They said, "We'll be by at this time." "Great." So she comes in with a mask on, and I said, "Oh, hi. I was wondering... I was just thinking about you last week." She goes, "You remember me?" [laughter] I was like...
0:02:25.9 MS: She figured a little... A little bit of distance, you might have forgotten.
0:02:29.6 EC: No, isn't that cops and robbers? We do live in the Wild West, and, "Yes, I remember you. You're not fooling me with your one pore with mask in it." But anyway, so yes, I have, and it's not always fun, but it does make for good stories.
0:02:43.6 MS: Yeah, for sure. Well, we had somebody write in, Pure Luxe by Liza. She said, "I've had to fire clients, but I do it passive-aggressively." Okay? "I've had a couple of clients that are always inconsistent with their appointments, I usually give them three chances, and then when they contact me to let me know they need an appointment, I say, 'Okay, I'm booked, but I'll put you on the waitlist.' I don't put them on the waitlist."
0:03:09.1 EC: Oh, I love this one. Same. Same, same, Pure Luxe by Liza. Same. In fact, this happened to me once. This client was... Eyebrow wax, right? She only came to me for eyebrow wax. And inevitably, what is really a 15-minute appointment but I would book for 30, she would be 15 minutes late, unapologetically 15 minutes late.
0:03:34.8 MS: Yeah, some people can't help themselves, right?
0:03:36.3 EC: No. Well, now she does. She came in, and I said, "I am so sorry, I can't take you because you're gonna interfere with my next client, I'll be off-schedule." And I didn't. I didn't have another client. So she said, "Well, when can I come back?" I said, "In about 45 minutes." So she came back, I got her in, and she was never late again.
0:03:57.2 MS: Oh. So she learned.
0:03:58.0 EC: Passive-aggressive works sometimes... Most times, yeah.
0:04:01.1 MS: Yeah. I also like the little trick that if you do have that client that's consistently late, you tell them... They're booked for 1:15, let's say, but you tell them their appointment's at 1:00.
0:04:10.6 EC: Yes. I do that too. Do you put that in the electronic booking system that way? I would.
0:04:16.2 MS: Yes, I would.
0:04:17.1 EC: For sure. Absolutely, yeah, I love that trick.
0:04:19.3 MS: Glow From Within 83, says, "This happened to me when I was newly licensed and had me questioning my profession. A client came in for a Brazilian wax, I asked the client to disrobe from the waist down and drape herself with a towel on the table while I stepped out. When I came back in, I pulled away the towel to prep her skin and saw that she was covered with poop."
0:04:44.5 EC: What?
0:04:45.2 MS: I know. "I didn't know what to do. I'm a brand new esthetician. Is this normal? I tried to stay as calm as possible but was so freaked out. I told my client to go to the bathroom. She hops off the table and walks down the hall without putting her pants back on."
0:05:02.0 EC: Oh my gosh.
0:05:02.8 MS: "She was literally walking down the hall naked. Fortunately, my manager saw this, and I was not the one who had to fire her."
0:05:12.1 EC: Oh my gosh, I cannot imagine.
0:05:16.7 MS: Right?
0:05:17.3 EC: Something is up there.
0:05:19.1 MS: Yes. Little screw loose. Right?
0:05:22.2 EC: And as a baby esthetician, that would scar you. I think I would specialize in brow tinting after that.
0:05:27.4 MS: Totally.
0:05:29.9 EC: [chuckle] Oh my gosh.
0:05:30.0 MS: As a new esthetician, I think my thought process would be, "I can't say anything because this is like my first client ever, but... "
0:05:39.0 EC: But...
0:05:40.0 MS: Right?
0:05:42.2 MS: Like, "I'm not touching that."
0:05:44.3 EC: No. It's dangerous. I don't understand. I know that if I go to the doctor, I take three showers ahead of time and really make sure everything's aired out, [laughter] clean as a whistle. And if I'm going for a Brazilian wax and someone is not a medical professional and wouldn't understand, I'm gonna make sure I'm super clean too. It happens, right? That's what they say. It happens.
0:06:10.4 MS: Right. Right, right.
0:06:12.6 EC: But, oh my gosh, I wanna know more. I wanna reach out and ask her some more questions. [chuckle]
0:06:16.9 MS: I know, I know. Glow From Within 83, get back to us, we want more details.
0:06:21.8 EC: Yes, more details. How about you? Have you ever had to fire clients?
0:06:26.1 MS: Not to this extreme, but I do have a story, when I was working at a school, everyone knows there's the student clinic, and we would have some crazies come in, for sure. And speaking of who, there was a client, we always called her the cat lady because she raised feral cats, which is neither here nor there, but she came in one night and had been prepping for a colonoscopy.
0:06:52.5 EC: Oh, my goodness.
0:06:53.0 MS: I don't know why she thought it would be a good time to then come into the clinic for a treatment. And while she is on the bed having her service or whatever was happening, I don't know. And we didn't know about the whole colonoscopy thing, she literally has an accident, and the student is freaking out, the clinic instructor is freaking out, and the woman is embarrassed, but also, she was missing a screw as well, took her poopy panties and threw them at the instructor.
0:07:26.3 EC: Oh, my goodness.
0:07:28.4 MS: I know. Right?
0:07:30.5 EC: She really left her mark.
0:07:31.9 MS: She left her mark, yes. Yes.
0:07:33.0 EC: Oh my gosh. The memory of everybody there, that poor baby esthetician there too, and the instructor.
0:07:40.1 MS: Totally, yeah. So anyway, needless to say, we had a little chat with this woman and said, "I'm sorry, but you are never allowed back. Thank you, but no thank you."
0:07:49.1 EC: For no service, for any service.
0:07:50.7 MS: For any service.
0:07:53.2 EC: Oh, I bet she tried a couple of years later, with a mask on.
0:07:54.2 MS: Yeah. We literally took big, black marker on her chart saying, "No way, Jose."
0:08:01.0 EC: No way. Oh my gosh, I cannot imagine, because if you think about it, that's biohazard stuff.
0:08:06.4 MS: Yeah.
0:08:07.6 EC: Oh my gosh. Well, on another note, have you ever fired a sales rep? I was a sales rep for a long time, so I had heard a lot of excuses or been given the switcheroo or people are just rude when you're a sales rep, they take you for granted, but being a practitioner and having sales reps come to me, it gives me a different perspective. There was this one sales rep, and I've always been super honest, "Hey look, I'm not interested, thank you so much." But this kind, this particular type of sales rep was persistent, shall we say? Relentless is a better word. So she kept saying, "Oh yeah... " Overcoming objections and all the BS that you learned in training school for sales, like, "No, I could do this." I'm like, "Look... "
0:09:00.2 EC: Let's just call her Melissa. "Look, Melissa, thank you so much, but I am not interested." And she said, "Can I just drop some paperwork by?" And I said, "I know how expensive those are, and no, I'm not interested." So fast-forward one day, it was a work day, and I was slow and had my niece... It was an emergency, so I had my niece and I'm like, "I'm gonna take her to go do something fun." We were at the shop, we swung by, we left and we were at Paint and Pottery, and my phone starts ringing and ringing and ringing. So I'm like, "I'm so sorry, let me just see who it is." And I answer it and it's like, "Hi, this is AT&T," is what I heard. I'm like, "Whatever," I hang up. My phone kept ringing, I'm like, "Rude."
0:09:38.9 MS: Right.
0:09:39.3 EC: Well, after I got done painting pottery, I realized that the call was ADT, who was my security company, and there was a security breach.
0:09:50.3 MS: Did that woman break in?
0:09:53.0 EC: Well, kind of.
0:09:55.7 EC: So when I got back to the shop, I'd go see what happened, there was a business card from the police department, the municipal police department from where my shop is and a note that says, "We checked everything, we locked the door from down here." Long story short, I forgot to lock the door 'cause I was in this hectic haze of leaving, I remembered to set the alarm, and this girl, the sales rep came by to drop off paperwork that I said no. [chuckle] And I went back to look at the cameras, and you could see her in there dropping it off, and then you could see her look around because the alarm started going off. And it's loud. And then she left really fast. So there is another passive-aggressive way to get rid of somebody. [chuckle]
0:10:40.3 MS: Right, turn the sprinklers on them. Right?
0:10:42.9 EC: Turn the sprinklers on. Duck and press go...
0:10:46.0 EC: The emergency button. It goes both ways, firing clients or firing salespeople too.
0:10:53.1 MS: Yeah. I love that story because my perspective is, we don't often think about the salespeople and they are really skilled, or some of them are, at not accepting the no.
0:11:03.3 EC: Oh yeah, yeah. The other day too, same thing, I was in a treatment and somebody came, like, "Who is it?" late at night. "Hi, I work with this laser company, we're gonna have... " This is so funny too. They lie and manipulate. "We're gonna have this symposium and, oh, did my marketing team get to you?" "No, they didn't." "Oh, they're not doing their job, but it's gonna sell out," and I was like, "So they are doing their job anyways."
0:11:24.2 MS: Yeah.
0:11:24.5 EC: Different.
0:11:25.9 MS: For sure.
0:11:26.3 EC: Well, I can tell you something else, speaking of firing clients, we run into all kinds of people, all different walks of life in all different situations, we are around our clients when they are having good times, when they're having bad times, and when they're having stressful times. One of my friends who's a practitioner was telling me about one of her nightmare clients and what she did. She had this client who was getting married, and it's a lot of stress getting married, there are so many little intricacies of things that you have to think about, and it's why you still have to manage your daily day-to-day, so I can imagine, I have some empathy here. But apparently, this client was coming for regular appointments for full-body everything, face, hair removal, all that, and she was chatting with her esthetician and said, "Nobody's there for me," and complaining about her bridal party. And then she came back in and said that she actually let her entire bridal party go, she's fired them from her event.
0:12:28.2 EC: And then she had asked this esthetician to do her makeup, and then she asked her to go to the wedding. All of this was on her birthday, by the way. So about a week before, this client freaks out on my friend and she says, "I knew you were never there for me, I know you don't really wanna come and you're not my friend and you don't really care, so just forget it, just forget it, don't worry about it, just forget it." And two days later, she reached out to her and said, "Hey, do you think you can do my mom and the groom's mom too that day?" And she was like, "No, look, you canceled me." Sometimes just being direct is important. She's like, "You canceled me, I made other plans." And it was just crazy. I think the fear of, back to firing clients, "It's not me, it's you," because oftentimes, we are so afraid of these bad reviews, Google reviews or Yelp reviews or social media reviews, that we think... And the indoctrination that the customer is always right, that we put up with a lot.
0:13:37.4 MS: Totally. Yeah. I think that even when the client is really acting poorly, is rude and taking advantage, estheticians, like you're saying, they have been trained a certain way, and then also just personality-wise, generally are very nurturing, always wanting to give themselves, and they're finding themselves in those situations and still apologizing.
0:14:03.4 EC: Yeah. "I'm so sorry you're rude. I'm so sorry you didn't bathe completely. I apologize for your personality." And I think the important thing is to remember you don't have to worry about it because the other part of that is there is an energy to protect. I had this other client who I told her, I was pretty... I'd had enough, so I told her like, "Your energy is very negative and you need to change that," and it was like one of those things that escaped my mouth and I was like, "Did that just come out of me?" Because... But it was empowering at the same time. But it's true, like, "Hey girl, you're bringing a lot in," because she, I didn't realize, was affecting other clients who were coming in before and checking out when she got there, or who were there after and crossing paths, they're like...
0:14:53.4 EC: And I thought, "Yeah, it's not worth it." So I guess my advice to these... These are some funny stories, but my advice is, the customer isn't always right. And it's okay because there's a face for everyone, there's enough estheticians in the world that they're gonna match up, and handling it with grace is probably the best idea.
0:15:10.3 MS: Totally, I think you said it and it's a really good lesson that there's plenty to go around. And that goes for a competition too with your neighboring esthetician, there's plenty to go around. If you have to let that client go, they'll find somebody else, and you're gonna have plenty still coming through your door.
0:15:25.4 EC: Yes, absolutely, I agree.
0:15:27.1 MS: Now, listeners, we wanna hear from you, what are your thoughts on letting clients go? Share your horror stories, tips, and opinions with us on social media by commenting on our Instagram or Facebook posts, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for listening to ASCP Esty Talk, and for more information on this episode, or for ways to connect with Ella and myself, or to learn more about ASCP, check out the show notes.
0:15:53.0 EC: Thanks for joining us today. If you like what you hear and you want more, subscribe. If you wanna belong to the only all-inclusive association for estheticians that includes professional liability insurance, education, industry insights, and an opportunity to spotlight your sick skills, join at ascpskincare.com, only 259 per year for all this goodness. ASCP knows it's all about you.Page Break