Sticky Situation: The Combative Client

What do you do when a client sparks an argument with front desk personnel?

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The Situation: "Situations will sometimes arise where a client has a dispute over a bill, wants to return something past the date stated on the return policy or is simply not having a good day--and the conversation gets ugly," says Bruce Schoenberg, president of Oasis Day Spas in New York City and Westchester, N.Y.

The Solution: "We tell the front desk to call a manager right away, move the situation off the floor and into a private office so it's more discreet," Schoenberg says. "This way other clients aren't disturbed. Also, the playing field is different when you're in private. In private, you can better calm the person down and come to a positive resolution. You never want to negotiate these things in public."

Got a Sticky Situation to share? Email carrie.borzillo@gmail.com.