What could Bunny have done in this scenario to have a better outcome?
1. Having the front desk ask a few more questions when booking the appointment, such as, "Are you looking for a dramatic color change today, like going from dark to light?" might steer them to book her a consultation first, where the proper service timing, pricing, and expectations can be set.
2. Outlining where Bambi's hair is currently and coming up with a long-range plan for where she can go over time, with conditioning treatments along the way and hair color goals ahead, would have helped.
3. Showing Bambi what's realistic for her hair type, texture, and condition, along with estimates for cost and time necessary would also be important, as well as a strong recommendation for a haircut to keep the hair in the best possible shape.
4. Last, as a professional hairstylist, Bunny did herself a disservice by ignoring the red flags that Bambi was flying. She knew that the hair wouldn't survive the service. In the end, she should have listened to what she knew to be true.
As a salon owner, making it okay for your stylists to turn down a service for all the right reasons is important. Wouldn't you rather have an hour or two vacant than the difficult re-do's and negative reviews and stress that a service-gone-wrong can become?
Meet with your service team and roleplay the scripts and scenarios to empower your stylists. Any time they see that iceberg ahead, be sure they know how to steer the ship to avoid sinking. Create a way to easily re-direct a client to a more experienced stylist might be a better solution for that particular appointment.
Creating a safe space for a stylist to say, "I'm sorry, I can't do this service because your hair is too fragile/I'm not comfortable/I don't think it's the right color for you"--whatever the truth is, can save not just their confidence, but your salon's reputation as well.
Practice your script, so the next time Bambi walks in your salon door, you can put down the fries and pick up your artist's brush.