A customer is 30 minutes late, what should I do?

One of the most frustrating things is waking up really early, rushing to get to the studio to get your makeup done, and realizing the client is late: No call. No SMS

You didn’t even take the time to eat, because you didn’t want to be late and you call her.

She tells you she’ll be there in 20 minutes.

30 minutes later she’s still not there.

You’re about to call her when you see her coming.

Homer Simpson Running GIF by dinakelberman

What to do ?

Being on time is a form of respect. A person who has an important meeting at the bank, at the hospital or even with a lawyer will not allow himself to be late. As a makeup artist, it is essential to put a process in place to avoid this type of situation. A delay can affect all future clients who come to their appointment on time.

When I started and even today, I have clients who come late. In order to avoid this type of situation and frustration, I require a deposit from the client. If the customer is late, the deposit will be taken to absorb the late fees. A delay of more than 30 minutes results in a cancellation of appointment. A delay of 15 minutes or more incurs a $20 late fee.

It’s really not easy to reinforce this policy when the client is in front of you and absolutely wants to have her makeup done. It’s really easier when you have another client coming or you have an urgent appointment.

And if you just want to go home on time.. is that a good reason to cancel the appointment?

My answer to this question is: YES!

Preach Jennifer Lopez GIF by NBC

As make-up artists, we often like to put our clients first, to do everything to make them satisfied. You also have to think about yourself.

There is a client who made one of my colleagues wait 30 minutes. She was going to be 15 minutes late again. I called her to explain the lateness policy and asked her if she would rather pay the late fee + her makeup or cancel the appointment. She preferred to cancel the appointment. Luckily we had taken a deposit, because if not my colleague was going to wait (in good faith) while the client didn’t mind keeping her waiting.

Of course, delays do happen… However, is it caused by negligence or an emergency?

The longest delay I’ve had is 3 hours. I had other makeup so I could keep busy while I waited.
I understood something: What you accept, people will continue to do.

You are not obliged to accept delays and you have the right to have your waiting time paid for.

Sample of late fees – Policy

A customer once told me that if she knew she was going to pay such high late fees, she wouldn’t have stopped by Tim Hortons and she would have come on time.

Oh yes !

It is for this reason that before each appointment, I send an automatic message which includes the late fees.

Here are examples to include in your emails:

  • Please arrive 10 minutes before the appointment. In case of delay, please notify your makeup artist. The service will be canceled if there is a delay of more than 15 minutes.
  • Any delay of more than 15 minutes will incur late fees.
  • A fee of $30 will be charged for any delay of more than 15 minutes.


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