You know the story, no matter what you do; somehow you or your employees find a way to get behind on your appointment timing. This is a big problem for spa professional and those who employ them—a time management problem—the consequences of which are well known: angry clients, annoyed colleagues and supervisors, and lost income.
I know of a hair salon that offered a free service to clients if their stylist ran more than 15-minutes behind schedule. The company had to drop the policy after being bled white from comped services! It takes more than a promise to stay on time—you must have a method.
Train them to be Timely
For those of you who are new to training estheticians, or are using this method for the first time, you'll notice some of the more common causes for late-running appointments. Once the employee is familiar with your equipment and supplies, setup a trainer can simply observe them as they perform the routine on a model as detailed in the protocol. Your esthetician can keep the treatment guide nearby on a counter and refer to it even during regular appointments until they master the steps and the timing.
Remember, effective training is a matter of a well-planned process repeated until success is achieved. Provide your professionals with lots of practice time, preferably under supervision.
Consider Workplace "Flow"
Look for places where the employee becomes "stuck" in a procedure, such as taking too long with cleansing and rinsing of the skin, or a facial massage that runs on and on. You may also discover that the treatment room itself—the location of products and tools, etc.— actually impedes the service "flow". Consider making changes in rooms that impede an employee's work.
Estheticians who adhere to a rigid interpretation of a treatment protocol are set up to fall behind, and often. This is especially true for new or relatively inexperienced professionals who will not feel comfortable making independent changes in facial procedures. They'll simply attempt to squeeze in all of the treatment details and fall hopelessly behind.
The various segments of treatment in the training guide should be seen as flexible (wherever possible), to be altered as circumstances, including a tardy client, require. It's important that your estheticians understand that a facial treatment can be adjusted to meet the needs of individual clients and their skin conditions. An exfoliation may be shortened or extended depending on need, massage may be abbreviated to accommodate a deeper focus on extractions, and so forth.
A Matter of Policy
But perhaps the key to maintaining timely service output, beyond training even, is in making it a requirement for each and every spa esthetician, body therapist, and other service providers. Bad habits can be difficult to break and you can expect to have your standards challenged to see whether or not you'll enforce them. Once it's seen that you're soft on your policies you'll forever have trouble keeping employees compliant with them—a losing battle for management. Lead the way and then show that you're serious about your expectations. Be consistent or you'll lose the cooperation and respect of your team.
About Preston, Inc.
Preston Private Label offers over 100 outstanding, results-oriented skin and body care products for both retail and professional use. We offer an excellent—-and free—-regional technical and career-building education program, affordable minimums, and fully custom labels, pre-applied. Choose from two packaging options and get the look that best suits your branding strategy. Generous margins that allow for markup from 150-700% mean you gain maximum benefit from retailing. From cleansers and toners to cosmeceutical serums, pro enzyme, glycolic and lactic peels to body contouring wraps, gift kits to aromatherapy oil blends and more, we have everything you need to create a highy effective, full range product line. Visit our website at www.prestoninc.net for more information!