Making the most of your festive season

This time of year, is usually one of the busiest for aesthetic practitioners – you can’t afford to miss out!

The run up to Christmas normally brings pressures in many directions, however this year is already proving to be more challenging than ever with the increasing uncertainty that surrounds the UK economy.  You’ll need to be on your game if you’re going to make the most of the run up to Christmas.

After the rollercoaster of the last two years, you’ve probably been wondering if things will ever go back to ‘normal’. Christmas is the one time of year when we certainly like things to look rosy, and will want things to be as near to our expectation of normal as possible. Hopefully your pre-Christmas treatment bookings are already flying in as your clients plan for upcoming social events and getaways. It’s important that you can manage the increased demand for treatments, making the most of every opportunity that comes through the door, whilst also ensuring that you don’t burn out.

Here at Aesthetic Response we always see a surge in demand across clients from both new enquirers and long-term clients wishing to secure bookings before Christmas, and despite the cost-of-living crisis we are anticipating a seasonal uplift.  You may be in a position where you really need to make the most of every opportunity to generate valuable income so what do you do when your diary is already filling up?  Many of your clients will also be juggling hectic schedules for Christmas, and it can be daunting trying to meet all of their expectations, whilst at the same time working at a reasonable pace for yourself. Are you someone who feels stressed when you try to juggle demands on your time? Do your thoughts race as to what to do and how to do it? Are you already planning on extending your opening hours? Saying no to new client bookings? Are you prepared to risk losing high value long term clients if they can’t get an appointment in your full schedule? Maybe you’ve found yourself running so fast you haven’t had time to think it through at all? I suggest you stop running and, as a priority, that you make time to sit down with your scheduler and look at what you can do to anticipate pressure points and have a strategy to alleviate them.

With over 11 years of experience supporting clients through this season here are a few tips from Aesthetic Response on managing your time throughout the Christmas season:

  • Look at your diary time through to the New Year – are there any opportunities to add appointment slots in the weeks ahead without tying yourself up in knots?
  • Consider contingency diary time for high value VIP clients who might have forgotten to book. Ensure your team know who your VIP’s are and set time aside to ease the pressure for when they get in touch – this will help you and your staff to keep control of your diary
  • Be prepared for an increase in call volumes and online enquiries, ensuring your team can respond to any uplift
  • Post reminders on your social media reminding clients to book in time for any events that they’ve planned
  • Decide what your policy is going to be for late and last-minute bookings – then stick to it. There will always be clients or new enquirers who’ll call a couple of days prior to an event they’re going to – are you happy to treat them so close to their special event? Know your boundaries
  • Try not to let the demanding clients infringe on your personal or family commitments. Clients will often be flexible if they realise there are limited options! Once you’ve fixed your schedule try to stick to it
  • Bear in mind that compromising on treatment times to fit in more appointments may affect your customer service levels
  • If you don’t have enough staff support you could consider asking a friend or relative to help you out on the busiest days
  • You may find you’ve new enquirers wanting to book one-off treatments over this period. If you treat them remember to book their follow-up appointment to try to retain them. If you can’t give them an appointment you could consider extending a special offer for them to book an appointment in January when things are quieter, in the hope that they’ll be prepared to wait
  • Finally, here at Aesthetic Response we’ve found that patients do like to get in touch after Christmas to get their early new year appointments in, once you’ve recharged what better way to get the new year started than to open 2023 with a buoyant diary. If you’re planning an extended break, it’s important to ensure clients can book whilst you’re closed – do you have a member of staff or an appointment booking service in place to do this for you?

The aim is to make the most of the seasonal uplift and the opportunities it brings, whilst retaining your sanity at the same time – after all when you close your clinic door in a few weeks you need to be able to enjoy the Christmas break with friends and family. You’re welcome to join the conversation over at The Hub sharing thoughts and ideas.

For information about how we can support your practice please call us on 0191 7203000

Join the discussion