My Salon, My Premises, My Rules

by Pam Stellema

in Salon and Spa Business Development, Salon and Spa Management

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My Salon, My Premises, My Rules

I commented on a social media post a couple of days agoabout requesting clients to turn off their mobile phones completely, as opposed to vibrate only.

It was an interesting discussion!

The salon owner who started the discussion had obviously had it up to her eyeballs with clients answering their phones during relaxation treatments. She was over it, and I can certainly understand how she felt.

Not only is it rude, but it’s also a little demeaning to the therapist who is putting her heart and soul into the treatment delivery.

But the question in my mind became, ‘Do service providers have the right to demand that a client turns off her phone completely?’

And for me, the answer was ‘no’.

Not if you understand the financial value of each client, and if you’re running a business for profit.

So at this point, you might be wondering where the title of this article came from.

Well, one of the salon owners began her comment with these words – ‘My salon, my premises, my rules”.


I was taken completely aback.

I could tell instantly that the owner of this comment did not operate a client-focused salon. It was all about her wants and needs.

Bugger the client’s needs; they obvious didn’t matter to her.

Her sentiments were (and these were her exact words) ‘A great deal of concentration and energy (not to mention lotsa love) go into each and every one of my treatments; the last thing I need is a friggin mobile ringtone to distract my flow and, if the call is taken, my time and focus lost!

‘Lotsa love, my flow, my time and focus’. Whoa. Lots of me, my and mine in that statement, and not much about the client’s wants and needs.

Who’s paying anyway?

I was trained to believe that the client is the one paying for that time and flow being talked about, and if that’s the case, shouldn’t she be entitled to take a phone call if she needs to without being scolded like a pre-schooler who wet her pants.

Shouldn’t she be entitled to leave her phone on vibrate for emergencies?

In fact, the whole point of this article really isn’t about whether or not a client should receive calls during her time in the salon, it’s about being a client-focused as opposed to self-focused business.

It’s about giving your client the experience she wants and not just the experience you want to give her. 

Which one is really more important to your clients?  What you want or what she wants?

And which salon is she likely to return to and refer others to?  The one that does what the client wants and not just what they want?

So, who comes number 1 in your salon?

Is it your clients?

Or do you believe that your salon is more important than the clients they service; the clients who pay the bills and keep your doors open?

A worthwhile question to ask yourself, don’t you think?

Don’t get me wrong. There is a limit to what you should tolerate from your clients when it comes to them being respectful, but where do you draw the line?

What is worth losing a client over?

Is it a vibrating phone or should it be something much more important than that?


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }


I think it depends on the type of client. Some clients might just want to chat socially on the phone during their treatment but others might have very valid reasons for having to leave their phones on. We can’t expect them to cancel their appointment rather than risk missing an emergency call because they were not allowed to have their phones on. They must be reasonable about it, though. I tell my clients that it’s best to put their phones on silent during the treatment because a phone call would interrupt their treatment and they wouldn’t get the full benefit. They understand that and usually put their phones on silent. If they leave their phones on – they understand that it’s their choice and they understand the consequences. Of course it is a problem if you have ten other clients within hearing distance but I find clients are usually as considerate as possible if things are explained to them.


Pam Stellema

So right Diane, it’s a pity to punish the many for the sins of the few. A phone on silent doesn’t bother others when it rings and if you have a quiet policy in the salon then it shouldn’t be a problem. I personally would not go to a salon that insisted I couldn’t keep my phone available for emergencies but that is my choice. Thanks for commenting.:-)



I believe the challenge in spas is that you have 7-10 other treatment rooms with paying clients in them, as well as the “special snowflake” that is obsessive about her/his phone. Everyone in those other treatment rooms (remember “many paying clients” who want quiet) have to endure the one who ruins the experience. Comping a bunch of upset quiet clients is a nightmare for the owner of the spa, all because princess needs to carry on in an obvious quiet setting. You end up with a reputation for not enforcing a peaceful environment. I get it in hair salons as it is a social environment. THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE!



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