4 Benefits to Double Booking the Right Way
By Janet Bardin-Gordon
If you want to stir up conversation on how to maximize revenue potential, just mention double booking. Salon owners, stylists, colorists and even clients all have different opinions on this hot topic—pro and con. But those in favor agree that double booking can be done right, if you create a system that ensures clients get the time they need and want in order to receive a high level of service.
Four salon owners who’ve perfected scheduling systems that keep clients coming back, new clients coming in and their team members busy, productive and happy, share their secrets on how to do it right.
1. Why Double Book?
“Double booking frees up colorists to schedule more color services in a day and gives hairdressers in training an opportunity to be exposed to salon clients that one day may end up in their chair. In addition, it enhances the advanced training program by exposing the trainee to the true flow of a salon service experience.”
“This on-the-job training helps them refine technical skills, such as styling and finishing techniques and retailing, and also ultimately improves their soft skills as well.” – Allen Ruiz of Jackson Ruiz
2. How & When to Double Book?
“Start slowly. Look at your books each day. Understand how long processing takes for your color services. Look for that 45 minute processing time. If you take 45 minutes to do a cut, then you can double book. (Otherwise, you will need to step away and shampoo out the color, apply the toner or treatment, then go finish your cut). Start experimenting with a double booking once a day. Do this for a few weeks. Once you get better at scheduling your time, do two a day and so on. The key is to really understand the process of servicing your clients and how long it takes to accomplish different services while maintaining your quality.”
“Communicate! Explain to the client what you’re doing. “I’m finishing your application of highlights and will check on you in 30 minutes. You will likely take 45-60 minutes to process. I’ll be working on another client while you relax. I’ll set my timer to ensure that I check your color on time. When you’re ready, we’ll shampoo out your color, tone for five minutes and then start your haircut.” The majority of clients just want to know the game plan. If you’re clear, they understand this is your normal schedule and will decide if it works for them. It’s their choice, as it’s your choice to double book. If a client gets upset, it’s usually because they don’t know what to expect, and the stylist didn’t bother to take the time to explain the process. This can seem disorganized if you don’t understand the procedures. Clients may get concerned that the stylist will either forget them or not pay enough attention to them, and their service will suffer.”
“When a client doesn’t want to be double-booked, this client wants all your time. You have two choices. You say okay and oblige them, for whatever reason, or you charge them more. Your time is how you earn a living.” – Melissa Ryan of Festoon Salons
3. Benefits of Double Booking?
“Double booking increases productivity and availability for guests to make appointments with high-demand directors and senior directors. The associates who help provide the basic services for double booking (single color application, blowouts) are all licensed cosmetologists and are completely skilled and competent to provide these services. The skills that associates learn by assisting in double booking services are priceless. They not only get hands-on experience, but they develop communication and time management skills.”
“A colorist/stylist can bring in an extra $500 in service revenue a day, plus tips, with double booking. For example, if they can add three extra color/cut services to their book each day, and you value that over a year’s time, the professional could generate approximately $80k more in additional service revenue!” – Debra Penzone of Charles Penzone Salons