How to Introduce a New Client Booking Order in the Salon


Have you ever heard from one of your stylists that other hairdressers were getting new clients disproportionately? Perhaps they felt there was a conspiracy against them, or that the front desk person favored a particular hairdresser?

I have overheard this conversation on numerous occasions. When I do hear it, it tells me one thing for sure; this salon doesn’t have a well communicated, concise way to assign new clients. Additionally, it likely means that there is no basis for assigning new clients other than who is available or who is up next.

What some salons have learned is that assigning new clients can be viewed as a benefit that favors the stylists that have earned it versus simply who is next on the pecking order. Examples would be assigning new clients based on retail sales performance, pre-booking rate, or retention rates. These strategies can undoubtedly get the attention of stylists who have ignored your calls to improve some of these areas in the past, plus it can reward the great performers.

The way you would do this is first to pick a criterion to use. For our example, we will use retail sales. Each week we would reset the booking order based on the prior week’s retail sales results (on a piece per client or retail to service rate basis—not on total retail sales dollars as this puts newer stylists at a disadvantage). The stylist with the highest piece per client average for the prior week will be at the top of the list for this whole week. The rest would follow based on their results and where they ranked.

For all new clients that come in without a stylist preference predetermined, we will attempt to book them with the hairdresser at the top of the list first. Managers and owners can assign clients to the next person on the list if the top hairdresser is busy when the client wants to come in.

With each new client, start again at the top of the list and work your way down. If you have a level system, you may want to segment the booking order into levels, but that isn’t necessary. Upon the next week beginning, reshuffle the booking order based on the most recent week’s retail results. By shuffling it every week, no one stays at the bottom of the list for long, unless they are a constant underperformer.

Gaining new clients is one of the most coveted opportunities for your business and your hairdressers. Don’t waste this valuable resource by squandering it with a random booking order.

Good Luck!
- Josh Hafetz, President of Art of Business

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