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Turn An Unhappy Guest Into A Raving Fan

Photo of two Lomi Lomi Hawaiian massage therapists massaging a couple side by side

How do you respond when a client seems upset with your service for no apparent reason?

As Lomi practitioners we set our intentions for loving touch and to spread the arms of Aloha around the world, but that doesn’t mean our clients always recognize it.

Have you experienced anything like this?

  • You arrive for the session, but the client will not make eye contact and seems agitated.
  • There is a feeling of negative energy in the room
  • The person is lying on the table, but you feel the resigned sigh and avoidance.
  • You try to connect, but they leave you hit a wall
  • The work day is over, but you are wondering, “What did I do wrong?” and “What could I have done differently?

I’ve been in this situation before and I want to share a simple, framework help you confidently handle a conversation with a client who’s upset and turn an unhappy guest into a raving fan.

It can also be used to develop a life skill that will your infuse your interactions, conversations and relationships with Aloha.

Here’s a real-life scenario that recently happened at Ho’omana Spa…

1. Start with Mindset

The truth is, it is virtually impossible to know what is going on with someone in their lives outside your doors. People are busy and their lives are full – kids, work, finances, partners, health, ailing parents…a global pandemic!

Mental health. Emotional needs. Feeling lost and disconnected. Out of control. It’s a strange time.

One of our kupuna, Mr. Hale Makua had a profound teaching. “Either someone is in love or they are not.”

If someone is upset, they are not in love. Learn to recognize this as a cry for love. The person before you is needing love and you, with the healing touch of Aloha, can share it with them. 

So, when someone is unhappy, angry or directing negative energy towards you, recognize a cry for love.

2. Listen with Empathy

Take a moment to really listen to what the person is sharing. Recognize and acknowledge the unmet expectations. Thank them for sharing their honest feedback.

Although it’s tempting to match negative energy with defensiveness, the only thing that will accomplish is having the person walk out the door and never having the opportunity to experience the loving touch of Lomi Lomi

Try meeting them with aloha. Meet them where they are to continue the conversation.

3.Invite the Connection

Once you have listened supportively, you will have the opportunity to share possibilities of your time together.

It might sound like this, “My intention is to take very good care of you while you are here. We can start with some relaxing music. You can tell me about your goals, any areas you want me to focus on and have some time to be nurtured and cared for.”

Lomi Lomi practitioners are willing to hold our clients hearts in our hands. We offer this opportunity in love, but we cannot do it alone.

You must invite the client to rise and meet the opportunity.

4. Ask the Question

When we go through these steps: meeting them, gaining their trust, showing them what the journey would look like, assuring them we are going to be holding their heart in our hands, and invite them to meet this opportunity in love. 

The next step is wait for the answer. 

Try this: “Would you like to go ahead and get started?”

 And then, just pause and wait.

Give them a moment to ponder. Let them check in with how they’re feeling, check in with the situation.

The question is an invitation to respond. If they say yes…great!

It’s so important to recognize there is always seen and unseen circumstances going on in any moment. 

Recognize a cry for love. Answer the call with empathy. Listen, and be supportive to meet others where they’re at. 

By doing this, you gain their trust and ultimately have the opportunity to show them you are the person to hold their heart in your hands. 

Invite them to rise, to meet the opportunity with love. Ask the question and wait for a response.

Then…share the loving touch of Lomi Lomi!

Let’s just choose love. Choose to wrap the arms of Aloha around the globe.

PS: This process will help you in the moment, but what do you do if someone has already left a negative review online? Lucky for you, I wrote blog post on that very topic! Check it out here:

woman sitting in front of a laptop while holding a cup

With aloha,

Kumu Jeana Iwalani Naluai

Signature of Kumu Jeana Iwalani Naluai







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