In a perfect world, every client would show up to their appointments on time, preferably with a Starbucks in hand for you. Last minute cancellations and no shows wouldn’t exist, and every guest would be OBSESSED with every service provided and retail product recommended. Every customer would be sweet as sugar to your salon team, communication would be clear and concise, and conflicts would be nonexistent. However, we quite clearly do NOT live in a perfect world, which means structure and policies are necessary to have in place within your salon business. In this blog post, we’re going to cover the top 5 policies that every salon needs to have in place to protect their stylists and overall business.
SALON POLICY #1: Late For Appointment Policy
There’s nothing more awkward than when someone strolls in 20 minutes late for their appointment and you must choose between turning them away or rushing through their appointment. Things come up, people are late, it happens. However, it is important to have a policy in place to place some accountability on your guests so they can respect your staff’s time. Having a late policy in place that states the clients service will not be able to happen if they are 15+ minutes late for their appointment not only prevents careless tardiness but protects your stylist’s valuable time. If you must enforce this policy, you also need to have a cancellation/no show policy as this would be classified as a last-minute cancellation and would be responsible for paying a fee before rescheduling.
SALON POLICY #2: Cancellation/No Show Policy
Every salon deals with this problem, and it is beyond frustrating when you don’t have a system in place to compensate your team for the time of the missed appointment. Most clients are respectful of their stylist’s time, but many people are unaware of how much a last-minute cancellation or no show affects the stylist and the salon financially. Creating a cancellation/no show policy with a consequential fee if it is not followed allows your team to communicate why notice is so important to their clients and will make them rest easy knowing they will be compensated when appointments are not able to be filled.
We recommend setting a time frame for cancellations (24 or 48+ hours) notice or the client is responsible to pay for 50% of their service charge. If the client is a no call, no show for their appointment, they may be responsible for paying 100% of their service fee.
SALON POLICY #3: Return/Exchange Policy
The beauty of a salon experience and retail is that every product recommendation is based on every client’s individual needs. However, sometimes the guest isn’t absolutely obsessed with their retail purchase and may be interested in a refund or exchange. Every salon distributor has different exchange/return policy which means every salon will have to adjust theirs accordingly. It is important to have a retail return/exchange policy in place in your salon, so you make sure you are covering your bases and avoiding awkward conversations when a customer inevitably wants to swap out their purchase. Another important thing to include in this policy is time frame that exchange/return can happen as well as how much of the product must remain to be eligible. Make sure to have this policy posted at your front desk and include on your receipts if possible.
SALON POLICY #4: Redo/Service Fix Policy
Consultation is the most important part of any beauty service, but sometimes miscommunication happens. We recommend having a policy in place that your clients are aware of in regard to service redo’s and fixes. Every situation is different, but it’s great insurance to make sure that your staff is informing their guests of this policy, especially if they are worried about miscommunication or service expectations. For particularly tricky services with a guest that has unrealistic expectations, you may even have them sign a consultation form following a thorough consult to ensure they acknowledge and are aware of your salon’s redo/fix policy.
SALON POLICY #5: Salon Behaviour/Staff Treatment Policy
In every customer service industry, there is the possibility of having negative client interactions. Especially with the current climate of the world and many controversial and different opinions on various topics, it is important to establish what is acceptable and tolerated conversation in the salon. Having this type of policy in place will make your team feel safe and secure in their environment and gives them solutions if an uncomfortable situation is to arise.
Now that you’ve got the 101 on guest policies, now you need to create a solid plan to enforce them. This is going to look different in every salon as rules, regulations, and laws differ from province, to state, to country. If you live somewhere that it is not legal to have a credit card on file to charge for no shows and late cancellation fees, you may opt for invoices that must be paid before the guest is able to book another appointment. Whatever your accountability is for breaking policies, you must be consistent with it across the board, even when it is uncomfortable. Every situation and circumstance is different and can be adjusted accordingly, however having these policies in place is to protect your team, so it is important that you stand firm in the policies you have established.
When instating policies, it is imperative that your guests are fully aware of what the policies and consequences are to prevent any issues. We suggest having your policies online, printed and posted in salon, as well as verbally communicated with guests to prevent confusion or shock if an issue arises. If you're needing help building a website that you can easily navigate and regularly update with things like guest policies, Salon S.O.S can help! Click here to check out our simple and affordable salon website solutions.
Although it can feel intimidating to stay firm with these policies and boundaries, it will ultimately create a safer, mutually respectful and beneficial exchange for both your staff and guests. We teach people how to treat us, and policies are an excellent way of establishing boundaries between your team and salon clients.
You can listen to The Salon Scoop Podcast episode of the same title as this blog if you want to learn even more about setting policies and boundaries in your salon.
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‘Til Next Time,
Your Team at Salon S.O.S