How do you feel when you receive a client complaint, or someone reports being dissatisfied with the lashes you applied on them? Maybe a better question is, how does this situation make you react? As lash artists, we will all experience client criticism at times, it’s part of being in the service industry. Retention problems will happen from time to time, a client will end up with a look they weren’t expecting, we’ll even encounter clients who feel like they know how to do our jobs better than we do! When we encounter situations like this, we can step back, evaluate, and actually choose how we will respond, instead of just reacting based only on how we feel. While our feelings are still very real, we always have a choice.
Let’s face it, criticism sucks.
Of course, having someone criticise our work, our art form really, is one of the last things in the world we naturally want. You can choose to be hurt, angry at your client or yourself, or feel sorry for yourself that this is happening to you. OR you can choose to understand that your client may have been expecting a different result than they got, or that they may not understand the lashing process like you do. It can be any number of things, one being they may be upset about something else entirely! (It just unfortunately came out at you.) Sometimes a client complaint is justified but this shouldn’t give us free-reign to beat ourselves up and be convinced that we aren’t good enough to keep going. It means you are human, you’ve [maybe] made a mistake, and it’s time to learn, grow, and keep moving forward. When a client complaint isn't justified, is a whole different situation, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t still a struggle. What we still have is choice. We can choose to see these encounters as a blessing.
How is it possible that troubling clients be a blessing?
It’s certainly not because it feels good, but because good can come out of it if you let it. You can learn patience, learn (over time) how to prevent retention problems, how to better control your environment, map out eyes differently, or maybe produce a lash look that you don’t personally like because it is what your client really loves. All of these things are so important to learn in order to keep growing! Take a moment to imagine how much personal growth you would experience if all of your clients - from the beginning of your lash career to now - really loved exactly what you do, each and every time, from the time you started lashing. What kind of growth do you think you would experience? Would you push yourself to get better and better? Would you ever need to learn new techniques, find better products, or create a true work of art to perfectly compliment someone’s eyes and face? Or would you be pretty content with yourself and just ride that wave, maybe getting better as you go but not significantly? It's something to consider, at length if you need to.
From the most difficult situations can come the biggest life lessons.
Most often it’s the difficult people in our lives (personal or professional) who end up teaching us the most valuable lessons. No matter their intention was, we can choose to learn from them. Learn how to better deal with challenging clients. To forgive ourselves or have more patience with ourselves. To stand up and face difficult situations head-on instead of avoiding them. We can learn what to do (or not to do) in the future to avoid such conflicts, and at the same time know that it’s ok to not be everything to everyone. As artists we all have our own personal style- the lashes we prefer, lengths, curls, and maps that are our go-tos. We all definitely have our own personalities, and preferences with style and business practices. The thing is, our clients have all of their own preferences, too! Every once in a while we are bound to run into someone who doesn’t mesh with us, and this can result in conflict. It’s just part of human nature.
It's in these times I’d like to encourage you to keep your head held high, your integrity intact, and know you have the choice to take these things in stride, instead of letting them take you out. We’ve all been there. It’s how we learn and most importantly, how we grow. So keep on growing, lash loves. You are out there working hard and we see you. We know you. We are you. Lashing can be hard but it is so, so rewarding. You are doing great!
Love & Lashes,