Business Forum – Shop Etiquette: Customer & Communication

by Terry Watson | October 25th, 2012
Members of Professional Barber and Cosmetologist Business

Members of Professional Barber and Cosmetologist Business

Make no mistake – we appreciate the opportunity to service you, the client.
However, to better serve your service requests, it is imperative that you consider the many aspects of a barber/stylist’s schedule. As you represent being our number-one priority, we need your help to maintain a maximum level of professionalism when it comes to exceeding your grooming expectations. Though different salons have established their own set of “etiquette rules” we have outlined a few of our own that speak across the board.

Show Up For Your Appointment – On Time
We understand that things happen. If you will be 5-10 minutes delayed, give us a call. Beyond 10 minutes, it is best to reschedule. As barber/stylists, our schedules remain tight and we must be prepared to honor the service of our next booked appointment. Your time is our time! If you are habitually late or do not provide a courtesy 24-hour cancellation, do not be surprised to be assessed a no-show fee. Do understand that your no-show slot may have caused your professional the opportunity to fill your spot. Yes, it is your appointment, but it is their livelihood.

Don’t Try To ‘Squeeze’ Your Way In
Be mindful that showing up more than 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment can cause a disruption in your barber/stylist’s schedule. Beyond the interruption of an ongoing consultation, your premature arrival also prevents ample time to clean and prep for your appointment. In addition, exercise respect for your professional’s time. Attempting to talk your stylist into a last-minute or “in between clients” service request is absolutely unreasonable. Such requests prove inconsiderate, impede schedules, and show a lack of respect for your professional’s personal time. If you are always pressed for time, please book for services well in advance. They will appreciate the courtesy and you will definitely benefit from it!

Family & Friends –
Indeed we love them but we don’t look forward to a ‘family reunion’ that too often accompanies the ‘entourage’
Be courteous of your professional stylist and the barber/salon establishment. Please keep all guests at a minimum when attending your appointment. Space can be limited & visitors along for the ride can very quickly cause overcrowding. And without question, keep all guests out of working spaces. These areas have been designed to provide a service not a hangout. Additionally, unless your child is receiving styling services, please arrange for childcare outside the salon, and definitely inside! Be informed that the establishment is a place of business. The professional must exercise a degree of safety at all times. The styling area must be maintained, tools managed, and products properly handled (some of which may contain chemicals that others, especially children, should not directly come in contact with.) Your safety is a priority!

Haggling vs. Tipping
We much prefer tipping rather than haggling. Among many factors, your professional’s price setting is determined by space rental, products/tools investment, ongoing education, and profit for sustainability. Consistently insisting on price reductions displays a lack of value for your barber/stylist and is an indication that the service request exceeds your budget. On another note, though it is not required, it is appreciated when offered a tip for services well done! A tip also provides a show of appreciation and stirs encouragement as the stylist strives to become better in their craft. Of course not every service rendered will prove ‘tip worthy’, but those that do, don’t hesitate to give generously.

Barber/Stylist – About Face
As much as we insist on interacting with punctual and time-considerate clientele, all the more reason that we must exhibit punctuality as professionals. We set the stage concerning the kind of customer base we service! If we are habitually late attending to our scheduled appointments, we should not become frustrated with our client population who arrives 20-40 minutes early or late simply because they are attempting to “keep up” with our impromptu schedule. Your customers deserve better and so does your business!

Not only are we in the styling/salon industry, we are the industry! The moment we book an appointment, we have entered into a business contract. A binding agreement has been made. The client has agreed to show for a scheduled service and you – the professional – have agreed to render that service. However, once you break any part of that agreement by arriving late, or worse not at all, you have made that agreement, and eventually your reputation as a competent barber/stylist, null and void.

It’s easy to speak on the part of a client, but how challenging when we have to put ourselves in check! We must keep an open dialogue with our customers. Though we, too, experience unusual circumstances at times, we must be quick to communicate a reasonable solution to benefit both parties. As with any partnership, broken communication leads to broken relationship. And relationship is key in our business! If the client isn’t happy, we are not happy because a happy customer is a paying customer. Our clientele but, more importantly, our provided skill is our livelihood. We must invest in our talents and equally maintain a generous show of respect for our customer’s time and investment in us. Once your client is in the door, be quick to acknowledge them and their business with you.

Provide an ear as a confidant, but more earnestly as a sought-after professional. Be quick to listen as you settle into the service request. You are the professional but the customer has to walk out the door with the end result. No matter your number of accolades, licenses or certificates, if you are unable to heed your client’s request, those displayed plaques represent a reflection of you alone and not your vested skills. And do be conscious of time spent on the phone while rendering services.

Business is business but your first priority should always be to provide your client with the best service possible! Coupled with providing exceptional service, you should additionally strive to ensure a sanitized workspace clear of debris and unsupervised guests. Again, you set the stage.

You are your business. You set the standard for your failures and successes. But our wish to you – as should be to yourself – is long-lived professional and personal success!

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