7 Policies That You Need To Implement Now
Implementing new policies can be tricky. Lots of lash technicians put this off through fear of it having a negative effect on their business. They believe that doing so could result in losing clients, earning less money and causing them more stress than it's worth, but that's where they are wrong.
If you can action each of these 7 things, not only will you make more money, you will improve your reputation and you will be less stressed as a result.
So please read and then action the following 7 points. Trust us, you won't regret it.
The Non-Refundable Booking Fee Policy
We bet about 95% of lash technicians have had at least 1 no-show within the last 6 months right? You sit around, twiddling your thumbs, waiting for a client that is never going to turn up. This means that you end up losing out on valuable time and money. Not to mention the stress it causes. Clients never think about that fact that you are running a business and that you need money to live and why should they?
This is why a non-refundable booking fee is great. If you take a small amount of money from the client when they book in, we guarantee your no-show rate will drop massively. It also means that if you ever do get a no-show, you will still have made a little bit of money to compensate you for your wasted time.
You may think that asking for some money up front will scare clients off, but think of it this way...If a client is 100% going to get their lashes done with you, what's the difference in paying it now or after? The clients that refuse to pay are the ones that are most likely to be a no-show anyway. So it's a win-win.
If you don't know what to write or say, here's an example you can use for your policy:
To secure an appointment, I require a non-refundable booking fee. This fee will be discounted off the cost of your treatment. Payment is made when you initially book, either by PayPal or bank transfer (if over the phone/online) or also in cash in person if you prefer.
The 24/48 Hour (or more) Cancellation Notice Policy
Moving on from no-shows to the equally as frustrating clients that cancel just hours before an appointment. In your clients head, there is nothing more they could have done. They have called/messaged and let you know the moment they knew themselves that they couldn't make it. But that doesn't help the fact that you are now stuck with an empty slot and no time to fill it.
This is where having a 24/48 hour cancellation policy comes in. If you don't know what a 24/48 hour cancellation policy is then, in short, if a client cancels their appointment with you under 24 or 48 hours (you pick the timing) before the actual appointment, you still get a percentage (if not all) of the booking fee. If you make your client aware of your policy when they book, you will notice that clients will start to give you more notice when they cancel or if they can't, they will have no choice but to accept. No one likes paying for nothing so we are not saying that it is fun and easy taking money from a client for nothing. But what it definitely will do is ensure clients give you as much notice as possible through fear of having to pay.
One thing we have found that doesn't work is having a cancellation policy where you ask for 50% or even 100% of the treatment cost. If the client doesn't care enough to give you the correct amount of notice, they certainly aren't going to give you any more money for it. This is why taking the booking fee is perfect. It then becomes your leverage for cancellations as you already have the money from them instead of asking for it even though they aren't coming.
Again, here is a 'free to use' example of a 24/48 hour cancellation policy wording, which you can add to the booking fee policy text:
I require at least 24/48 hours notice for any clients that need to cancel. If you cannot provide this notice it will result in the loss of your booking fee. This policy is set as I would not be able to refill the cancelled slot in under 24/48 hours.
Regardless of the current pandemic, you should always have a Sickness Policy in place.
Having a sick client attend an appointment may put you, your family and other clients at risk of being ill at Christmas. For you, if you become unwell, it means a potential loss of earnings as well as letting down other clients.
It is entirely up to you as to how you want to police this policy. If someone contacts you within your allocated 24/48 hrs notice period, will you allow them to cancel without being charged or are they charged? You may want to consider a one-time allowance of last minute cancellation or rescheduling. After that, the Cancellation/No Show Policy takes effect.
Here is how you can explain the policy to your clients:
If you, or someone within your household, has become unwell and/or has a contagious illness, please contact me as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.
The Client Lash Hygiene Policy
Hands up who hates it when a client turns up with an entire factories worth of MAC on their face?
Unfortunately, it's not your clients fault if you haven't made them aware that wearing make up is a no-no and that it only wastes time. So make sure you have a very clear no eye makeup policy in place. This will ensure that your client will turn up with fresh, clean lashes and lids, ready for being lashed. It also works the other way, if they turn up with a face full of makeup, they will already be aware they are wasting their own time as you will need to spend part of their allocated slot to lash prep and cleansing.
This one isn't really that awkward to implement, so mentioning it during the consultation is fine. However, to cover your own back, here's an example that you can use on your website or policy documents:
I'd like to give every available minute possible to applying your lashes. So please arrive at your appointment, whether it is for an infill or full set, with NO eye makeup on. Eye makeup can affect lash extensions and removing it takes up time and eats into the slot you have paid for.
The Early/Late Policy
Whether a client is early or late, it can negatively affect your day. Clients may think they are doing you a favour by turning up early, completely unaware that those 10 minutes are sacred and that they are stopping from drinking that cuppa you've been dying for since this morning. Clients will also turn up late, thinking that being 15 minutes late won't affect anything. What they don't know is it means less time for lashing, it means you'll be more rushed, resulting in poorer work and neither of you wants that. So a simple Early/Late Policy solves both issues.
Here's an example:
Please arrive at your appointment on time. If you arrive early, please wait until your allocated slot as I may be with another client, preparing for your appointment or even tending to personal matters. If you are late, please note that the time will come out of your allocation which may result in less lash coverage.
The No Audience Policy
Most lash rooms can fit 2 maybe 3 people in. So when a client turns up with their Friend, Mum, Child, Dog, Sister, Auntie and 3rd cousin twice removed, it can cause unneeded distractions. You don't want to spend your time entertaining an audience whilst attempting to master something as precise as a set of lashes, so make sure your clients are aware that additional guests are not permitted, unless prearranged, of course.
Need help with the wording? Here's an example:
Due to my insurance, children and/or pets are not allowed. Also, because of the size of my lash room, unless prearranged, friends and family members are not permitted during your appointment.
The Infilling Other Technicians Work Policy
This one is up to you but we think you should seriously consider taking this policy on board. The reason for this is because other technicians use different products and may not have the same quality and care for their work. If you start mixing products and clearing up the other technicians' mess, you'll only waste time and the outcome won't be ideal. This may then result in clients being unsatisfied with you, not their previous technician.
So use this wording and offer a removal and full set instead:
Due to the high quality of products I use, I will not infill another technicians work. A removal and full set would be required in this instance.
If you can implement all of these policies, we promise you will see a positive change in the attitude of your clients and also your reputation.
You may lose a few clients to start with, but they really aren't the clients you want to build your business on.
Good luck out there and let us know if you have any other policies in place that help keep your business running smoothly.