The salon/spa that I currently work at has a program that prints off my schedule for the day as well as a traveler for every client. Now the travelers have the client’s name, the appointment time, the appointment service, the service provider for all the appointments that client has for that day, as well as a list of products he/she has ever bought with a first date of purchase & last day of purchase & the prices, a list of every service he/she has received with first & last date of purchase, service provider, & price. There’s a place for me to write how many weeks for the reservation team to book out, a price for the day, & space to take notes. Now, not every salon has a program like the one at my salon. I’ve worked at salons where the program is just to put in client name, address, phone number, & program or the credit card machine. I’ve worked at salons where there the program is just to literally check someone out, the system doesn’t want a name, it just wants to know what stylist did what service & payment. But even if you work at a salon where there is no system for you to store notes, you can still take notes! I’m going to talk about how I took notes at the bare minimum salon, & all the types of notes I take now!
When I worked at those salons where they computer system was just to take & track the money, we had a filing system for color formulas. You would write down the client’s name, date, & formula on a big index card & then file it so that everyone in the salon could get to it if the client couldn’t see you the next visit. That was all fine, except sometimes the card would get lost, someone would write hugely on the card and there would be 4 cards for 5 formulas stapled together with no date, or there would be multiple cards for the same person because no one could find the previous card made. I had a co-worker who kept her own client record system she bought from a supply store. She would leave it in her station so if she went on vacation, or it was her day off & one of her client’s came in & had to see someone else, the stylist servicing her client would go to her station, find her book, find the formula, update it, & return it to her station. It was a nice little system & I liked it. So I went to Sally’s or CosmoProf & bought a client book. I highlighted the section I needed the client to fill out (name, address, number). Kept notes not just on color but on how I cut the client’s hair. It was an easier way to keep track of those who solely saw me. And if I was out sick, or vacation, coworkers could easily access & update the formulas, but couldn’t just throw the information in our little filing card system in the back. I didn’t have to fight everyone’s alphabetical order (which varies by stylist). It was a much easier system.
But now I have an amazing system! My current salon has a great program as I stated above. I write things down & the reservation team (or some times myself) types the notes into the system. I don’t have to do much or be responsible for all the information being kept in a little folder. It’s all in the system. If a client can not see me for whatever reason, my co-worker can see him/her & I know everything will be fine because she can see every formula, every note ever taken. When that client comes back to me, then I can see what she did. If she needed to change the formula for any reason I will see that (her & I get along great & usually communicate the change, but if I’m on vacation she may not inform me because you know, vacation.) I don’t have to worry about the client going to another salon, using a different color line, etc.
Now what do I put in the notes besides formulas? Cutting techniques. I may razor a little bit on a client, so I will write down where I razored & how often to do it (every other appointment), if I point cut, if I prefer to cut the client dry, how short to cut bangs, etc. It’s our job as the professional to be able to recreate the previous cut we did on the client. I can not remember every single thing I do on every client. Writing down how I did the cut will also help me if the client didn’t like something. I can look at my notes, consult with the client, & then fix the issue. A new client may come in with a terrible cut that may take a few appointments to fix. Usually with this type of scenario I write down how she came in, her desired look, what I did that appointment, & what to do at future appointments. I take notes on all my men clients as well. By writing down if I use a 4 on the sides & scissor the top, I can tweak the look at each appointment. A lot of my men clients like to switch up their style. We may decide to switch it up a bit & at the next appointment he may say “ya know, I really liked it the shorter style we did about 3 appointments ago.” Looking back at my notes I can see what I did. Cutting notes are very helpful!
I have recently started writing notes on products I used & products I recommend. I started having clients call & ask the reservation desk to ask me what products I used on them to keep their style. I can not remember that! I can only guess! It was a learning experience for me. Prior to these events I would write down all the products I recommend so that if the client could only purchase one or two products, she could come back in another time (her appointment or not), ask the reservation desk to look into her file on the system, & purchase the products without me having to try to figure it all out (or being called on my day off to be asked what I used because the client stopped by the salon). But after having multiple clients in a 2 week period ask me what the product was & me not being able to remember, it occurred that I NEED to write down what I used. Writing down what I used also helps me when the client comes back in and says “Kari, I did NOT like whatever you used on me last time. Please do not use it again.” This allows me to see what I used, ask what it was the client did not like about it, & choose a better product for that client & his/her needs! It not only helps me, but also my coworkers. The reservation desk doesn’t have to call me on my day off or vacation to ask because the client stopped by, they can just take care of the client!
I also take notes on the client’s attitude. Sometimes a client comes in & has had a terrible day, or maybe just a terrible outlook on life & will take it out on me. That’s fine. I get it. I know I’ve done the same thing. We are all humans. But I am going to take notes on pretty much the whole conversation. That way if for some reason the client calls to make a complaint my butt is covered. Some people just like to make other people’s lives horrible. If a client is usually a happy person, comes in to the salon in the worst mood, & just starts saying mean, unpleasant things I write it down. I keep an eye out on all appointments after that. It could’ve been a bad day. But if I start noticing she/he keeps making inappropriate comments for months, I can present the evidence to the owner, talk to her about referring the client to my coworker (or to another salon if things are that bad), talk about the right way to go about it, & making sure she is within ear shot incase a situation arises. She may suggest she talk to the client, or that we talk to my co-worker for an outside opinion & to make sure my co-worker is fine with taking my client. I like to keep the owner informed because she is the owner & I am the employee. She also has some good, creative ideas on how to handle different types of scenarios.
I also write down not just prices for the day for the client but future prices. When I have a new client I will discuss the price for that day’s services. If it’s a color correction I will usually give a high price & say “It probably will not be this much, but be prepared just incase the unforeseen happens.” I will also give future prices. I usually have two or three future prices for my base/root touch up & highlight clients. One price will reflect a root touch up, the other will reflect a root touch up & partial, & the third will reflect a root touch up & full foil. I will write all the future prices out. That way it keeps me honest & the client honest. I’ve had situations where at the consult a few days prior to the actual service, I see the client has very fine hair & even though I know she wants a full highlight look I may not quote for a full because I plan on only pop in 10-15 foils, & then the client comes in day of appointment & I forgot, didn’t write down the price & she feels she’s being over charged because I quoted her lower a couple days prior at the consult. I’ve also had situations where I know I told the client it would be a higher charge because of the thickness of hair, but since I did not write it down, the client says that I told her a much lower price. The future prices is great to keep everyone honest!
I have found that the more notes I take the better I can take care of the client & myself. I have only found one person who did not like the fact that I took notes on how she likes her hair cut & how to cut it. Everyone else is very grateful & loves it! So keep notes! Write down all the things! I promise 99.9% of your clients will love it!
Do you have other note taking ideas or suggestions? Comment below! You know I love any & all feedback!