How To Reschedule Clients Once Your Salon Reopens
Everything You Need To Know About Rescheduling Clients
With states starting to reopen, the biggest question on a lot of salon owners’ minds right now—how should we reschedule clients once our salons reopen? There’s a lot to consider: cancellations due to closure, safety restrictions that will impact salon hours and shifts, prebooking AND MORE. Where do you even start? We’re here to help you get through this transition period as smoothly as possible.
We understand that every business is different—number of stylists and staff members, salon size, state regulations—so we reached out to a few salon owners to provide you with rescheduling strategies and important steps to start preparing now.
First, we’re breaking down two different scheduling methods from:
- Chris Jones (@chrisjones_hair): Co-owner of Salon Bugatti with Emily Cooper (@emilycooper_hair) in The Woodlands, Texas with 10 chairs, six stylists, two apprentices and a full-time receptionist.
- Matt Swinney (@matt.swinney): Co-owner of Evolution Salon in Minneapolis that has 12 chairs, 10 stylists and 19 staff members.
Idea #1: Triage Scheduling Method
Starting with clients who have missed their appointments since the salon’s initial closure date, Chris is using a triage method to reschedule cancelled appointments based on urgency. The salon will work through missed appointments in multiple phases based on specific services.
What is a triage? In the medical field, a triage is the assignment of degrees of urgency to decide the order of treatment for a large number of people.
Phase 1 – Clients who typically come in every 2 to 4 weeks include:
- Gray Coverage
- Root Retouches
- Short Hair & Men’s Cuts
Phase 2 – Clients who typically come in every 4 to 8 weeks include:
- Highlights & Gray Coverage In Between
- Bobs, Lobs & Midlength Haircuts
- Partial Haircolor
Phase 3 – Clients who typically come in every 3 to 4 months include:
- Long Hair
- Low-Maintenance Color
Prebooking Clients After The Reopening Rush
Understand that the way you have booked clients in the past does not apply to your current situation, at least for the transitional period—Chris is preparing for this transition to last for three months at least. He is allowing clients to prebook, but pushing their appointments further out.
For example: If your client would typically prebook two to four weeks in advance, push their next appointment six weeks out so you have room for flexibility. Then, you can focus on getting all of your clients in for their initial appointments first.
Idea #2: Covid-19 Cancellation List Method
Matt is creating a list of cancellations due to closure and sorting clients into two groups (see below.) From there, he will reschedule clients in order based on cancellation dates. This method will help you get organized before you start rescheduling.
- Clients Who Book Multiple Appointments In Advance: Many of Matt’s clients book out 2 to 3 appointments at a time, so if a client (who has missed one appointment) has a second appointment booked close to the reopening date, keep their appointment as is.
- Clients Who Missed Their Only Appointment On The Books: If a client only booked out one appointment (that was cancelled), put them in order from cancellations at the beginning of the shutdown until the most recent missed appointments.
“Because this has stretched longer, it does open up some people’s books more,” shares Matt. “I hope that will make it slightly easier than just a four-week shutdown.”
Consider How Safety Restrictions Will Impact Scheduling
Do you work in a three-chair or a 10-chair salon? Do you have space to practice social distancing or will you need to divide shifts? Does your state have occupancy restrictions? All of these factors will impact how you are able to schedule stylists—here are some things to consider.
- Dividing Shifts: Chris has has 10 chairs, six stylists, two apprentices and a receptionist. To practice safe distancing and follow Texas’ 25 percent occupancy rule, only three stylists can work at a time, so he plans to give everyone three days (instead of five) in the salon weekly, alternating days.
- Give Yourself Options: Matt has 12 stylists, 10 chairs and 19 total staff members—with few that double-book. Because his salon space is large, almost all of his chairs are six feet apart, plus room for pop-up stations. But if there is a state occupancy limit, Matt plans to run two separate shifts every day, six days a week.
- Reducing Hours: If stylists have to work less hours in the salon, it’s super important to maximize scheduling while giving everyone the proper amount of time needed to reset and properly clean and disinfect between services.
What You Can Do ASAP To Prepare
One day you will be quarantining and the next day you will find out your salon is reopening—that’s how it works. So use this time to get prepared! Matt recommends making mock schedules to see how you can maximize your stylists’ time behind the chair. That way, you can find a system that works best for your business and be ready with a plan.
What’s Next? It’s Time To Make Some Important Decisions!
Once you have a rescheduling plan, it’s time to focus on working out the details—who will handle scheduling, how will you communicate with clients and how you can prepare yourself for reopening ASAP.
How To Manage Rescheduling + Future Bookings
Reminder: There’s no right or wrong way to manage bookings. Check out what other salon owners are doing and make decisions that make sense for your salon team!
- Stylists Managing Their Own Bookings: At both Chris’ and Matt’s salons, every stylist will manage their own schedules. For the stylists who have more availability, Chris’ full-time receptionist will be assisting to book out future appointments for them.
- Manually Rescheduling vs. Online Bookings: Matt recommends manually booking clients upon reopening opposed to using a software program. Why? “We are empowering each stylist to do their own rescheduling—we think human contact is what people are desiring at this time,” shares Matt.
How To Communicate Rescheduling Info + Guidelines With Clients
- Send A Clear Email To Clients: It’s important to send every client an email that clearly outlines your new scheduling policies, what they can expect when the salon reopens and new safety guidelines and requirements you will be implementing.
- Reach Out To Clients For Rescheduling: To avoid a mass overflow of calls upon reopening, Chris is discouraging clients to contact the salon for scheduling info. Instead, the salon will reach out to clients to book appointments.
- Post On Your Salon’s Social Media: Farhana Premji (@xo.farhana.balayage), Owner of The Beige Label in Calgary, AB, posted this announcement on her salon’s Instagram page explaining how clients can be added to a priority list for rescheduling. By checking in on social media, you’re letting clients know that you’re taking action but also asking for their patience.
- Follow-Up Emails: In addition to a mass email to all clients, when you send appointment confirmation or reminder emails—this is where you can provide them with other important information regarding the following:
- Rescheduling Policies: Explain in detail.
- Safety Check-Ins: Will you take temperatures, do a health questionnaire, etc.?
- New Guidelines, Requirements + Policies:
- Will you be limiting blow-drying or other services?
- Should clients wait in outside vs. the waiting room?
- Will you give clients the option to wash their hair at home post-retouches?
- Contact-free payment methods.
- Curbside retail to limit browsing in the salon.