With the holiday season fast upon us and salons still operating under limited capacity orders, time management has never been more important. With double booking off the table for the foreseeable future, stylists are wondering how they’ll be able to get through the busy holiday season. Even in a socially distant world, people will still look forward to holiday photo shoots and safe outdoor get-togethers. Here are three different approaches to scheduling that might be just what you need to stay COVID-Clean and make the most of your holiday booking!
Offer (and Encourage!) À La Carte Services
One thing that everyone appreciates from businesses in the COVID-19 world is transparency. Because the pandemic is ongoing, customers know that there are limitations to what’s achievable – and that’s okay. One way to schedule more efficiently and provide transparency to customers is by offering services à la carte, broken down into smaller service blocks. Breaking the service down into smaller increments allows stylists to schedule more appointments and reduces the chance of an appointment running late. For multi-service customers, this allows them to pick the service they want most, and rebook other services separately – which can help customers on a budget.
How to Book À La Carte Services
Jennifer’s client Betsy gets a root touch-up, highlights, a haircut, and a blowout at the same time, and her appointments generally take 3+ hours. À la carte services break down Betsy’s appointment into 4 parts: root touch-up, highlights, haircut, and blowout, which each take an hour or less. Instead of scheduling only one appointment in a 3-hour block, Jennifer can now schedule 3-4 appointments in that same block of time.
Cluster booking is a booking strategy that stacks appointments of the same type together during a scheduling block. This can be done in different shifts on the same day, or dedicated days to a single type of appointment.
How to Cluster Book
On Tuesdays, Justine schedules only men’s haircuts, which take the least amount of time. On Tuesdays, Justine can service up to 10 clients, including sanitation blocks between customers. On Wednesdays, Justine schedules only women’s cuts, and she can schedule up to 8 clients. On Thursdays, Justine schedules only à la carte color and highlight customers, seeing up to 6 clients.
Can’t Decide? Integrate Your Calendar!
Integrated scheduling, or long/short scheduling, alternates appointments that run longer with shorter services. Chemical procedures like color often run over, which can set off a “domino effect” of running behind for your day. By alternating appointment lengths, you give yourself a dedicated “buffer zone” to sanitize and catch up. Another way to integrate your schedule is to break your book into 2 blocks and stack cluster appointments of the same type together.
How to Book for a Mixed Block Schedule
Rita’s daily schedule alternates haircut appointments with color appointments, with a dedicated 15-minute sanitation time between all appointments. Rita always schedules a haircut as her first appointment to ensure she starts her day on time. This scheduling technique allows Rita enough of a buffer between clients to catch up in case a color appointment runs longer.
Sally splits her book into 2 blocks of cluster bookings. Sally’s 10 am-2 pm appointments are exclusively for haircuts. From 2 pm-6 pm, she schedules only color appointments. If a color appointment runs longer, it’s during the block where fewer clients are scheduled, so Sally has time to catch up.
However you decide to schedule your calendar, Vagaro has the right tools to make it easier to book. Try Vagaro free for 30 days and see how many appointments you can get on your books!
Icons: Mia Montemayor via Vagaro