Front Desk Reception Success
A receptionist should be seen as a necessity, not a luxury. With proper training and experience, your receptionist should be contributing to your total profit; therefore, it’s not a “cost” for you to have them.
Hire the right person for the job.
Be clear and concise in the job description. Ask for exactly what you are looking for. You want someone who will fit in well with your salon team. They need to understand the essence of teamwork and be willing to jump in and help out when possible.
A receptionist should have strong organizational and administrative skills, and it usually helps he/she succeed at their job if they ENJOY the beauty industry!
Also, the front desk receptionist should obviously be a people person. They need to relate easily to guests and converse confidently so they are able to make guests feel comfortable while helping your salon sell. Be sure that they know that one of the most important parts of their job description is being able to sell products and services.
Most importantly, just hire the right person for your salon/spa. Hire someone with the right personality, attitude, and drive. Remember, skills can be always be developed over time.
Help them understand their value.
Having a receptionist is nice for stylists and their customers alike. Customers have a real, live person to talk to and make an appointment with for exactly what they want. Stylists, on the other hand, gain efficiency on the hair floor by not having to take phone calls or return voicemails throughout the day.
Receptionists have the power to increase profit for stylists. They have the power of booking the appointments and placing them at the proper times. The receptionist pretty much creates the stylist’s schedule for him/her. They are the main point of contact between the stylist and the customer.
Therefore, make sure they know what they are doing!
Even if they’ve worked in salons before, every place is different… especially yours. 😉 Therefore, it’s your job to continually train your receptionists on the services being offered by various stylists and therapists, as well as on products carried in your salon. Your receptionist should be knowledgeable, confident, and able to handle any guest with ease.
Teach them how to work efficiently for your salon.
For maximum efficiency, appointments should be scheduled back-to-back, without big breaks or gaps between appointments. Think about it — four small, 15-minute gaps throughout the day equates to one hour of lost revenue in just one day.
Then, imagine if you had multiple stylists with these gaps in their schedules… each day… each week… throughout the year… All these little gaps add up to A LOT of missed revenue!
So how can you avoid these little gaps that cost so much money?
One way: Don’t let the customer dictate! If they ask for a 10:00 appointment, but 9:45 works better for the salon’s schedule, offer them the 9:45. Chances are, the 9:45 is perfectly fine!
Another way: Enforce strict session times for services and treatments. Each service should take a certain amount of time, and each stylist should work to meet a certain time. The receptionist should know how long it takes each stylist/therapist to perform each service/treatment so that they can book appointments efficiently back-to-back.
Keep in mind though, receptionists should also know how to book breaks where needed. (We’re all human, after all. 🙂 ) At some point during the day, they should have booked for the stylist/therapist a 15-minute break and/or a lunch break (depending on the length of the shift). This time could also be beneficial, as it could be used to catch up if the stylist is running behind.
The receptionist easily helps keep both the stylists and the customers on track. Receptionists can be in charge of making confirmation calls for the upcoming days, reducing no-shows and ensuring income.
They have to sell it.
The receptionist should know that selling is part of his/her role in the salon. They need to try to push products, as well as services. Therefore, it should go without saying that your receptionist needs to enjoy being a bit of a salesperson!
Not only do they have the incredibly important job of setting a nice first impression the minute the guest walks in the door, but he/she also has the task of getting the guest to re-book at the end of each of their visits.
The receptionist also HAS to have knowledge of the products carried on the retail floor. This way, they can talk to guests and educate them on products while helping them make purchases; and the stylist can keep working on hair.
And they have to be social.
They have to enjoy talking with customers, and customers should enjoy chatting with them! This is who guests see when they walk in the door and who they spend time with until their stylist is ready for them. Guests should always be greeted with a smile and warm personality so they can go into their appointment and relax.
The receptionist can also use any free time in the beginning to gather or update guests’ emails, phone numbers, and mailing addresses in the salon’s database.
After each appointment, the receptionist should help carry the same tone throughout the checkout process. Everything should be an enjoyable, stress-free experience for the customer from the second they book their appointment with your receptionist, until the moment they walk out after receiving their service.
Receptionists can ask people to write online reviews. Think of how impactful a good (or bad!) Facebook or Yelp review can be. If they don’t fill out a review while at the salon, it can be a part of your marketing plan that the receptionist reach out to each guest with a follow-up email or text thanking them for their service and asking them if they’ll take the time to write a review. Here, you can conveniently provide the link and make it really easy for them.
If there’s a slow day or a cancellation, receptionists can jump on the salon’s social media or send out emails to their current client list to advertise any last minute openings or specials.
On the other side of things, those at the front desk need to also know how to deal with complaints. When a customer walks in, they likely bring that complaint right to the front desk. It is up to the receptionist to react and handle the customer accordingly. The receptionist has to be able to keep a calm, understanding, professional demeanor while dealing with the client’s complaint, even if it’s just until he/she goes and gets the manager on duty.
Measure their performance.
Measure, appraise, and review with your receptionist their performance results the same way you do with the rest of your team members.
Give them targets to reach for. For example, 30% of clients should buy retail products before they leave. Or, at the time of booking, receptionists can aim to up-sell services (Ex: “Would you like to add an EcoFin hand treatment to your manicure?”).
Obviously, you should reward your receptionists for the work they do in helping to successfully operate your salon. Reward them and thank them for reaching targets (like those listed above). You can also reward them for bringing in new business. A receptionist who loves and supports his/her workplace to the point that they talk about it to their friends and family outside of work is an incredibly valuable team player. This is someone you want working on your team!
Your receptionist is a key player in your salon and your business and a major face of your brand. He/she represents you and your salon both over the phone and in person. They are the point of contact between you and your clients and it’s important that you find the right receptionist for your salon.
Check out this infographic from MilleniumSpaSalon.com to get a better idea of how receptionists can better your business and increase sales.
We hope that if you haven’t yet, you will be lucky enough to soon find a receptionist who is perfect for your salon or spa and will help to improve your business, build relationships with clients, and increase profits! 🙂
Please leave any questions or comments in the boxes below.
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