How to Handle a Client Complaints About Their Lash Extensions

by Joan Wong

When you hear your client has complaints about their lash extensions, instinctively it can be quite difficult to not become defensive, but you need to STOP right there. Breathe and relax because ultimately the client is always right. Learning to navigate complaints with an open-mind, respect and calmness can make a world of difference to upset clients. 

Remember, customer reviews are very important and can make or break your eyelash extensions business. One bad review will negatively affect your lash business’ ranking in Google, or another rating platform such as Yelp.

Show your clients you care by giving them the best customer service. Make them feel like they are important and well taken care of. 

Follow these steps and learn how to handle client complaints with grace and patience. So, when your client leaves your lash salon, they will feel important and will more likely to return because they feel valued. 

Listen to the complaint about their lash extensions

For any relationship to work, listening is necessary. Try to hold your tongue and listen before you speak and leave your ego and pride aside.

I understand this might be hard, especially when your client is rude. However, all clients want to be heard. Sometimes that’s all they want is to be heard, so give them the time to do just that and when possible find a solution that works for both of you.

Woman upset with lash extensions. Lash supplies at Cartel Lash.

This step is the most important step and try not to rush through it. No matter how frustrated or annoyed your client might be, keep an open mind and be as objective as possible when listening to their complaint about their lash extensions. 

Let your client speak and hear them out from start to finish about their complaint about their eyelash extensions. Try to find the root of the problem. Did you miss something during the consultation? Oftentimes, complaints occur due to mismatched expectations and your responsibility now is to find out where the miscommunication happened.

In order to move forward, you must first understand why they are upset and what went wrong. Did their lashes fall out prematurely? Are their lashes too full or not full enough? Did you choose the wrong curl or style? 

Remember, how you speak and handle an irate client will greatly affect if they will be coming back and potentially what they will tell their friends. 

Book a consultation for their lash extensions

Never try to solve problems over the phone, email, or text messages. Book an appointment with your client, ASAP.

Lash tech booking lash extension appointment on phone for client. Cartel Lash

People like to talk a lot. So, it is best to limit your engagement with them via phone, email, or text. Your client may see this as an opportunity to ask more questions or sway your decision on the spot. Just let your client know that they need to come into your salon asap about their lash extensions. THIS IS PRIORITY!

Let your client know that sending photos of their lashes is not enough to understand what happened and what can be done. Ask them to bring the products they used around their eyes and on their eyelash extensions. This includes the aftercare treatment products and make-up used.

Tell your client it is best to not wear any eye makeup when they come to visit you. This will decrease the chances of further irritation (if the cause of the complaint is eye irritation).

Examine client's lash extensions, routine, and products

Start with examining your client’s eyelashes. Checking their eyelashes will determine your client’s aftercare routine. Look for the following factors and identify if your client’s eyelashes are well taken care of or not:

  • Makeup and/or lotion residue
  • Debris stuck around the eyelashes and lash line 
  • Signs of any irritation
  • Gaps in the lash line
  • Broken or any damaged lashes
  • More Anagen phase eyelashes compared to Catagen or Telogen phase eyelashes (meaning natural shedding happened because of the natural hair growth cycle)
  • Oily eyelids
  • Adhesive residue

These factors are all red flags. If your client shows the following signs, it means their lash extensions are not properly taken care of. From here, you can identify the cause of the complaint.

Lash tech using tweezers to examine lash extensions. Cartel Lash

If there are no red flags seen on the eyelashes, look at the products and makeup your client uses. Check whether the makeup your client uses is not waterproof and oil-based. They should be specially formulated safe for eyelash extensions and not random makeup. Otherwise, their lash extensions will not last long and cause premature shedding. 

Explain your side about the factors of lash extensions

This is where you need to show your expertise. Explain to your client how oil-based, waterproof, or any makeup not formulated safe for lash extensions can damage their eyelash extensions and cause poor retention. The oils and ingredients in those types of makeup will dry the lash adhesive and shorten the lifespan of their lash extensions.

In addition, removing them will be hard and can take its toll on their natural eyelashes. Remember, rubbing their eyes is one of the common causes of damage and premature shedding.

Check our list of red flags above, if your client has some of those, this is the best time for you to tell them the importance of having a daily aftercare routine. (This should have been explained prior to or after the eyelash extension application.)

Woman washing her face and lash extensions with water. Cartel Lash

If your client is having a reaction to the products used in their eyelashes, it is necessary to first identify if it is an allergic reaction or an irritation. This will help you and your client decide the next steps to take.

Another culprit could be something you did or didn’t do. Were the client’s lashes properly cleansed before application? Did you use enough adhesive? Is your adhesive past it’s shelf life? Is your space too humid? Don’t forget to take a look at what you could have done to prevent poor retention as well.

Offer an alternate solution to lash extensions

Now that you have a full grasp of what the cause of the problem is, it is time to find a solution. Look for a solution where your client and you will both be satisfied. Make sure the solution will not damage you and your lash business’ reputation. 

Discuss different options and ask for your client’s feedback. This way, they will feel that you value their input and feelings. Consider a discount on their next service or a free fix right away.  But whatever happens, DO NOT OFFER A REFUND! Your time is precious.

Woman getting lash extensions with lash tech applying extensions with tweezers. Cartel Lash

If your client insists on a refund for their lash extensions, reiterate the part in the waiver or agreement where you specifically mention that refunds are not available (a waiver is very important to have). Tread lightly with this step and read your client. Pointing out that they agreed and signed to something that they now want may only aggravate them further. 

That being said, if you have no choice and no signed waiver or agreement, you can offer a refund for eyelash extensions. This is the last resort! 

Do a lash removal at no cost

Are the lash extensions causing eye irritation or any allergic reactions? Does your client feel uncomfortable? Do a lash removal for FREE. Consider offering discounts for another service they can use, like a lash lift.

TIP: Avoid needing to be right

As I said before, leave your ego aside. When you talk to clients, you need to attentively listen so they feel safe opening up. Customer satisfaction is the name of the game. Remember that respect will go a long way. I know this is hard especially if they are rude and confrontational. 

But as a lash artist, you need to relax and handle this with grace. Listen carefully before you speak and answer politely. You don’t have to show your clients that you are right or make them feel like they are wrong for their complaint of their lash extensions. This will only agitate them and make them feel even more defensive. Nothing will be solved when this happens. 

Woman listen to client complaint about lash extensions. Cartel Lash

Breathe. Follow the steps calmly. Show you care. Listen intently and make them feel like they are important, just like in any relationship.