Do you give walk-ins the red light, yellow light, or green-light-go? Consider which of these salon policies will help you increase client traffic.
We don’t take walk-ins, as we are booked up two weeks in advance. We like to take care of our regular clients first.
Amber McIver, Verdo Nails, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand
Nine times out of 10, I do not take walk-ins. Because I’m the only nail tech in the salon, my days are normally fully booked. However, when I do get a walk-in, I try to get them to book an appointment for a later date; I might have a slot open the very next day that could fi ll up fast if they don’t take it.
Amy Payne, Cutting Corner Salon, Tecumseh, Mich.
Although I love the idea of taking walk-in clients, I’m the only nail tech in the full-service salon I rent from. If I don’t have anything scheduled, I’m going to be out networking or running errands. I do offer a 10% discount for clients who book a week in advance. Not only does it help me determine my schedule, but it also rewards clients who schedule in advance.
Caitlin Hurt, Salon on 62nd, Shawnee, Kan.
We do take walk-ins, but can’t always fit them in.
Lauren Lyford, Dollhouse Salon, Red Bluff , Calif.
We do our best to accommodate walk-ins, but not at the expense of our regular clients. Walk-ins can be great, as they add more business to the salon, are potential regular clientele for the techs, and generate more revenue overall. However, it can become extremely diffi cult when you have a pretty booked schedule already and have limited time to do every service a walk-in client might request. For example, your salon’s schedule might have one hour available to do a single service such as a manicure or pedicure, but the walk-in wants both a manicure and pedicure. Because of this, more often than not, the walk-in will leave and try to fi nd a place that has time for both services. This leaves the salon and employee missing out on that particular revenue at that time. Another con to taking walk-ins is that they come in sporadically, leaving you less time than usual to do a service; this can cause you to run late for your next appointment or even cause your current client to feel rushed. This is why it is so important to choose to accept each walk-in on a case-bycase basis, especially if you want to provide excellent customer service!
Tiffany Coleman, Krème de la Krème, Long Beach, Calif.
Walk-ins can be an excellent way to build a clientele, but there are many cases where walk-ins will never become regular customers. A lot of walk-ins are only in the area for a day or two, have a special occasion, might only need an emergency repair or a polish change, or have some time before their next engagement. The key to handling walk-ins is to offer only express services to accommodate them unless they make an appointment. In busy downtown areas, walk-ins are an excellent way of doing business, especially at lunchtime or right after work. Usually these are customers that do not want to commit to appointments, but who will always visit your establishment whenever they are in the area. Some customers like your salon and the services you offer, but are committed to their regular nail tech. These customers will eventually convert only if their regular nail tech relocates or stops doing nails entirely.
Roy Williams, Chicago Nail School, Chicago
We take walk-ins if we have available spots because we like to provide great service to our clients, but we’re mostly quite busy.
Corina-Anne Shears, Pure Blissful Beauty, Adelaide, South Australia
I absolutely take walk-ins whenever possible. I do it for multiple reasons. First, I have only been in this business for a
few years, and using the clients who walk-in helps build a clientele. Second, I never want to give a person a poor impression of the salon. Some clients get upset when you can’t take them right then and there, so I do my best to fit
them in. If there is someone in my chair already, I recommend other services we offer in the meantime. I want them to
have a positive impression not only of me but the salon as well.
Anne VanSpronsen, McIntyre’s Salon and Day Spa, Portage, Mich.
Yes, we do take walk-ins but have been receiving mostly appointments so fa(we’ve only been open two-and-a-half months). We are located in a small strip center where there is a tanning salon, Starbuck’s, hair salon, and restaurants so the potential for a walk-in business is great.
Brenna Bauer Massa, The Nest Nail Spa, Lakewood, Colo.
If I am free, I take walk-ins 100%!
Melissa Aggelo, Mel’s Nail Co, Brighton-Le-Sands, New South Wales, Australia
Since I am new to the industry, walk-ins are always welcome! Clients showing up to me in any fashion affords me the
opportunity to learn something new and possibly gain a loyal, consistent, pre-booking kind of client — the kind I think we would all be excited to gain and retain.
Amy Tobin, Independence Beauty Centres, Halifax,, Nova Scotia, Canada