How To Reschedule Clients Once Your Salon Opens Up
Around the world, salons that shuttered their doors to keep humanity safe are slowly being given the okay to reopen. Undoubtedly, there will be a lot of customers lining up at your door as many people are in desperate need of a haircut. Figuring out how to reschedule clients whose appointments were cancelled due to the pandemic can be a tricky business; this quick guide will give you pointers on how to reopen and reschedule:
Keep Your Customers Informed
Taking down email addresses and phone numbers has become the standard in many salons. Send emails to the clients who had scheduled with you, and any other clients who have signed up for your salon’s newsletter. This email should contain:
- The date you are reopening
- Changes to your hours of operation, if any
- Changes to stylists’ schedules, if any
- Measure that you are taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19
- Any public health recommendations you wish to include (encouraging your clients to wear masks, etc.)
- The way you’re rescheduling (which we’ll discuss in a bit)
There are a variety of additional pieces of information you might choose to include as well. You might talk about how the situation is in flux, and that hours of operation may change depending on public health recommendations. Or, you might advise your clients to pay online in order to minimize contact with frequently-used surfaces. There are a lot of different business considerations during COVID-19, and they vary significantly from region to region. Use your best judgement.
You should update your social media accounts with the same information you’re sending out by email, though you might format it differently. A big, bold image with text that says “OPEN ON MM/DD” is sure to excite your clients.
Choose Your Rescheduling Tactic
There are a couple of different rescheduling tactics you might find useful. Before delving into them, consider the changes the pandemic has brought to your salon. You’ll almost certainly get a number of clients looking to walk in, and depending on guidelines in your area, you might have fewer stylists than usual. Calculate your capacity carefully.
The first tactic we’re going to look at is “triage”; with this strategy, you prioritize the clients who will be most “in need” of a haircut. Have a client who books with you every two weeks for a touch-up? Their hair is probably out of control by now, and they’ll be in desperate need of a cut. Have a client who only books once every eight weeks? They might not be too put out if you ask them to wait a bit longer.
The second method is to simply reschedule clients in the order they were originally booked in. For clients who already book in advance, you might not need to reschedule at all - simply keep their next scheduled appointment and continue their salon schedule from there.
Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, and either one may seem more “fair”. You know your clients best - go with your gut and do what works for you and your salon.
Changes to Booking
Booking appointments in advance may be a bit tricky at this time. Government regulations may change pretty rapidly, and if COVID-19 cases increase in your area, you may need to close down again. Make sure your clients are aware of these risks if they plan on booking in advance. You may also be over your expected capacity for a couple of months as all of the appointments that would have happened over the last two months get booked. Be sure to give yourself wiggle room in your schedule.
When it comes to first contact with your clients during your reopening, it might be a good idea to call them. This has been a strange time for everyone, and the human touch can be very reassuring. You might also use salon or barbershop appointment software in order to send out automated messages to your clients, reminding them of their new appointment date. Many of us haven’t gone to a business in months, and reminders could serve to help where habits fail.
Above all, be kind with your clients. They’re stressed, and they’re coming to you for rejuvenation. Be firm with your cancellation policy, but be flexible with your schedule if you can. Your clients may still not be back to work, and you may get some odd requests for booking times.