• Running On Empty: TARDINESS

    OH, BEHAVE! Keeping Manners In Mind
    by Annet King

    The skin therapist has chosen a career in a service profession. This means that the skin therapist must ALWAYS be courteous. As with a wait-person in a restaurant, an airline reservations associate, or a hotel employee…regardless of how flippin’ rude a customer gets, the service professional must never, ever respond in kind. Tempting though it may be. (I will say this, however: if your airline luggage is forever being misrouted to, say, Sydney…you may need to ask yourself why.)

    And, as a professional skin therapist who trains other skin therapists worldwide, one of my most deeply held beliefs is that courtesy is a two-way street. I am always coaching my fellow skin therapists on how to show the client respect. And, as professionals, we are within our rights to expect clients to return the favor.

    The industry standard is that the front desk personnel, skin therapist or other pro should call you to confirm. As part of my trainings, I advise that a phone message should be left on the client’s home phone and a quick text confirmation sent to the client. Likewise, I advise that clients put the appointment right into their “crackberry” or iPhone calendar on the spot!

    In case a client ever challenges you, it is now an absolutely accepted industry practice to charge the client for an appointment which is missed without the courtesy of 24-hour notice. If the client has not worked in a service industry, she or he may genuinely not realize that arriving more than 15 minutes late for an appointment can do some damage to the day’s bookings. Encourage clients to call if they’re stuck in traffic—share your cell-number if you have that kind of relationship. Every professional knows that sometimes, with sufficient warning, we can shuffle things around a bit so that everyone stays happy.

    Now let us imagine the shoe on the other foot. As a skin therapist, if you keep your client waiting for more than 15 minutes, you must be prepared for consequences. Hopefully, the client will inform the receptionist before exiting. When this happens, view it as a professional opportunity; in fact, your integrity is on the line. The onus is on you to make it right, regardless of why the client was kept waiting. You must call that evening, or the next morning, and a phone call is better than an email. And you must offer a comp—as in compensatory, as in, “f-r-e-e”—service to make amends.

    If you do not immediately rise to the occasion, the client is certainly entitled to seek services elsewhere. In fact, this is not rude. It is simply the way of the world.


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