The use of cell phones during an appointment is commonly considered to be rude and is often frowned upon. But with the increasing popularity of smartphones, should it be acceptable for either clients or stylists to use them? Opinions are widespread with some feeling that it is still disruptive while others are more accepting of it to varying degrees.
Most people feel the need to stay connected at all times. Even during an appointment, clients may check for messages multiple times and some will even have lengthy phone conversations. In addition to making it difficult to properly provide the requested service whether it be a haircut or a manicure, phone calls can also disturb other clients.
A few salons have banned clients from using their phones at all when being served. While such rules may simplify a stylist's job and potentially reduce the awkwardness of asking clients to end their call, there is a risk of alienating existing or potential clients. After all, customers may have a reason for their phone activity like checking that their children got home safely after school or confirming an upcoming business meeting.
While phone calls should be kept to a minimum, other activities like texting, emailing, or even surfing the internet should be permitted in most circumstances as some salon clients may be shyer and may prefer not to chat much with their stylist. Ultimately, they are paying for the service and how they spend their time should be up to them, as long as it does not get in the way of the service or disrupt other guests. If it is a distraction however, politely explain the situation and ask them to put away their phone for that portion of the service.
Many businesses require employees to leave their phones in the break room. However in this day and age, smartphones can be useful, and even necessary, tools in salons and spas. From checking client notes and formulas to capturing before and after photos, they can help improve the customer experience and the salon’s marketing efforts.
Rather than banning employee phones from the salon floor, explain to employees that phones should only be used for professional purposes while working and remind them that their primary focus should always be on the client. Clients should never wonder if their stylist is distracted; as with other parts of the service, stylists should explain what they are doing.
“Is it okay if I take a couple pictures that we can compare the end result with?”
“I’m going to take a look at your client file to make sure we apply the proper color formula.”
"Do you mind if I post the before and after picture to Instagram after we're done?"
While larger businesses may have salon or spa coordinators, many smaller ones do not have anyone at the front to answer phones. You may excuse yourself to answer the occasional call (keep it short) but be careful that the client does not feel neglected. If you receive many appointment requests via phone, consider offering online booking to allow clients to conveniently book and to allow you to focus more on your clients.
Insight Salon & Spa Software offers mobile apps and online booking. The smartphone and tablet apps for iOS and Android devices enable you to view or manage your appointment schedule and to add or edit client profiles.