Working Efficiently Doesn’t Mean Cutting Corners with Clients
By ASCP Staff
We all want to use our time as efficiently as possible. Life is short, and we are busy estheticians. When you factor in your client appointments, family life, social engagements, and personal time, we run short on time to accommodate all these important areas of our lives. Sometimes, we all want to cut corners so we have more time for all that is important to us.
But please remember, as a skin care professional, you are in the service industry. When you want to allocate your time for all the things going on in your life and become more efficient, you need to make sure the strategies you come up with are not cutting corners in the services you give your clients. This is especially important if you want them to come back! You can become more time-efficient and still add value to the service you’re providing your clients.
For example, let’s say your first client of the day was late for their appointment, and it set you behind all day. You are determined to make your son’s soccer tournament, and you must leave work on time. Your last client of the day gets a 5-minute mask, rather than a 10-minute mask, and you cut your décolleté massage short a few minutes. You might think you’re being efficient and that your client won’t even notice that their service has been cut short. Cutting corners like this is not efficient for your client. You didn’t complete the service according to your typical high standards, and this can actually cost you more time in the long run when your clients aren’t returning, and you are scrambling to fill your appointment book.
Let’s look at this situation and how you could have done things differently, still be efficient, and give your client stellar service. If your first client (or any client during the day) is late for their appointment, you should inform them from the start that you will be shortening their service time to accommodate your clients for the rest of the day. If they had a very valid reason for being late (a sick child who had to receive urgent care), you could explain to your last client of the day about the circumstances and your commitment to your son, and promise to give them extra time and care during their next appointment (which you will!). Of course, this wouldn’t be the best solution if this is a first-time client, so the previous option would be a better choice. In the long run, this will keep you on track with time efficiency, both in that moment and when you aren’t trying to replace clients who aren’t coming back to see you. It’s a win-win all the way around.
Then there are situations in which we should do things for our clients that don’t directly improve our efficiency. An example: You are seeing a client who is experiencing more acne breakouts than ever before. If you take the time to do proper extractions, this will add more time to her typical facial, but that extra time isn’t necessarily efficient to your books. But look at the benefit for that client. You are adding value to their service because they will walk out of your space feeling so much better about their appearance and will have higher self-esteem. Since the skin care industry is a service industry, much of what we do as estheticians should be in the spirit of giving our clients the best service possible, including hanging up their coats, serving a refreshment, working around their schedules, and extracting every blackhead!
You might be thinking to yourself that all this is well and good, but what’s in it for you? How can you save your time and still offer the best service possible?
By saving your clients’ time and adding value to their service, you are saving your own time in other areas. When a client feels they have had a value-packed, efficient service and received the most bang for their buck, they are on their way to becoming a loyal fan and a great marketing tool for you. You are actually saving yourself time on additional marketing, trying to replace clients that you cut corners with and rushed through their service.
Skin care professionals should never skimp on service to become more efficient. You should become more efficient by working smarter, not harder on your business. Make the best use of your time by using your network for cross-promotion and client sharing. Partner with other local businesses for events and joint public relations efforts. Take advantage of online schedulers with automated appointment reminders and survey follow-up. There are countless tactics, tools, and services to ensure you receive maximum benefit from minimal effort when working on your business.
Work with other people, including your clients, to build your skin care business and take it to the next level. If you cut corners with your client services, you’ll end up cutting your client retention. When you work on your business in these ways, you’ll be much more efficiently successful and have the retention numbers to prove it.
Is it ever okay to cut corners at my spa?
If you are cutting corners at your spa in a way that negatively impacts your clients, that is generally considered an undesirable behavior. Cutting corners in the service industry can decrease client satisfaction, which in turn can reduce client retention, and may even result in serious client injuries.
As an esthetician, what are some ways I can work smarter, not harder at the spa?
Here are some ideas for you:
- Stop multi-tasking. When you’re with your client, they should have your complete focus.
- To keep mentally and physically refreshed, make time for breaks between clients.
- Book client appointments based on your energy level. If you have tons of energy in the beginning of the week, set yourself up for success by front-loading your week, then you can relax more at the end of the week when your energy may be lower.
- Cut down on your to-do list. A smaller to-do list is less intimidating and more achievable.
- Turn off your notifications when you’re at work. Again, your clients deserve your undivided attention and notifications can be very distracting.
Will my clients really know if I cut corners with their services?
It’s important in the service industry that we remember the client always comes first. If every decision you make is guided by “what’s best for my client?” you will win their loyalty and repeat business. Your long-time clients keep coming back to you because of their special time with you. They will notice if you cut corners, and why would you risk losing their business to save a few minutes? It’s not worth it.