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...if you can offer suggestions.
Here's my problem:
I've spent the last 6 years at the salon building my business and reputation. Over the years I've increased my prices as I see fit to justify my knowledge, experience, products used, service performed and yes, even my reputation as a popular nail tech in my town.
Along comes a new girl and although she was hired to do hair, she does an an occasional mani or pedi. I was fine with it until I started getting complaints about how shoddy her work is.
I feel that she shouldn't be charging the same as I do because of her lack of experience and knowledge. She is not open to my suggestions and even though I've given her the exact steps that I do she obviously doesn't follow them. A pedi that I take an hour to do she completes in 1/2 an hour. Nobody ever rebooks with her and they complain to me about her after the fact. I wish they'd tell her they dont like her work because I don't think she would want to hear it from me.
I feel that if she keeps doing nails this way she will ruin business not only for herself but also for me. I don't want people saying they got their nails done at our salon and people knowing that I'm the nail tech there thinking that I did that crappy job!
I want her to start charging less according to her skills since she is unwilling
to make herself better.
I'd love to suggest this to the owner but the kicker is.... This girl is the owner's daughter. I feel like I'm just going to ruffle feathers if I bring it up but something has to be done!
So what I need to know is do you believe like I do that she should lower her prices and also is there a way I can bring this up without them thinking that I'm just being catty?
Suggestions appreciated!

sobeit

Of course her prices should reflect her experience and skill level. But if it's family run your words may fall on deaf ears. ( I have worked in one. ) so my suggestion is to encourage clients to call or talk to the owner and let their concerns and complaints be known. OR we had an anonymous client satisfaction survey they could fill out and drop in the box. The box has a slit so nothing can be taken out by anyone until it's time to read them. If the owner is not open to that you can start it on your own saying it's to help you see how clients feel, what they love or dislike or would like to see. Then have those clients of hers fill them out and show them to boss/Mom. Then discuss your own feelings.
Key words: 'Owner's Daughter'.

Yep, complaining could put you in a pickle. Any smart client getting a shoddy pedi with her would hopefully rebook with you, and I'm sure sorry you have to put up with things. You could try anonymous complaints but that might also, put you in a pickle as well if the Owner gets mad at the Idea. :/

Sorry hun. :oops:
I don't have any insight for this one because I experience the same thing.

When a new tech starts at our salon they'll always ask ME "what do you charge for..." and charge the same as I do. They lack the experience I have. 90% of them are salon hoppers and they always give that lame "uneducated manicurist" advice - (ex. nails breath, water mold, shellac strenghtens and grows your nails, drills are bad for your nails and so is acrylic, etc...). :roll:

Yeah, it irkes me too!

Enhance
I agree with Sobeit. Have the unhappy clients complain to the owner. I know this is "family" but I am wondering if your time there and good standing wouldn't count for something with the owner. At some point in time a client is gonna get brave and tell this girl that they are not pleased and she needs to take lessons from you.
Is mom just not paying attention? Seems like she'd be on this....but as you said its family. I agree with the other ppl who said try to get the clients to complain to the owner, that will help keep you out of the middle. Good luck!
Donna this girl can do no wrong in her mothers eyes. That's the big problem. Before she started working there I could go to the owner about anything and she would back me up. Now the dynamics have changed and it's the two of them and I am the outsider. I asked the owner once to please tell her daughter to stop parking in the spots the clients use and to start parking around back with the rest of us. She said she would tell her and I was like "good, I'm glad I said something" until the next day when daughter pulls in and parks in the clients spot again and she parks there every day. I feel like it's a big joke to them. Sad
Here's my 2 cents, whatever it's worth.....the owner is going to stick up for her daughter no matter what. As you have already stated, she can do no wrong in her mother's eyes, so you saying anything is only going to upset her and change nothing.

I would also explain to the clients that complain to you that you have no control over what she does and the only way to change anything is for them to go directly to the owner.

What strikes me about your post is that you say you've been there for 6 years building your clientelle and your reputation. You also said that you are a popular tech in your town. I would assume at this point, your work speaks for itself. If anything, I think the clients who have been to see her and are complaining would start booking with you instead. In fact, you said yourself that nobody ever rebooks with her. To be honest, I don't think you need to say much at all. If clients are complaining about her to you, they will be telling their friends as well. And it wouldn't surprise me if they are telling them not to book with her, but to see you instead. Who knows, you could end up with more clients than you thought due to the fact that she's awful and no one wants to see her.
Colleen, I have to agree with what the others have already posted. These clients must speak up, and talk to the owner if they are not happy with the service they received from her daughter. This has nothing to do with you and this will not reflect on your work. I know you pretty much have a full book, so the owner will realize sooner or later, she will be losing money if these clients don't rebook with her daughter, because they can't get in to see you. The family dynamic is one I would totally steer clear of.
Thank you all for reading and replying. I have asked a few unhappy clients to say something to the owner but most of them get their hair done by her and don't want to tick her off. The others are usually new people who just never come back. My schedule is booked so they can't get in with me.
Sherrie the reason I thought I should say something is I think her work is making the whole salon look bad, not just me.
Colleen, what about asking them to send an anonymous letter? That way their identity is preserved and the issues can be brought out? They can type it out on their pc and send it, that way it can't be traced back. It's really bad that it would have to be dealt with that way, tho.

I've had a similiar situation in the salon I work at. The daugher had an attitude issue....it really ticked off some clients. It came across really bad on the phone sometimes....it's what led to me getting my own phone line rather than having the calls redirected to me in my room. I had two ppl finally tell me about it, no telling how many others didn't. When it starts to impact YOUR income, it's time to do something!
enhanced :
> I don't have any insight for this one because I experience the same thing.
>
> When a new tech starts at our salon they'll always ask ME "what do you charge
> for..." and charge the same as I do. They lack the experience I have. 90% of
> them are salon hoppers and they always give that lame "uneducated manicurist"
> advice - (ex. nails breath, water mold, shellac strenghtens and grows your
> nails, drills are bad for your nails and so is acrylic, etc...). :roll:
>
> Yeah, it irkes me too!
>
> Enhance

***

Whoa...I just graduated and I never, ever would give clients that type of Advice. Yipes! God bless BT and my cranky Nail School Teacher!
Obviously you can't talk with the owner about this. The other thing to keep in mind is how you handle this with the customer.

DO NOT respond to the customer by saying "Yeah, we get a lot of complaints like that. She's the owner's daughter, what can I do. . . " I am often shocked when I hear co-workers bad mouthing each other to customers. Also love it when an employee complains about the boss to customers. This is bad for the reputation of the business AND you - plus if anything ever got back to Mommy, guess who would be out the door. Complain to your friends, complain to you significant other but do not ever complain about your job, co-workers or the boss to customers. Even if that customer if a friend, there are other customers who can hear the conversation, too. Be professional.

1. Apologize for any problems they had and leave it at that. If you suggest they talk to the owner, most won't but you set up the expectation that you may do something about it for them. If you offer to pass on the information, that just sets you up.
2. Tell them you work very hard to assure customer satisfaction and invite them to let you know if anything you do does not work out for them. Build your clients trust in your work while setting yourself apart from the other employee.
Yikes. That is a tough situation you are in. As far as prices go, I would worry about her prices being lower. Yes, you are not wrong to feel like your prices should reflect your work, but her lower prices might only encourage more clients to see her. At any rate, you can only control your prices, so this problem may have to just be one that you take a deep breath on, and then let go.

As an owner, I want to know when clients are complaining. I appreciate it when people let me know their qualms, or let me know if anyone else is upset. I need that feedback to make my business better. I know you feel like the outsider right now, but I doubt you will be shunned if you are supportive of the business, your reputation, and the betterment of everyone else. Being supportive means being forthcoming, and believe it or not, us owners usually appreciate it (as long as we are approached appropriately).

If you do not know how to approach the owner, you could be creative. You could offer to discount a service for the previously unhappy customer to make them happy. Then you could tell the owner, "I gave Jane a discount today to make sure she comes back. She had (daughters name) last time and wasn't happy. That's not the first time someone has complained, but every time I tell them to mention it to you, they feel bad."

Or instead you could just tell the owner the names of the clients who have complained. Let the client know you appreciate their complaint and that in order to stop more complaints you will let the owner know for them. Don't ask them if it is ok, just tell them you are going to do it, as if you are going in to bat for them and like it is really a good thing that you are going to do this (because it's true). You could say to the owner, "I was talking to Jane today. You might want to give her a call. She wasn't happy with her last pedi, I think she said (daughter's name) did it."

If you just can't bring yourself to do any of that, or feel it is a bad idea, and you are super desperate, you could always have a friend call in and complain to the owner. Just be sure the story is based around an actual complaint and be able to give the details that the client was unhappy with.
If you're not the owner, then you have zero control over the situation. The best you can do is bring up concerns to the owner, and suggest that she maybe follow up with her daughter's clients about the satisfaction of services. I would go at from the angle of you want to make sure that her daughter has a fighting chance and is given the opportunity to right a wrong if the customers are unhappy, rather than bad reviews spreading like wild fire thru the town.
Thank you for all your suggestions and insight. I appreciate it!

In response to Erika, I do feel that I have some control over the situation. Although she owns the salon, the nail business in that salon is MY business and I am letting her do some of the clients as a favor to her and a favor to the clients that i couldn't fit in.

The main control I have is that the pedicure chair she uses is mine, bought and paid for by me. If I wanted to, I could tell them "I dont feel comfortable with X using my chair any more and if she wants to continue doing pedicures you may want to think about getting her her own set up". I know they wouldnt go out and buy a chair.

I also think I have a little control over the fact that the owner needs me there. She has lost so many stylists over the years and I am the only renter than has stuck around. If she loses me I dont think she can afford to make it there on her own. I seriously doubt she makes her daughter pay her rent.

Bottom line: if she wants to make this an issue in not backing me up, she can be out another renter. I dont want it to come to that. Despite this issue, I'm pretty much content there. I'm just unhappy with this situation.
ColleenNY :
> Thank you for all your suggestions and insight. I appreciate it!
>
> In response to Erika, I do feel that I have some control over the situation.
> Although she owns the salon, the nail business in that salon is MY business
> and I am letting her do some of the clients as a favor to her and a favor to
> the clients that i couldn't fit in.
>
> The main control I have is that the pedicure chair she uses is mine, bought
> and paid for by me. If I wanted to, I could tell them "I dont feel comfortable
> with X using my chair any more and if she wants to continue doing pedicures
> you may want to think about getting her her own set up". I know they wouldnt
> go out and buy a chair.
>
> I also think I have a little control over the fact that the owner needs me
> there. She has lost so many stylists over the years and I am the only renter
> than has stuck around. If she loses me I dont think she can afford to make
> it there on her own. I seriously doubt she makes her daughter pay her rent.
>
>
> Bottom line: if she wants to make this an issue in not backing me up, she can
> be out another renter. I dont want it to come to that. Despite this issue,
> I'm pretty much content there. I'm just unhappy with this situation.

wow it seems like you have a large stake in her business. I think you need to sit down one to one with her about this issue. Her daughter needs to get her act together. If the nail part of the salon is your business when she is doing nails you are her boss, and she needs to know that. Better to nip this problem in the bud before it affects your business and reputation negatively.
jimsjadab :
> ColleenNY :
>>I do feel that I have some control over the situation.
>> Although she owns the salon, the nail business in that salon is MY business
>> and I am letting her do some of the clients as a favor to her and a favor to
>> the clients that i couldn't fit in.
>>
>> The main control I have is that the pedicure chair she uses is mine, bought
>> and paid for by me. If I wanted to, I could tell them "I dont feel comfortable
>> with X using my chair any more and if she wants to continue doing pedicures
>> you may want to think about getting her her own set up". I know they wouldnt
>> go out and buy a chair.
>>
>> I also think I have a little control over the fact that the owner needs me
>> there. She has lost so many stylists over the years and I am the only renter
>> than has stuck around. If she loses me I dont think she can afford to make
>> it there on her own. I seriously doubt she makes her daughter pay her rent.
>>
>>
>> Bottom line: if she wants to make this an issue in not backing me up, she can
>> be out another renter. I dont want it to come to that. Despite this issue,
>> I'm pretty much content there. I'm just unhappy with this situation.
>


> wow it seems like you have a large stake in her business. I think you need
> to sit down one to one with her about this issue. Her daughter needs to get
> her act together. If the nail part of the salon is your business when she is
> doing nails you are her boss, and she needs to know that. Better to nip this
> problem in the bud before it affects your business and reputation negatively.
>


I understand your passion here. But if I understand correctly you are a booth renter, not a partner in the salon. You sound as though you are currently the only manicurist in the salon and have provided some of your own equipment.

You can only control your business, which would be services that you personally provide. Just as she only has control over her business. It is just as important for a renter to appreciate this delicate balance as it is for the landlord/owner of the salon. And always important to remember that no matter how valuable a person is a worker or a renter, everyone is dispensable.

It is a very delicate situation indeed...
nailgirlerika :
> I understand your passion here. But if I understand correctly you are a booth
> renter, not a partner in the salon. You sound as though you are currently the
> only manicurist in the salon and have provided some of your own equipment.
>
>
> You can only control your business, which would be services that you personally
> provide. Just as she only has control over her business. It is just as important
> for a renter to appreciate this delicate balance as it is for the landlord/owner
> of the salon. And always important to remember that no matter how valuable
> a person is a worker or a renter, everyone is dispensable.
>
> It is a very delicate situation indeed...

I am not sure if I understand. I was thinking that if she is a partner in a salon and the nail part is her business the daughter should be following OP instructions and not doing a hour pedi in 30 min, or ignoring OP's critique. I feel like she should be able to say "I don't want you doing nails anymore!" I feel like this situation does have the potential to hurt the reputation of her business. I feel like most clients, maybe not long term, see the salon and the techs as one. I'm not quite sure if your post was response to mine or not :?
It does not read as a partnership, rather as an owner who is renting out space in her salon. If that's the case, unless the manicurist's contract says otherwise, the owner can bring in as many manicurists as she wants...the definition of the business relationship dictates the overall control in this situation. If this is a case of a booth renting manicurist without a contract guaranteeing exclusivity, then she needs to tread lightly when telling another business owner how to run her business.
^^^^ well if that is the case I would have to agree with you.
Well Erika she can do as many services as she wants, and the owner can bring in as many nail techs as she want, but I DO NOT have to let her or anyone else use my pedi chair.

Backing up a bit here, the owner has always had my back when it came to others who did nails (hired to do hair, but did some nails on the side). She agreed with everything I said and spoke to the others for me if there was a problem. But like I said before, the dynamics have changed now and everything she agreed with me about before is now null and void because it's her daughter. So now it's pretty frustrating.

I agree every one is dispensable. What I'm saying is that she cannot afford to lose me because I am her only renter...so there should be some light treading on both sides.

Guest

Sounds like to me it's time to open your own place, whether you do it by yourself or with others. Go for it girl!!
My niece is a cosmo. Her mom came into some money and bought a salon so the kid would have a job. She hired a manager. Unfortunately my niece really doesn't like to work, even if it is doing something she likes. Showed up late, left early, came straight from the pool in her bathing suit with no intentions of changing. The situation is a little different than yours, but the manager fired her. Call her mom to say listen if you want this business to go under before you start seeing any profit fine, but I say she needs to get fired. And that is what happened.

I think you have to READ your boss and make a decision as to how open she will be to negative comments about her daughters performance. She probably is aware of it anyway. Working for a family owned business is almost always difficult for everyone else, especially when these types of situations arise. It does sound to me like you have a decent relationship with the owner and she does value you as the "nail department".

Good luck!