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Reader to Reader: How Do You Retain Clients When You’re on an Extended Leave?

by Staff Writer | May 1, 2001
Illustration/Chris Murphy

Illustration/Chris Murphy

If you have a great retention rate to begin with, you will have a higher retention rate when you return. Your clients should know when you’re leaving and when your expected return date is. Send a short letter to your clients letting them know about your leave. The salon owner, manager, or coordinator should help out too.

Darlene Feric, Awesome Nails, Grayslake, III.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I began planning my maternity leave. I had all of the other nail techs write their standings in the book about two months in advance, which enabled me to see where I could reschedule my clients. I wrote each client a new appointment card as well. I started having labor pains during my last scheduled day at work, finished my last client, locked up the salon, and delivered three hours after that. Now that’s an organized leave of absence.

Alisha Chmiel, Arti’s Beauty Spa, Dayton, Ohio

I really don’t think that there is a sure fire way to retain 100% of your clients when you’re on an extended leave. I retained about 80% of my clients when I took six weeks off after my daughter was born. I referred my clients to a salon owned by a friend. The clients I did lose were not my longstanding ones. It’s a shame to lose any client, but sometimes it happens.

Mare Horak, Nails by Mare, St. Cloud, Fla.

I am the only nail tech at our salon, so I usually work extra long hours for about two weeks before and two weeks after I take a leave. I have maybe two or three clients whom I need to refer to another salon, but I can usually handle the load myself.

Juliee Hoffman, A Head of the Times, Erlanger, Ky.

A fellow nail technician and I have an agreement that when either of us are on vacation or extended leave, we’ll take care of the other’s clients. This has worked for more than 20 years.

Noelia Lebron, Caribe Nails, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

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