Dealing with the Aggressive Client

You know the ones I'm talking about, they call for an appointment in the spa, they are agitated and give you a hard time because you don't have the exact time slot they were looking for, demand an experienced therapist (I mean how rude we are all experienced!). When they arrive they are short with you. They come out and complain there is no tie for their robe, then they get agitated because the relaxation area is too hot/cool, they get lost around the spa and it is your fault because you apparently didn't explain it to them properly. You have already taken a disliking to your client from the first phone call, because they have been blunt and very rude!

So you do your treatment you do it well, you don't dare make much conversation with your client as you see they don't want to talk to you, you finish, they say thank you and they leave.

You then chat to the other therapists about the rude guest you had today and what a nightmare they were. That guest probably never returns.


If you have completed my Successful Sales and Consultation Online Training you will have learned or refreshed your knowledge about the types of personalities we have to deal with on a daily basis.

Now the below technique can be applied not only to clients but also if you are managing a team:

Whenever there is a confrontational situation I want you to first take a huge step back. Ask yourself what have I done to make this person react this way? If you know that you are not the issue, ask yourself what is bothering this person? What has caused them to behave in this way?

Many times I discovered that they had maybe had an argument with their partner, or they were having issues in other areas of the hotel (if it was a hotel spa). In other words – their issues were caused through external factors. Now I could just ignore this, as it really isn’t my job to make them happy right?

Well for me, I took this on as my personal mission to turn the situation around. I would ask a few open ended questions to my client, empathize with them and show them I am listening - not judging but just there for them. My treatments were always much better and far more beneficial for my client. I loved it when they would float out of my treatment room, give me a hug, buy a few products and usually a nice tip! And the next time they book in for a treatment, it's me they want no one else!

I also apply this technique for managing my team. If it was a team member who was cranky, I would take them aside and ask if there was anything I could do to improve their day? As a manager you don't need to be taking all your staff's personal issues on board however if you lighten the load for them, their day will run smoother and your business will not suffer. Sometimes just getting something off your chest is enough.

So take a seat and make a list of ways you could improve a grouchy guest's experience in your spa or how can you improve the day of a grumpy team member. I always joke that my job would be a breeze if I didn’t have staff and guests to deal with! But in reality, I love it. I love the challenge of helping people, I love the challenge of understanding situations and people better and I love the results I get from taking the time to understand and improve.

Starting today, make a conscious effort not to judge but to understand better.

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