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#10Things Not to Say to Clients

Contact Author Deedee Crossett, San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology

Thank you for your inquiry. Please note that the author cannot provide individual medical advice. Also, if you have a customer service question, email customer service at

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Around this time of year, we talk about spring cleaning our facility. This year we are talking about spring cleaning our vocabulary. Here are #10things your customer never wants to hear and what you should say instead!

1. Don’t say “I don’t know.”

Say. “That’s a great question. Do you mind if I take a couple moments to find the answer for you?”

2. Don’t say “No problem.”

Say. “You’re welcome.” or “My pleasure.”

3. Don’t say “XYZ Spa, please hold…click.”

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Say. “Thank you for calling XYZ spa. Do you mind if a put you on a brief hold while I finish assisting a guest?” Wait for the guest to respond before being put on hold. If they don’t want to be on hold, you can take their number and call them back.

4. Don’t say “Sorry we are booked.”

Say. “Saturday at 9 a.m. has been previously reserved. We have availability at 1 p.m. on Saturday or if you prefer 9 a.m., we would love to see you this Friday.” Offer solutions to your guests.

5. Don’t say “Are you checking in?”

Say. “Good afternoon, how can I help you?” or “Welcome back, it’s great to see you!”

6. Don’t say “Do you know who your appointment is with?”

Say. “Would you like to take a seat, and may I offer you a beverage?” Allow the client to sit down while you figure out where they are in the system and what happened with the appointment. It’s not appropriate to ask the customer to help you figure out why there is a missing appointment within your booking system.

7. Don’t say “What did we do the last time you
were here?”

Say. “How did you skin respond to our last treatment?” If the skin therapist takes good notes during the consultation and the treatment, they will be able to review this information before the client arrives for their appointment.

8. Don’t say “That’s not my job.”

Say. “I want to be able to help you. Do you have a moment? I would like to gather more information, so I can create a plan for you.”

9. Don’t say “I was sick all weekend.” “I have to go to the bathroom.” or “I haven’t eaten all day.”

Say. “I’m so happy to see you!” Avoid sharing information with your client that is personal.

Your customer is paying you to take care of them. They should not be worried about you. Keep your personal life separate from your clients.

10. Don’t say “The management here is terrible.”

Say. Sharing information with clients about the business discourages customers from coming to the spa, and it makes you look bad. If it’s so terrible, why do you work there? Be professional and keep the spa gossip away from your guest.

Enjoy spring cleaning your vocabulary and elevating your customer experience.

Founder and owner of the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology since 2002, Deedee Crossett is an industry pioneer for raising the bar of undergraduate education for cosmetologists and estheticians. She can be reached at and Twitter @DeedeeCrossett #10things.

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