PocketSuite’s Karen Survival Guide

Home >> Blog >> Uncategorized >> PocketSuite’s Karen Survival Guide

angry woman

It is safe to say that everyone who has worked in a service based industry has had to deal with a Karen or two. And by “Karen,” we of course mean the popular nickname for rude, entitled, angry and out-of-touch customers not actual people named Karen who are often quite nice. While these types of customers have always been a known presence to those in service industries, the rise of social media, and especially TikTok, has really thrust “Karen” into the spotlight. 

People from all industries have been sharing their Karen stories, and these have been well received as they are super relatable no matter what the industry. 

With the spotlight brightly on Karen right now, it begs the question “How can I avoid Karen interactions?” Well, while you will likely always find there will be Karens out in the world, there are some things you can do to mitigate the impact and avoid some of the more problematic encounters. That’s why we put together the PocketSuite Karen Survival Guide, to help you run your business in peace while avoiding the worst of the Karens.

What is a Karen?

Let’s start off answering the question that everyone probably already knows the answer to, shall we? 

While most of you already know what a Karen is, there may be a few who aren’t really sure, so we will tell you. A Karen is the not-so-nice nickname for a middle-aged woman (or man) who complains endlessly and exhibits entitled behavior—like demanding discounts, screaming at staff, and demanding to speak to a manager,

While “Karen” may have started out as a middle-aged white woman with a bad haircut and worse attitude, she has morphed into something so much more. Now when someone says they had a “Karen experience” they mean that they dealt with an entitled and rude person, usually with outrageous demands. People young and old can all be Karens…. Even men get referred to as a Karen now. 

Though we sincerely apologize to anyone named Karen who is not a “Karen.”

The Karen Encounter

Now that we have gone over what a Karen is, we can talk a little about the typical Karen encounter. If you’ve been on TikTok recently, I am sure you have seen at least a few “Karen in the wild” videos. These typically showcase a Karen encounter and highlight how wild some of these people can be. 

For example, Karen is enraged she has to pay a no-call-no-show fee for her scheduled hair appointment. She feels entitled to get her money back, even though she signed a contract with her stylist and still decided to just not show up for the appointment. 

There are a lot of things that Karen hates, like waiting in line, paying full price, not being the center of the world, and especially being told NO.

Every single industry out there can speak to their own Karen encounters. We have pros in a plethora of different industries, and have heard so many stories about different Karen experiences. Everyone from hair stylists, to mobile detailers, and tattoo artists; EVERYONE has a story and we really want to help you know what to do when these situations arise. 

happy customer

Surviving The Karen Encounter

The Karen encounter can be uncomfortable for all involved, especially if you are a non-confrontational person. No one wants to fight with a Karen, but that doesn’t mean you should give in to their ridiculous demands either. 

When it comes to surviving a Karen encounter as a business owner, it is important to keep a few things in mind. 

First, you need to remain calm. Karen will want to get under your skin and get you riled up. Don’t give her the satisfaction of seeing you get upset. This is much easier said than done, but it is a must for every Karen encounter. 

Second, you need to make sure you have all your facts and company policies in place. She will try to badger you into things that are against policy, like giving discounts and free services, even though you did nothing wrong. Make sure you have all the documentation to back up your business and let Karen know that you won’t be bullied in your own place of business. 

Finally, you need to try to end the confrontation as soon as possible. Karen will try to drag this encounter out as long as she can, thinking she can wear you down with her entitlement until you finally give in just to make her go away. You need to cut the encounter as short as you can. Don’t let Karen keep dragging it out. Calmly speak your peace and send her on her way. 

Once the encounter is over, you also need to be ready for any potential “backlash”. Karen is a creature that thrives on chaos and drama, and is likely to take her frustration to the internet once you have shut down her fraudulent complaints. This means you can maybe expect a one state Google review or scathing post about your business on social media. Take these with a grain of salt! It will be tempting to go back at her in the comments and responses, but it is important to control your emotions in this instance. 

Your responses need to be calm but firm. Keep in mind that you are not going to change Karen’s mind, the point of responding to it so that other clients and potential clients can see that you are a great and level headed business person and this review is just from an angry Karen. 

happy customer

How to Prevent a Karen Experience

While we know that the occasional Karen encounter is inevitable, there are a few things you can do to help avoid having to deal with too many of them. At the least, these will all make the inevitable Karen encounter much more manageable!

Implement Contracts and Forms for your Small Business

Contracts are agreements you have your customers sign and agree to before they pay for or receive a service from you. The great thing about a contract is it is a moment to both share and have your customers agree to your policies, pricing and responsibilities before you work with them. 

If a Karen has unrealistic expectations, you can refer back to your contract and their agreement to the terms and conditions. A contract both lowers the risk of a dispute over payments and a long drawn-out disagreement with a customer.

This not only sets realistic expectations for both you and the client, it also helps you with potential Karens. Contracts should be part of your Karen survival guide for multiple reasons. 

For one, it may scare Karen straight. She will want to complain and try to get her entitled discount, but she has seen and signed the contract and knows that she should behave.

Secondly, if Karen does decide to make a scene, you can whip out that contract and show her exactly what she signed and agreed to. This covers you in so many ways! It is possible Karen didn’t even read the contract, but that’s not your fault, she signed it, she has to abide by it!

Contracts are legally binding, and if Karen wants to escalate her complaints, well, when you have a contract in place, she really doesn’t have a leg to stand on. 

Contracts can be intimidating though, but we make it easy for you to send contracts to every single client whenever they book with you. In PocketSuite, you can either create a contract right in the app, or have one of our customer care team members help you import your existing contracts. Then the app will automatically send the contract to your clients when they book you. Easy for you, easy for them, and protection from the raging Karen.

Have a Cancellation Policy in Place

On important aspect of surviving a Karen encounter is to have cancellation policy in place. Clients need to know up front that if they cancel within a certain amount of time, or no-call-no-show for their scheduled appointment that they WILL in fact be charged a cancellation fee. 

They have just wasted your time and cost you money, so you need to be sure to cover yourself when these instances arise. 

Karen is notorious for last minute cancellations and just not showing up, but then demanding to be seen at HER convenience and not wanting to pay for inconveniencing you. 

Having this cancellation policy highly visible will help deter these Karens from trying to take advantage of you. 

PocketSuite makes this super easy. You can implement your cancellation fee right in our all in one scheduling app and when a client violates your policy, it will automatically charge their card on file. 

Send Appointment Reminders

It may seem simple, but appointment reminders are an important aspect of your Karen survival strategy. 

Every time a client books with you, send out multiple automated reminders about their upcoming appointment. One to confirm the booking as soon as it is scheduled, and one 24-48 hours prior to the appointment. You can even set it up so clients have to confirm the appointment when you send them their 48 hour reminder. 

This will not only help you with making sure all of your clients remember their appointments, but it also gives you ammunition to use against the entitled Karen who lives to say “ I never knew when my appointment was” or “ I just KNOW I scheduled it for this other time”.  With these reminders, you have a paper trail. You can show Karen right on the app that no, she was sent multiple reminders of the exact day and time of the appointment. That way you can shut down that entitled Karen quickly. 

PocketSuite loves protecting you from Karen, so we offer appointment reminders that will automatically send to your clients’ email and/or cell phone. Since we automate this for you, it not only helps with your Karen survival strategy, it also takes stress away from you so you never have to wonder if you sent that text ever again. 

happy customer

Get Fantastic Google Reviews

Last, but not least, you need to make sure you are always getting amazing Google reviews. 

How is this going to add to your Karen survival guide, you may ask. Well, this is going provide you with a good buffer when an angry Karen decides to one-star bomb you. 

As much as it sucks, it happens. Karen is going to get upset because you are not going to give into her entitled demands, and she is going to take her complaints to Google because she wants everyone to have to listen to her. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to prevent this, but you can mitigate it. 

Most of your clients are going to love you, but happy clients tend to forget about leaving a 5 star review once they get back to their daily life. So it is up to you as a business owner to remind them to head to your Google business profile and leave you a review. 

This is really simple with the PocketSuite smart campaigns feature. With smart campaigns, you are able to send all of your happy clients a text message with the link to your google business, reminding them to go ahead and leave their thoughts. 

Having enough of these awesome positive reviews, will allow you to easily overlook the wild Karen’s threat of “destroying your business” through one single bad review online. 

Let Your Clients Book you Online

Karens thrive on vagueness and lack of clarity. If there is any doubt in your mind or your systems, a Karen will try to exploit it and ask for special treatment or discounted pricing.

One simple thing you can do to limit this vagueness is have all your clients book you online through your booking site. That way, there will be less ambiguity in when you are available and when you aren’t. There will also be a clear record of when Karen has an appointment and when she doesn’t.

If you let your clients book you via text, there is a good chance there will eventually be some miscommunications that will lead to altercations with Karens.

PocketSuite makes it easy to update your calendar and run a booking site that makes these boundaries clear. 

happy customer

PocketSuite’s Karen Survival Guide

Here at PocketSuite, not only have we dealt with our fair share of Karens, we also have listened to our pros when they tell us their Karen horror stories. 

So this survival guide is put together by people who not only have been there, done that, but who also have your best interstate at heart. 

Following these tips should give you everything you need to survive your next Karen encounter and hopefully prevent having too many more in the future. 

If you aren’t already using PocketSuite to run your business, you should check out our 30-day risk free trial and see how we can help skyrocket your business and protect you from those pesky Karens!