Some clients like to make appointments. Some client's lives do not really allow for making and keeping appointments. You are getting busier and getting push back from long time walk-in folks about your wait times.  Perhaps it is time to explore “Next Up” service. Here are my top 5 tips for what this is and how to implement it.

Not an appointment – Next up service allows a client to place their name in the waiting queue, yet not sit around waiting.  Clients drop in or call in to be added to the end of the waiting queue.

No waiting (almost) – Clients can run errands, do other things and tend to their busy lives. When they choose to show up they are served as their name appears in the waiting queue. If they have risen to the top of the queue they stall there until arrival. If they are still deep in the queue they can choose to wait or vanish and return later.

Honor appointments – Next up service is a perfect way to blend walk-ins with appointments. Appointments are served on time and the walk-ins (and next-uppers) are served in between.

Communicate – The key to running a successful next-up service offering is to communicate the program well.  A poster in the waiting area explaining how it works in a few simple sentences is ideal. You need to get out in front of the questions when a next upper pops back in and is served sooner than someone who is waiting.  The system works great if you communicate.

Manage it – Use next-up service like any other business tool. You can offer it on select days and at times when it makes sense for your business. Turn it on and off as needed. Limit clients calling in to check their spot in the queue if you do not have reception staff to handle the calls. Do not charge a premium for the service. You can explore offering next-up service to club members as a prime membership benefit.  It is a great example of a membership benefit without reducing haircut pricing. It carries high value and it is FREE to offer.

The need and demand for next-up service is an indicator of a thriving business and high levels of client satisfaction. We should all be so blessed so as to need systems to manage too many clients. Focus on building your business and use tools like next-up to take you to the next level. Share your next up stories in the comments and reach out for help as needed. I am happy to help you.

Ivan Zoot AKA ClipperGuy is your healthy haircutter coach. Get and stay healthy, wealthy and wise with clipperguy support. For more information visit Ivan at

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