In the service industry the motto “the customer is always right” proves to be the best business practice most of the time but, when it comes to lashing, clients shouldn’t always get the upper hand. “Letting clients dictate lengths and thicknesses is absurd and can backfire on the lash artist,” warns Lynn La Palermo, master lash stylist, trainer and owner of Occhi’ Lash & Brow Studio in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. “Clients don’t understand how the weight or length of [extensions] can compromise the health of their lashes.” La Palermo points to these potential mishaps: Using extra glue to adhere extensions of the wrong size, which can cause the client major discomfort, or the client may prematurely lose her extensions, clusters of her natural lashes or, worse, the whole lot. “It would be like me going to a doctor and saying, ‘I want you to prescribe XYZ medication to me,’” she adds.
When you allow clients to steer the service, lash health isn’t the only thing at risk; so too is your reputation. “It screams a lack of experience and confidence when a lash artist lets clients tell her what’s right and wrong,” says La Palermo. “If you focus on setting standards and lash integrity, clients will respect your honesty, knowledge and commitment to long-term results.”
Take this approach: When talking to clients about lengths and thicknesses, speak in general terms, not numbers, as all too often they’ll want to copycat an extension size they’ve heard of. Assure them you, the expert, has their lash health interest in mind; document the entire service to thwart any problems that could arise; and don’t be afraid to turn them away if they insist on controlling the service. “You may lose a client at the moment, but you’ll likely get her back after she’s had a bad experience elsewhere,” says La Palermo. “You’re setting a standard, sticking with that standard and helping to raise the standard within our industry.”
–by Molly Church