Appointment v’s The Queue…

For years now barbers from all over the world have ran their businesses on a first come first serve basis; “no appointment necessary” and “please form an orderly queue” were the order of the day.  So it is only natural that when we try to change things, we meet some resistance.  In this blog we are going to address the problems facing modern barber shops and put it to the test with the older conventional system.

The Queue:

As we have already stated, and which I doubt will be much of a surprise to you, the reader, Barber Shops since the days of old have operated on a walk-in, first come first served basis with little or no regard to the customer, his needs or how long he had available to wait.
Since starting out in the barbering profession all those many years ago, I have consistently and repeatedly heard the complaint from customers and potential customers that they would visit more often, if the queues weren’t so long!  I have also heard from customers that they have had very small periods of time, or slots, with which they could use for the purposes of their grooming needs!  Albeit, this continually fell upon deaf ears as I had neither the capability or the desire to incorporate an appointment or booking service to my business, and as far as I was concerned, there was nothing I could or would do about it!

Barbers have had a sense of elitism when it came to dealing with their customers, myself included (if not entirely directed at me!), and had the attitude that “if you want me to cut your hair – then you will just have to wait until I am ready!”.  Now, that doesn’t sound too good, nor does it win you an award for customer service regardless of how good your haircutting ability is!  However, if I am to be truly honest, this is the way it has been, this is the attitude that most barbers have had regarding the facilitation of appointments and towards any one or thing that would dare to try and change tradition.

So, just what can we do to alleviate the pressure from both the over burdened barber and the customer who has no time to wait in a queue?

The Appointment System:

As a barber who has worked in the profession for decades, I am all too aware that the system of appointments will not favour in everyone’s opinion, however, we need to ask ourselves the question; “Is there a happy medium?” and just what can we do about it to make sure it works for everyone concerned – the barber, the customer in favour of appointments and the customer who isn’t?
Folks, the answer is not simple, nor can it be introduced and changed over night.  It is a process of education and repetition, that will need the barber to commit and the customer/client to comprehend and comply.

We, at Charles Male Grooming have developed a system that we believe will work best for every one concerned – albeit it will take some time getting used to, however, it will manage and utilise our time during the working day best.  All this means a better service, happier staff and pleased and appreciated customers, which in my book is a massive plus!
We are introducing a fully computerised sytem that will manage our appointments, integrate a better and more approachable customer service charter and deliver what is best for everyone.  We provide a system that will allow you to book online, via email or telephone by ringing our salon on +44 (0)28 6632 7034.  Our customers can also avail of the service of booking their appointment with their favourite barber, by scheduling specifically for their selection of choice. 

Right, so how does this system work?  We are glad you asked!  Whichever way you choose is best for you to book your appointment, you will secure your allocated time with your chosen barber.  He/She will have this automatically uploaded into their weekly agenda and will be ready for you whenever you come to visit – making you be in the salon for no longer than the required time it takes to complete your chosen service!  No waiting! Great!
All walk-ins will be catered for by either of the available barbers, however, those with appointments booked will be given preference!  For example; you always go to the same barber, and prefer the way that they cut your hair, you haven’t booked an appointment in advance and have just walked in.  On greeting you, you will be informed if there are any appointments before you, and should you wish to reschedule yourself, then you can make an appointment for whatever time is best suited.  Alternatively, you can wait for whichever barber is attending to walk-in customers that day and they will provide your service when they are available.  There is also the chance that you are extremely lucky and the barber of your choice is free to attend to you!

Whenever you book an appointment in advance, you will receive notification of confirmation via both email and text message.  You will also receive a further text message the day before your appointment to either remind you or prompt you to reschedule for another time – we all know that life can throw things at us that require immediate attention!  So we are pretty flexible to suit you, and with the added end result that you are not spending all of your valuable time off stuck in a busy barber shop!
Small deposits will be required for some services such as Wedding Parties etc and the remaining balance can be paid on receipt.  If you book with us and have two no-shows without rescheduling in advance, then we will be forced to secure future apointments with a small deposit.  We reserve the right in such cases to secure the total amount of the service if appointments are not cancelled within 24 hours of appointment.  (Deposits can be paid for with any Credit/Debit/Mastercard)

So folks, we hope this has alleviated any of your questions and you can be sure that this is designed to provide you with the very finest service your money can buy!