Business Management

Talk to Me

There’s no escaping cell phone conversations and text messages today — or is there? Our readers tell us how they handle it when a client is blessed with the gift of gab.

In the waiting area, we have two signs posted that prohibit cell phone conversations in the salon. If the issue arises we remind them of our policy, and they usually blush and end the call. Some of our guests are political figures and pro athletes, so we sometimes bend the rules for them. Usually they’re on and off in about 30 seconds.

We don’t mind text messaging because in most cases it isn’t audible and does not disturb other guests. But it would seem somewhat difficult for someone to send/receive text messages if she’s receiving nail services.

Keisha Hackett

Lavender Nail and Make-up Studio

Oakland, Calif.


We have no policy in the salon about cell phones Possibly this is because they have never been a major issue People tend to keep calling and answering to a minimum, thus not interfering in any real way with then service.

Nancy Fama

Ciao Bella

Cheshire, Conn.

Down to Business

I don’t tell my clients they can’t use their cell phones. A lot of my clients are professionals and they have to take care of business I’m a business person, so I understand. But when I see a client stressed out with her phone ringing off the hook, I’ll say, “Can you do me a favour and turn off your phone?”

I don’t have a problem with text messaging. That’s actually better than talking on your phone. And for clients who really need to have a serious conversation, they can go to my salon’s lounge area.

SaVerne Smith

Feel at Home

Our salon does not have any policy prohibiting the use of cell phones either to chit chat or text. We are unique in that although our salon has the look of a spa, we have the atmosphere of a coffee shop. Clients come in, are greeted by their name, and are offered a drink. I really try to avoid the “stuffiness” (for lack of a better word) of a spa and allow clients to feel comfortable just being themselves. We see mostly regulars at our spa, so our staff knows the clients well and will greet them as if seeing a friend come in. Even our clients have a good time talking to one another. If they need to use their cell phone for any reasons, they are free to do so.

Fortunately, most of our clients are very respectful toward others and do not let their cell phone usage become an annoyance for our staff or their fellow patrons.

Vinh To

Jonathon Khoi Nail Spa

Maumee, Ohio

Mind the Client

We handle it on a client-to-client basis It’s not that big of a problem. I always think if a client is on her cell phone for the entire appointment she must not like talking to her nail technician very much. If you want your client to get off her phone, then talk to her about things that interest her.

Another thought about that is clients who can afford nails are busy and sometimes they need to conduct business while they are having their nails done. Because I am in the business of serving the client, I am going to do whatever it takes to take care of my client.

Monica Bruin

Color My Nails School of Nail Technology

Midvale, Utah

Salon vs. Spa

For me, allowing cell and text use are the difference between a spa and a salon. A salon is a bit more casual and cell and texting seem to be more appropriate and allowed. A spa is more about the getaway, even if it’s a regular thing; cells tend to be prohibited, and there are usually signs up to enforce that. If they still go there, it’s usually the spa attendant or concierge that says, “Ahheeemmm,” and if that doesn’t work, management is usually brought in. Texting is hard to enforce, because it does not involve noise.

I had a regular client — an attorney with her own practice — at the spa. There was a time or two when she was on the phone during her service, but it was that or have her no-show because it was an emergency. As most of her appointments never involved a phone and always involved a tip, and because it was in a private room and not affecting another client, we were glad to let it go.

So, I guess it all depends on who it is or if someone else is going to be offended or the service ruined.

Beth Fricke

Beyond Nail Care

West Hollywood, Calif.

Okay for Clients; not Employees

I don’t have a cell phone policy in my salon. If a client is my only client at the time, then I don’t mind. About text messaging, as long as it isn’t noisy and not bothering others, then it’s fine with me.

One absolute rule I have about cell phones is no employees are allowed to talk on the phone when with a customer. Also, employees are only allowed to use the phone out back or in a room where clients can’t hear the conversation.

Wilson Vien

La Rose Nail Spa

San Rafael, Calif.

No Problem

As for the issue of clients using cell phones and text messaging, we do not currently have an official policy. As of now, clients are able to use cell phones, but we have not had an issue with this. Our school is large with an upbeat atmosphere where we also play light music when they do services, so we have not had to limit the use of cell phones. The nail services, hair services, skin care services, and massage are all kept separate.

Linh Nguyen

Advance Beauty College

Garden G rove, Calif.

Caught You One-Handed

I don’t really have a policy about cell phones in my salon. I have a pretty laid back atmosphere here. My policies are fairly simple in the salon as far as cell phones — as long as they do not interfere with my service. If I am working on one hand, you can use the other. As far as texting goes, would require the same. If they can do it with one hand, than go for it. I can text with one hand, so I know it can be done.

Billy Larson

That Nail Place

Glendale, Ariz

Getting Schooled

Going through school, the issue wasn’t really addressed as a training issue. However, through my hands-on training it is a big deal trying to perform a service with someone constantly on the phone. Most clients of mine understand that conversations should be kept at a minimum. I do find myself informing new clients that I cannot perform any type of service (nails, hair, even waxing!) to my fullest while they are on the phone. I explain how it can affect speed and overall technique when I have to compensate for some of the strange positions I find myself in while they are on the phone. We really don’t have an official policy, but clients do realize if their phone is constantly ringing it becomes a nuisance for all.

Text messaging goes the same way. Normally, if it gets to the point where we find ourselves having to stop until the client is finished, we try to tactfully tell the client to turn the phone on silent, or just turn it off. No problems so far!

Brooks Barrick

Principals of Success Beauty School

Soddy Daisy, Tenn.

Golden Rule

Thankfully I have not had any problems with people trying to use their cell phones. They are polite enough to know that while I’m working on their nails they can’t be answering the phone.

Jayne Berger

All About Nails

Cissna Park, Ill.

Get Comfortable?

Not too many of our clients talk on their cell phones in our shop. But, we do have a couple of business women who are on the phone from the moment they come in until they leave. It puts me in an awkward position —the whole point is to make these women feel comfortable, which makes it tricky when it comes to asking them to turn their phones off.

We don’t have an official policy. Do we like it when clients talk on their phones? No, but we try to cater to our clients.

Regarding text messaging, I do have one client in particular who gives me one hand and text messages with the other, but I’ve taught myself to work around it. Sometimes the client doesn’t have another choice—it’s either be here doing that or not be here at all.

Iris Ball

Hermosa Nail Company

Hermosa Beach, Calif

It’s All Good

Cell phone use in the salon does not apply to me too much because I rent a private room in the salon where I work. I don’t have a sign that says “please silence your phone.” Occasionally, a client will take a call, and it can be annoying when you are on a time schedule and they are messing around with their phone or Blackberry. It doesn’t happen much, so I just roll with it.

Debbie Ambriz

Wake Up Beauty

Torrance, Calif.

Tell It Like It Is

I put down my sculpting brush for stop whatever I’m doing, lean back, fold my arms and say, "I’ll wait until you’re done; however I’m not sure I’ll have time to finish your service." I say this very innocently and politely.

Melissa Pechey

The Matrix Nail Lab

Wareham, Mass.

It’s Part of the Ambiance

Our salon has lots of visual stimulation like computers, music, and 18 video screens. Cell phones aren’t an interruption. They’re really not even noticed because music drowns out any cell phone.

We also don’t mind text messaging. Teens text all the time, even when getting a haircut.

Susan Tierney

Seventeen Studio Spa.Salon

Plano, Texas

Nails by Saverne

Los Angeles

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