Trust is built on promises kept
Tis the damn season for being exhausted and also frustrated by clients canceling their salon appointments, however, this lesson is evergreen, as it has to do with your salon brand promises, clear and simple Salon Business Agreements (salon policies), healthy boundaries (not walls!) and lifetime client value.
First, let’s talk about your brand promise. Your salon brand promise is the experience you create, the expectations you set, and how you want your clients to feel, all moving towards building trust with your clients through consistency in delivering on your promise which leads to building a healthy salon brand.
Next, let’s talk about Salon Business Agreements. The truth is, many of the Agreements I’ve seen over that last decade, have either not been clear, simple, or easy to find, or aligned with the salon brand promise. This is why we created an Awesome Salon Client Agreements template several years back for our clients which can also be found in the Creating Your Awesome Brand, a complete course for beauty professionals. And it’s important to note, the reason we use the word Salon Agreement and not Salon Policies, is that Agreement indicates shared responsibility, and policy is almost always one-sided.
Now let’s talk healthy boundaries. This is a big part of the overcorrection I’ve seen in the last few years in the salon industry, and it is not anything I would ever recommend to our clients. The confusion seems to be understanding what healthy boundaries are and aren’t. Healthy boundaries are not walls, they are flexible and permeable, they create clarity, and connection, where walls drive disconnection.
The reason this is important is because you are dealing with human beings, who are imperfect, and there will inevitably be a time when someone messes up. If this salon client has been coming to you for years and has a high lifetime client value meaning how much revenue, referrals, and joy they bring you over the lifetime of your relationship with them, then you may think twice before charging them for a missed appointment when they had a sudden medical emergency. This doesn’t mean to don’t hold up your Agreements, it means you understand that there will be cases when you will make decisions that are most aligned with your salon brand long term.
Here are some things to consider when you are making decisions about ‘enforcing’ your Salon Agreements (salon policies)
1. Consider lifetime client value meaning how many referrals this client has sent you, how much joy they bring you, how much revenue they’ve brought to your salon, and the outcome you are seeking such as retaining the client or letting them go
2. Consider clients cannot predict when they get sick or have an emergency
3. Consider your clients may be tight on money atm and feel embarrassment and shame and don’t want you to know
4. Maybe your system for clients reading and opting into your Agreements needs improvement
5. Maybe there was a glitch in your confirmation and reminder system
6. Appointment based businesses are always going to have cancellations, including salons. A few are to be expected, a little more if it’s sick season, and if you are getting more than the norm, it’s almost always a system failure, not a people failure.
Here are some examples of Conversation Frameworks that can help you navigate the inevitable salon client late cancellation or missed appointment and make the best decision in alignment with your salon brand.
When you begin to move away from black-and-white thinking and adjust your expectations of how you wished it was to what it actually is, you’ll save a ton of time, energy, and resentment around inevitable salon client cancellations.
This is just one of many tools and strategies inside the Creating Your Awesome Brand, a complete course for beauty professionals. Because when you have clarity around your salon brand, you have a strong foundation to make more aligned decisions, save a ton of time, money, and energy, and feel more confidence, courage, and joy. Click here to learn more.
Much love, in service to you-