person holding a camera

Service Protocols & Why You Need Them

Many of us just do what we do, when our client is on the table. But I see a lot of new artist struggling with when to do what. So today I’m writing about how you can save yourself some time, be prepared for an inspection and have everything in place if you decide to train an employee!

What is a Service Protocol?

Simply enough, it’s an outline of how to do a service. Having a specific protocol for how you set up your station, the order you do everything in and how you communicate information to your clients can make every appointment run more smoothly and even more quickly. If you know exactly where everything should be and your order of use, you aren’t scrambling to get everything sorted in the middle of an appointment.

How does this help ME?

First off, especially for a new artist, remembering everything you need and when you’re going to use it can be a little overwhelming. A good lash course includes a protocol sheet to help you get started, but you may need to make adjustments to accommodate your working space or style. Mobile artists need a good protocol to keep them on track when constantly setting up and tearing down for every appointment.

Second, when you have a State Board or Health inspector visit, they may ask to see your protocols and data sheets to confirm that safety regulations are being followed and that you have a standard of practice for your services.

Third, if there is ever a need for your insurance company to become involved in a customer experience, they will ask for your protocols to ensure you’ve done everything correctly before they’ll back you in that claim.

Fourth, if you’re training a new employee and you want things done a certain way, you’re going to have to teach them. A written guide is a good tool to make sure they have all of the information they need to offer the same level of customer care that your clients have come to expect at your establishment.

Fifth, and most obvious, is the customer experience. When you have a guide of how you will interact with clients, you can interact with every client the same way. Sure, you’ll adjust your vocabulary with different clients or change up your taping method, but you will consistently cover all bases by asking the same questions, covering aftercare the same way, and performing your services the same way. Make every client feel like a Queen and you’ll never have to worry about a queen feeling like a second cousin you don’t like.

How do I make a Protocol?

Here’s what works for me. When I train in something new, I’m taking notes during the course to help me along when I am back in my studio. Remember those outlines we had to do in high school English class? And you thought that was never gonna come in handy! HA! Half of the time, there’s been so much information dumped into my brain over the past two days, it’s easy to forget little things without those aids.

Back in my space, I use my course manual to set up my station as I’ve been taught for this service. Let’s go with a classic lash application. Here are the questions I ask myself.

  • What happens when client’s arrive?
  • What am I doing while they fill out forms?
  • What needs to be done before they’re on the treatment table?
  • What’s the order for my application process?
  • What do I need to tell my client before they’re done?
  • Is there retail for this service? What’s my retail shpeel?
  • What is my checkout process?
  • Are there aftercare instructions?
  • Saying goodbye; any last minute words?

Here’s a basic full set protocol: