How to Cut a Client Loose in Your Esthetics Business

One of the greatest joys of being an esthetician is when you truly connect with your clients. There is a mutual respect and you both leave the appointment feeling recharged. These are the clients you want to fill your books with.

But sometimes we have clients we don’t look forward to seeing. They are emotionally draining and make us feel unworthy of our own time. These are the clients who don’t respect our time and show up late or cancel at the last minute, or they are difficult and demanding, asking too much of us when we simply do not have the time allotted for them.

So, when is it time to fire a bad client?

  • The client who disrespects your time. When we have clients who repeatedly fail to show up for an appointment, cancel at last minute or constantly show up 15­–30 minutes late, they are demonstrating that they do not respect your time. Once or even twice can be forgiven. But you should establish some clear guidelines in your spa policies what your expectations are. For your repeat offenders, it may be helpful to book extra time for this client or take payment upfront.
  • The client who is never happy. As estheticians, it is in our nature to make our guests look and feel amazing. But should you find yourself with a client who can never be pleased and is always demanding a concession, acknowledge that they will never truly be happy and let them go.
  • The client that takes advantage of you. Know your worth! You’ve spent a considerable amount of time and money to hone your skills. Stand by your reputation and do not discount yourself when your client asks for a cheaper price or gives you a hard time about the bill at the end of the treatment. This may not be the client for you.  client stands at front desk of spa

What do we say and how do we go about it?

  • Keep calm. Let your client know that you can no longer help them. Thank them for their time and refer them to another esthetician to take your place.  
  • Be honest with them. Let them know your reasoning. For example, “I want to thank you for trusting me to care for the health of your skin, but you have returned several times dissatisfied with the results of your treatment and your product purchases. I just cannot seem to make you happy. I would like to suggest another esthetician to take my place with the hope she can give you what you are looking for. Unfortunately, at this time I cannot continue to treat you.”
  • Stand Firm. Sometimes the client will agree that yes, maybe you aren’t the right skin care professional for them and change their mind later and want to come back to you. Or a guest may try to bargain with you right away, pleading you to not let them go. Whichever direction that goes, stand firm on your decision. There’s no need to stress about every time you see their name in your book or dread having them come in.


How do I get my clients to pre-book?

Make pre-booking a habit with each client and have a script for offering choices for pre-booking the next appointment. This lets your client know you care about their skin health and how to maintain their skin care goals.

How long does it take to build a clientele as an esthetician?

As a new esthetician, building your client base can take 12 months or more. With the right marketing efforts, your perfect clientele can be built.

Why is it important to consult with my clients?

Client consultations are an important opportunity to discover indications, contraindications, and the skin care goals of your client. Over time, your clients’ skin conditions and goals will also change. The consultation allows you to assess their goals and set a treatment plan to achieve those goals. It also is an opportunity to develop a rapport and establish trust between you and your client.

About ASCP

For more than a decade, Associated Skin Care Professionals has been the ONLY all-inclusive source for comprehensive professional liability insurance, education, and community for estheticians who want to thrive in their career. ASCP membership comes with countless benefits for skin care professionals, students, business owners, and everyone in between.

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