I have been in the haircut business for over 33 years. I have never been late to serve a haircut client appointment, ever. Seriously, Really. Never. There is not one single human on the planet who can say I was ever late to take them for their haircut on time. Because it never happened.
I am not bragging. I am hoping to inspire. This conversation started when an online social post asked how much grace should be allotted to haircut clients arriving late for their appointments? My answer was “zero”. No grace. No allowances. As you can imagine I caught some flack. Let me explain. I believe grace gives clients permission to abuse you. If gives clients permission to be late. Once given, that permission will be leveraged and abused. Grace gives clients permission to abuse you.
Respect is a 2-way street. I expect you to be on time for me. Therefore, I must respect that I must be on time for you. And, therein lies the key to all of this.
A professional, respectful haircutter will always run on time. There is a system to doing that and I am happy to share it. Following are the steps to implement a system that will never have you run late ever again. Commit to this simple strategy and you will raise the bar, raise the expectations and raise the bottom line of your professional haircutting.
1. Set realistic booking timing. Your booking slots should be longer than the real time it takes to deliver the service. If you can consistently deliver a haircut in 45 minutes you should be booking out on the full hour. Allow time for ”stuff happens”. Always have enough time in the first place.
2. Charge more. You must charge enough so as to be able to afford to extend your booking time. Playing too tight on the price will lead you to play too tight on the timing.
3. Never squeeze. Say not to any and every request to “just squeeze me in”. Squeezing hurts four people. The client right now gets rushed. The squeezed client gets hurried through. The next client is taken late and the haircutter is stressed. No one wins on a squeeze play.
4. No grace. Late means you turn them away. No. I am sorry. I cannot serve you. It will throw off my entire book. I cannot do that and then be late for others. People will understand and respect this. If they do not understand and do not respect this, by Felicia.
5. Offer less service. A late client can be served, just serve less. If they have booked a spot for a shampoo, haircut and style and call or show up late you can offer a lesser service opportunity that will allow you to uphold your timing. I can shampoo and cut you but we no longer have time for me to blow you out. You can get blown out by another team member or you can use our self-finishing station if you wish. Can that work? This shows compromise while maintaining respect and the integrity of your system and policies.
This all starts with YOU respecting your book, your timing and your price. Clients will respect you and your schedule. You will be able to then serve them in a respectful manner.
Reach out for help implementing this system or any other way I can help you build and grow your business.