Monday, 23 April 2012

Sisterlocks: Appointment Etiquette - Part 1

Since training as a Sisterlocks ™ "consultant*" I have noticed that there are many things that I took for granted both as a customer and a service provider (I assumed everybody would know and 'act right') - so I thought it would be good to clarify a few points of etiquette for both prospective clients and the generally curious.

Let's start with Timekeeping.
Source

1. Time Keeping:

I cannot stress how important it is that you be punctual for your appointments - whether it is your initial consultation, your extended locking sessions or your retightenings thereafter. Unlike many mainstream salons, very few consultants operate a 'walk in policy'.  This means that your consultant will have specifically ear marked a particular slice of period of time on and an agreed date to do your hair.

Being late has an impact on your loctician's craftsmanship, scheduling, privacy and courtesy.

Craftsmanship

Interlocking hundreds of locs isn't something you can do while 'Jackie is sitting under the dryer or Tina is having her hair washed. We have to pay close attention

  1. to make sure we don't miss any locs; 
  2. to make sure we maintain the right tension and pattern for your locs and 
  3. to ensure that any issues we may find can be rectified promptly before they become serious or irreversible. 

This does not mean that we cannot or will not talk to you while we do your hair, all I'm saying is that we cannot do more than one of you at the same time so we carve out specific appointment times dedicated to ONLY you.

At the end of the day we are human, if we are rushing or feel rushed we may make mistakes or miss important messages your hair is telling us - to the detriment of the overall condition of your hair.

Each consultant has a different style of working - some may stand for the entire duration of your session, others may have a stool they move around on - either way, retightening and installation sessions can be physically intense.  Being late not only affects the clients who come after you, it affects your consultant who may not be left with enough time to sit down/stretch her legs or back/ flex her wrists; clean her equipment and sterilise her tools or even eat her lunch between clients. This can impact craftmanship (as explained above) and let's not go down the road of healthy & safety and hygiene issues.  

Scheduling

Most consultants -after having established a good maintenance routine with you - will have a good idea of how long your session will take assuming you've not suddenly suffered from serious hair loss or have excessive new growth/tangling due to missed appointments; this may be an average of 2-3 hours. When booking you in some consultants (myself included) will add an extra hour to your slot (just in case extra time is required) - this is the reserve or buffer zone.  Additionally, most consultants will leave a 20-45 min break between clients, depending on the number of clients who need to be seen on that day.

So - if your appointment is scheduled for 08:30 and you arrive at 09:15, you could be heading into the buffer zone if the next client is scheduled for 12:30 especially if your hair happens to take longer on this particular day... in some cases this can result in your hair not being completely retightened since your consultant may decide not to keep the next client waiting and ask you to reschedule or book an additional appointment.

Of course sometimes we can't help being late - traffic jams, sick children, flat tyres, late buses and cancelled trains cannot be helped but please make an effort to be consistently punctual and to give your consultant plenty of notice should an incident occur - this means CALL them (not just send a text or email as they may not get it in time!)


Privacy

In London, many consultants work from their homes which means there is not normally a separate reception area for waiting. Your consultant will (should) have worked hard to build up an amicable rapport with you - your relationship is something to be respected and protected - which means that she will (should) not discuss your business with someone else... and vice versa - so you can imagine it might be a little awkward having to sit and 'not listen' to a conversation or for all of you to sit in awkward silence/making small talk while we wait for the late client's hair to be finished.

For some clients, having their hair done is not just an 'aesthetic need'; it can be the only time some women have to themselves in a busy working week or the only time they get away from the children. Some women look forward to hopping into the chair and unloading. It's not fair to cut this short on account of someone else's tardiness.

None of us like to be kept waiting (at the bank, Doctor's office etc) so please extend this small courtesy to the other clients sharing your consultant by arriving on time so they don't have to wait when THEY arrive on time.

What have your experiences been like with your loctician?
If you've found this post useful - please leave me a comment.
If you want to know more about Sisterlocks or microlocks or you just want to have a chat - you can find me through my business pages below.  xx


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My life, the lessons learned in and through love and loves ones; and my hair affairs.
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1 comment:

msfullroller said...

Excellent and totally on point!

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