Lorena Oberg Skincare

Balancing Ethics with Client Expectations

This is another post geared towards professionals in the Beauty Industry.  My other post about understanding the psychology of those seeking Permanent Makeup Correction is here. 

One thing that professionals always struggle with is trying to manage a client’s expectations.    We are constantly trying to meet demands without compromising our integrity and that of our treatments.

Clients often come to us with unrealistic expectations…this can be anything from arriving an hour late and expecting to be seen to wanting the treatment to have 100% guaranteed results with no down time.

Lorena Oberg

I find, that because I deliver great results with removal of permanent makeup and stretch marks, both that have previously be deemed unattainable, client’s expectations are even higher.  I often get people saying “but, I don’t like pain, and I’m going out tomorrow, I can’t be red.”…. then we need to be honest and be able to tell the client that this is not the treatment for them.

I see this a lot in Lebanon, where I work with the very talented Roula Karam.   Clients come to Roula wanting hair stroke natural brows….problem is that they have a black block tattoo where they want their hair strokes to go….and they don’t want laser because it hurts…and they don’t want saline removal because they can’t have down time whilst healing.  They ask if they can put pencil over straight away after you’ve explained they can’t touch it because of the risk of infection.  Then when you don’t give them the answers they want to hear, they will ask the same question from a different angle.  Yes, between Roula and I we can fix nearly permanent makeup….but there’s a process and that process generally involves laser.  Here are some photos of before and after laser.  

Often people are only concerned with the short term but we need to help our clients see the bigger picture.  They may ask us to warm up the colour, but….if you know that you’re looking at an easy laser job, it’s our responsibility to give them this information.

We also must keep in mind that just because a client wants you to do something it doesn’t mean you should do it.  I have fallen into this trap!  The client will ask you if you “can’t you just” do this that or the other, you tell them it won’t look right, they beg, you give in, it looks terrible and then they’re not happy.  It’s important to keep in mind that YOU are the professional, the client has limited if any knowledge and can therefore not gage the full outcome.  It’s our job to remain strong and not be persuaded into doing something that is not going to be in the best interest of the client.

The pressure that is put upon us is horrendous.  I’ve had calls from agent telling me that their client wont get cast in a movie unless I remove her tattooed brows, and if I could do it by next week….I’m sure if I had given them the option of covering them with flesh coloured pigment they would have agreed to that short sighted alternative which would have added to the long term problem.  I told the agent that sadly, her client would not be cast in THIS movie, but I was happy to work on this not being a problem for the next one.

I had a client a couple of years back that wanted assurance that I could make her stretch marks go 100%.  She asked the question in 10 different ways, the answer was the same….NO…I agreed to do a test patch on a very small area.  She then called our office another further 25 times asking the same questions….we quickly realised that it was not about her stretch marks and refused treatment.  We referred her to an appropriate mental health professional because in this case, that was what was in the best interest of the client.

Another point that we need to be very weary of is taking money knowing that we are not able to deliver good results.  I see a lot of brows covered with beige or flesh colour pigment.  The person has gone into a tech that says she can fix them, takes the money, and the long term result is worse.  I now need to remove two lots of pigment.  I think most people agree that were not a charity and that we all have bills to pay at the end of the month.  However, doing a treatment purely for the money points at being in the wrong industry.  Our clients deserve to be turned away if they have unrealistic expectations and not have to pay for the privilege of the problem being made worse.  YES, you will have people that will go from tech to tech, clinic to clinic until they find someone that will do what they want.  Don’t let that person be you.

So in short, never loose sight that we’re the professional an it’s our duty to guide or client in a way that is ethical and in their best interest.  Giving in to demands of the client is going to do nothing for your reputation.  No one likes to be turned away and yes, people get vindictive, in fact, the two negative reviews I have online are from exactly such people.  I’m still happy I turned them away.  Sometimes it just comes down to being able to sleep at night.

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