Like many industries, the beauty industry is experiencing a shortage of new talent. This can cause stress on your existing business as you receive more client requests with the same amount of time in your day. Here are a few ways to efficiently manage clients.
Less can be more. A busy book is critical to a successful career as a stylist. How you manage your schedule will affect the quality of your service to new and current clients, so it’s important to make sure it’s done efficiently and effectively. Think about quality over quantity. Focus on high-value services when building your books. Rather than doing more cuts, fill your schedule with colors as much as possible. You will see higher ticket prices and be able to spend more time developing relationships with clients.
Build in a buffer. There’s a tendency to pack in clients as tight as possible. While you don’t want holes in your schedule, it’s important to remember to provide a memorable customer experience. There’s more than just the service—consider the consultation, add-ons, and finishing services. Think about building that time into your service allotments to ensure you’re not rushing from appointment to appointment and skimping over these important aspects of the service. It will help you and your clients have a better experience.
Retention. Appointments with repeat clients are typically more efficient. You understand what they like in a cut and style and know their color formulas. If they try something new, you know their taste, so even consultations will be more efficient than with first-time clients. If you get them on a rebooking schedule, it will be more convenient for you and them. Make the service and experience stand out every time, so you keep those valuable clients coming back.
Power off. It’s no secret that the salon industry is physically demanding. While it can be extremely rewarding, it can also be very exhausting. It’s tempting to respond to messages about service requests and keep up on social media marketing when you’re not at the salon, but remember to give yourself time to recharge. Consider not responding to work-related messages after hours. You’ll be happier and, as a result, your clients will be too.
Consider a pause on new clients. As a stylist, you may be focused on getting new clients to make sure your books are full. However, once you build a solid clientele, you may find you get more referrals and it can become difficult to meet the scheduling demands of everyone. One consideration is to pause on taking new clients until your schedule balances out. Be mindful of how you announce this, as you don’t want to give the impression you’re turning clients away indefinitely. This may not be a good solution for everyone, so consider the overall picture. You could also consider a period of only taking consultations. That way, you can still get new clients in the salon, even if you’re busy. Discuss their hair and your schedule to set up expectations. You may be able to agree on a future appointment time, even if it’s weeks or months down the road.
Hire an assistant. Consider hiring a cosmetology student to complete shampoos and finish styles, leaving you with more time to perform technical services. This offers valuable training and experience to the assistant and may even lead to a future stylist at the salon. This is especially beneficial if your salon is growing and may need new stylists. You can train the assistant within your salon culture, and he or she will be more prepared to take new clients after graduation. Another benefit is when prices may increase, any clients who aren't able to afford the new prices can be referred to a newer stylist they’re already familiar with. That way, you keep the relationship strong, the client stays with the salon, and you help another stylist build a solid client base. It’s a win-win!
All salons function in their own ways, so what works well in one may not work as well in another. Salon management software can play a big role in efficiently managing your clientele. Implement some of the ideas shared above to see what works well in your salon!