With talk of lockdown lifting over the next few weeks, you might be wondering if you’ll be faced with a rush of bookings. In France, a huge 60% of the population said they would book a haircut in the first week after reopening so it’s certainly a possibility!
It’s worth taking time now to consider what your strategy will be. Then you’ll know exactly how to schedule appointments when your salon re-opens.
Of course, your first priority is to keep your staff and customers safe. That will mean that most salons can’t serve as many customers as they have in the past. Social distancing means you can’t have as many people in the space.
This might mean you need to consider longer opening hours to fit as many appointments in as possible. By opening late into the evening, and on days you are normally closed, you’ll be able to see a lot more clients. Staff could work in shifts to cover the extra hours and reduce the number of people working at any one time.
You have decided how many appointments you can fit in. Now to work out how you’ll schedule those appointments when your salon reopens. You don’t want to spend the first few days with clients fighting for a slot! There are a few different strategies you could try.
1. Cancellations First
This is an easy system. Just go back through your diary and offer slots to anyone who had an appointment cancelled. Anyone who had an appointment on the first day of lockdown gets the first appointments when you reopen.
This has the advantage of being fair to your existing loyal customers. The problem is that you might disappoint anyone who had delayed booking when they saw lockdown looming. It also doesn’t allow for any new bookings or new clients.
2. Waiting List
Set up an online booking system and ask people to use it to reserve their place on a priority booking list. This system has the advantage of being online, which means you’ll have fewer phone calls to deal with. It also allows new customers and those without previous bookings to join the queue. You could also put clients who had appointments cancelled at the top of the list before you open it to new bookings.
3. Triage system
Some salons are choosing to offer the most urgent appointments first. You could choose to do the same and offer to see clients in order of urgency. For example:
- Top priority for – short styles, fringe trims, extension maintenance and colour to cover grey.
- Medium priority for mid-length styles, highlights and new hair loss replacement systems
- Low priority for long styles, low maintenance colour and new extension clients.
This system is a little more complicated but has the advantage of making sure those people who really need to see you get in first.
Things you can do now
Of course, deciding how to schedule appointments when your salon re-opens is only the beginning. There are plenty of things you can do now to help to book everyone in and run as smoothly as possible.
Once you have decided which system is right for your clients the next step is to tell them! Send out an email letting them know exactly what will happen and what they need to do. Should they register online for a waiting list, for example? Or wait for you to contact them? Posting the information on social media is a good idea as well. Reaching out will also reduce that overwhelming flood of phone calls!
Another great move would be to sign up for our free, certified course in COVID 19 infection control. You’ll learn how the infection is spread and what you can do to keep your staff and customers safe.