Nail techs: how to deal with abusive Instagram DMs from clients
I recently read a Daily Mail article about a nail tech who received abusive messages from a client because she was doing her weekly shop in Tesco and not using that time to offer her an appointment.
This story got me thinking – why should we have to explain ourselves to clients when we’re living our lives outside of work? Although we all love our jobs, we still need holidays, down time and a few hours here and there to do life admin.
Although social media has done wonders for my nail business it is a double-edged sword because clients now think we’re available 24/7, which is why you need to implement an abusive customer policy in your business.
Abusive Instagram and Facebook DMs
It’s now all too easy for clients to Direct Message (DM) us abusive messages – to our business and personal social media accounts – and they can see exactly when we’re online, taking it personally when we don’t respond straight away.
I’ve had experiences where clients have messaged my salon’s Facebook page on a Saturday night and when they’ve not had no response immediately have then sent me a personal message with “????” a few hours later, while I know other techs who have received negative DMs from clients on Christmas Day.
But it can happen in person too. I’ve had clients stop me on the school run to say one of my therapists hasn’t replied to their Facebook DM over the weekend, but why are they direct messaging her personal account when they should contacting the salon’s business page?
On another occasion, one of my employees was in hospital, so we rang the client to book her in with another therapist. Despite this, the client then rang the therapist’s mobile number and demanded to know what was wrong with her and when she would be better to do her nails.
Abusive customer policy for social media
In the end I had to put a social media policy in place which clearly states to clients our stance on negative social media DMs – that they had to email or ring the salon, or message our business Facebook or Instagram page, if they had a query or concern.
All nail techs need to have this knowledge in their arsenal because social media can be a toxic place at times and there’s so many internet trolls who just want to cause arguments.
Five tips for dealing with abusive social media DMs from clients:
1. Keep calm – remember you're not the one in the wrong
2. Ensure your reply is professional – messages can be copied and screen-shotted
3. Be able to close a message and redirect – for example, if you want to discuss this further please call the salon on...
4. Ignore future messages if they continue
5. Don’t be afraid to use the block facility if necessary.
Michelle Brookes is owner of the Beauty Lounge in Doncaster and a Professional Beauty Awards 2019 finalist.