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Sunday, December 22, 2013

ReBook... ReLax

January in the salon..where's everybody at?
 Fun Fancy Nails aka Danalynn recently posted this question on Facebook.  What are you doing to increase your clientele in January? My response? Rebook them in December. Kind of a no brainer however many of us get busy, clients waiting, running behind so we don’t take that extra step to make sure our guests are rebooked that day. Rebooking is an art form in itself. You should have a strategic plan and verbal script at the ready to make sure this important task is not overlooked.
Let’s look at a few scenarios. I am finishing up with my guest and I ask if she would like to rebook her next appointment. Well actually I don’t actually ask I say Let’s get you on the books for your next appointment. I’m parental, I tell them what they need to do, admit it, some of your clients need this too. We know how this is going to play out if we don’t. They wait, and call needing to get in that week or even that day right? Their nail emergency becomes our scheduling problem. Since we can’t make appointment times appear out of thin air like some kind of nail genie what happens? They are upset, we are booking extra hours or days to try and get them in. Not a good scenario. I take back control.  I say this day and time seems to work best for us both, let’s look two, or three weeks out whatever the case may be and get you on the books.  Option one they say OK great let’s book it. Option two they say well I don’t have my appointment book with me, rare these days since everyone’s schedule is on their phone.  If they say they don’t know their schedule I then say Well Let’s put it on the books and you can check when you get home. If you have a conflict we can try and rearrange it. What usually happens is if you are on their schedule then your appointment becomes the conflict. They have to work other appointments around you. Just as it should be.  If they do have a conflict at least you know with enough time to find an alternative slot. 
I encourage my clients to book standing appointments with me. I work two nights per week and have no interest in working another. Having most of my clients on standings eliminates phone time, scheduling time and nail emergencies. If you constantly have appointment challenged clients consider charging premium pricing for the added hours or days. Let them know you do have extra times available but they are at a higher fee. Say 20% higher than regular pricing. Nothing like hitting them in the old pocketbook to get them booking during regular business hours. On the other hand many clients that are in need of these specific times may not mind paying the extra fee to have the time they choose. If we don’t respect our time our clients won’t either. I am guilty as charged myself at times.  I just had a situation last week where a client asked for a Monday appointment. I booked it and met her at the salon, on my day off. I figured she may have been going out of town and needed the Monday. Once we got there she said "Oh Millie I didn’t realize when I booked this it was your day off. Why didn’t you tell me?  I don’t need to have them done today, do you have something tomorrow? I can come back." As it turned out I had time the next day to fit her in and I was able to return to my regularly scheduled day off. Lesson learned for me too. Don’t assume your clients have your schedule memorized, even if you have been doing them for 10 years. Don’t get me wrong, I would come in on a Holiday if a client was truly in need, that is after all how to build a rock star clientele. But those times are few and far between.  Get yourself in the habit of looking over your schedule on a regular basis and creating the best work flow possible. After all, what we are truly selling is our time, and remembering time is money is smart marketing.

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