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How To Work On Broken Nails And Deal With Nail Repairs


When a client comes in with a broken nail in need of repair; the automatic response can kick off an “us versus them” battle mentality. Cue the Blame Game and it somehow becomes about more than a broken nail. What if we told you it doesn’t have to be that way? What if we just trust and value our contributions in the world and the services we provide? What if we can believe in ourselves, our abilities, and try to proceed with positive intentions. As a business owner, everything begins and ends with you. You set the tone. The most common solution for the trickiest situations addressed in the Biz Talks, including the best protocols for broken nails and their repair, rely on a rather simple building block known as open communication. Let us share with you how honesty is the easiest fix for nail repairs.

There’s nothing quite like your nervous nail biter and extreme wakeboarding clients. They really put your work to the test. Nail breaks do happen. We accept a one off repair here and there. We cannot accept chronic and habitual breakage. No one knows what you can do for your clients better than you do. You can assess the health of their nails and the best way to enhance them. You are an expert in your work and you know how your product typically wears. Plus you know your clients as they share the details of their life. Observation and experience show you that no two clients’ nails or lifestyles are the same. Use that to your advantage.

Mutual respect between a nail tech and their client should be your biggest goal. This respect is built over time and comes through clearly communicated expectations known as policies. When you are proud of what you do, why not stand behind it and offer one or two week guarantee? No one wants a client walking around with sub-par nails. So you generously do the nail repair; clearly communicating that this guarantee repair work is a one time courtesy. Take this time to discuss with your client how to properly care for their nails, address any activities that might do damage and recommend that they take it easy in those areas when possible. While you have their gratitude and warm feelings during the repair, you will take the opportunity to explain that all other repairs moving forward will come at a cost. For example, one nail standard repair, $5 with any nail art also requiring an upcharge. You cannot and should not build your career on freebies. To prevent being taken advantage of, always charge for your time.

Part of being in the service industry is the need to have wizard level people skills.You will find yourself often needing to make magic happen. Having your policies clearly stated in signage and in confirmation texts/emails before work fend of future complications. If a client conflict erupts and mudslinging starts to happen on social media or to your face; don’t let fear drive your communications. We can choose not to respond or pick fights with people or learn to accept things outside of our control. Trust us when we say that no good comes from responding with anger or reactivity. This is not to say we haven’t been tempted to throw down ourselves. Try to remain calm and neutral. You haven’t done anything wrong. If you did, you would own up to it, right? This is your fight or flight response at work. Usually all this kind of client wants is an audience. They are getting creative. You can bet that acting aggressive in the past has paid off for them. If you are lucky, you won't come into contact with this type often. If you do find yourself in this situation, try to be in a space where you are able to listen to their complaint; but do not take it into your soul. Know your self-worth and do not accept anyone into your books who behaves in a disrespectful way. You are a professional. You’re in charge. If this client needs to be taken off your books so be it. It just clears space for that someone more appreciative to take their place. On occasion, you will find it best to agree to disagree.

Now what do you do with a repeat offender? Trust your instincts. With your boundaries in place, you get to decide what slides. Then you start to notice that the boundaries are always being broken by the same folks. Guess what? It’s time for a nail talk. You want to preserve the relationship if you think it’s possible. Obviously you are human and can feel compassion for even the people who cause you grief. Yet, some people are meant to be let go. Directly address (use your nice voice here) with your client what is and is not working in your relationship. Fix what’s broken by offering other options that might be more appropriate for their nail health, lifestyle, or budget. Reminder that as a nail pro, you provide a service. You are not a servant.

Never assume you and the client are on the same page; unless you have a clear and kind conversation about all your nail service policies. The more you talk about them as part of your work; the better off you are. It won’t fee like it’s coming out of nowhere. Fixing nails constantly is not optimal for your business. It’s not a coincidence that this is called the Biz Talk. A lot of things can be solved when you talk about your expectations in advance. It’s beneficial for all parties. This is a salon lesson and a life lesson. Things are not always going to go your way or always run smoothly. That’s just the way it is. In business, the problems will rarely be clear cut or black or white; so neither will the solutions. You have to use your common sense to figure out who’s nails are prone to lifting or breaking and who’s just trying to put you through a hustle. Start out by giving your clients the benefit of the doubt. People show their true colors and their patterns of behavior speak louder than words.