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Front Desk Reception Success

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.

Train them.

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?”).

Reward them!

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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Sincerely,

Mandy

Making the Most of the Back to School Season

Making the Most of the Back to School Season

Can you believe that summer is half way over and it’s already time for Back to School!? 

This can be a stressful time of the year… for parents, students, and teachers alike. (That’s where you, as a salon/spa come in. It’s your job to be there for them.)

Don’t you think that a mother would like to spend some time with her daughter (or son if that is what he likes to do) at the spa before she/he goes into her/his sophomore year? And don’t you think that her child would enjoy a fresh hair cut for the new school year, or a facial that is tailored specifically to her/his changing teenage acne-prone skin?

OR… maybe mom wants to wait until the boys are back in school to spend her time alone at the spa. She would probably enjoy a nice, relaxing mani/pedi after her hard-worked summer. 😉 

Whatever the occasion, it is your job to be there for them.

They need you! 

There are so many reasons why Back to School is the PERFECT time of year for salons and day spas to run some great promotions that will appeal to a variety of audiences – moms, dads, students, and teachers. You should be taking advantage of this hectic time of year… 

What are you doing to make yourself valuable to those affected by the Back to School season??


We at Chill Digital Marketing are so excited to provide to you a

FREE Back to School Kit.

We have put a lot of time and energy into preparing an informative, comprehensive marketing plan so that you don’t have to!

(add your name and email in the bar above or in the pop up window to download your kit today!)


Your Back to School Kit includes:

  • a BUNCH of clever marketing and promotional ideas that you can employ at your salon/spa
  • a Retail Worksheet, which will help plan for costs and supplies, as well as determine expected profit, for your chosen promotion
  • a Campaign Spreadsheet that will prepare you and keep you on track with social media postings throughout the month(s)
  • several salon/spa-specific social images, in various sizes, that we have created for you to use on your own social media accounts

 

Sincerely,

Dianna & Mandy

An Interview with Industry Leader, Jill Leitz

 

An Interview with Industry Leader, Jill Leitz

We were lucky enough to sit down this month with industry icon, Jill Leitz. Jill is a Redken International Performing Artist, 3-Time NAHA Winner (2017 NAHA Finalist), educator, member of the Beauty Underground team, and salon owner at Salon Salon in Boulder, CO. She is nationally-published in top magazines. She has traveled the world to share her knowledge and to create hair masterpieces. She has been competing in hair shows for nearly 50 years, and she’s not stopping now! Jill LIVES for the big hair/fashion shows, and she knows how to perform!

So we wanted to know directly from her… How did she do it!?

Where did she get started, what did she do, and how has she managed to become who she is today?


Denver Fashion Weekend

Jill Leitz, on Fashion Shows:

Dianna Rands: When did you start working in the beauty industry (how old were you)?

Jill Leitz: I was 18 years old.

DR: Was it as a hairstylist? …or first as a salon receptionist or salon aid?

JL: I started off as a hairstylist.

DR: What was the first thing you remember wanting to be as a little girl? Was it hair-related?

JL: Yes, I’ve always been attracted to hair. I remember being little enough that I was on the shoulders of my grandfather with my feet hanging over his shoulders; I would take his comb out of his pocket and comb his hair. I was about 15 months old.

DR: How long did it take from starting in the industry to working your first fashion show?

JL: It took me about 2-3 years after I got my license. I remember going to one of my first big trips in NYC. I came back from there and immediately got involved in anything I could in Lansing, Michigan. I competed in competitions for cutting and design.

DR: When and what was that first show?

JL: 1968/9 in NYC, I jumped into any competitions I could in Chicago and Detroit.

DR: What was the scariest thing about that first show?

JL: Failing. What was really scary for me was wondering if I would have enough time to complete my look. At that point, I hadn’t developed that skill to be faster. So I definitely felt fear of not having enough time at my first show. I was never worried about not knowing how to do something; that has only crept in during the last 10 years or so. Even though I probably know all the techniques, it’s good to stay on the edge.

DR: What mistakes did you have at your first show?

JL: It wasn’t the first show, but at the first photo shoot I had, I didn’t bring enough of the right equipment. I really wanted to make a good impression, so it was pretty embarrassing. Lesson learned: It’s better to bring and not need than need and not bring. You have to know what a good “session showbag” looks like. The only way to master that is by doing them… trial and error.

DR: What successes did you have?

NAHA 2002: Jill won “Long Hair” category, while Charlie Price took home “Stylist of the Year.”

JL: As a competing hairstylist, my dedication has really paid off. I won the first competition I was ever in. Somehow, even with my “fear of the clock,” I always won these timed competitions. I usually took 1st or 2nd place. I still have all the trophies in my attic. Those competitions really laid the groundwork for my skills today. They laid the foundation for me.

DR: Who was your idol at the time of your first fashion show?

JL: A mentor, Linda Hankus. Vidal Sassoon (my sixth year doing hair) – coming in and just introducing hair cutting. And Trevor Sorbie – met him at my first big show in NYC. Learned about Vidal through Trevor, actually. It was all about cutting and not setting. That was when I had to learn how to cut with shears, as I was only cutting with a razor at the time. 

DR: Did you get to work with them?, or Have you since?

JL: I went from knowing and adoring Trevor in the 60’s, to the 80’s when I worked with him for 10 years. I went to LA to audition to be on his artistic team (that’s where I met Ruth Roche). Unfortunately, after ten years, he closed his business in the states, so that was when I went to audition for Redken.

DR: What was the biggest fashion show you ever worked on?

JL: Every Fashion Week in New York is big. We (as Beauty Underground artistic team) have developed such an awesome reputation there that we now get asked back by designers. It feels so great to get to come back each year to work it. Once in NYC, I did hair for Gisele Bündchen, and at LA Fashion Week, I did Kelly Osbourne.

Denver Fashion Weekend 2016

DR: Very cool! How did you land those gigs?

JL: I used to do NY Fashion Week with Redken, and now with Beauty Underground.

DR: How did you feel afterwards? Do you like working the HUGE shows?

JL: LOVE IT! I love everything I get from it. From the exposure to the designers to the other artists in the room (makeup artists, clothing stylists, etc.). Its a huge burst of inspiration you get by just being involved in it. It is very hard work but so worth it. 

DR: What advice would you give your younger self right before her first fashion show?

JL: Get as much information as you can that’s available – know everything you can about what looks you will be doing so you have all the support in your session bag. All the things that you need. If you aren’t the lead stylist, you most likely have to wait until you get there to know what the look is going to be. Still, have a sense of the tools you will need. Know what a general good, strong session bag is, and add/take from it for each event. 

DR: What advice would you give a stylist that is about to attend their first fashion show? What should they do to prepare in the weeks/months leading up? What to bring? What not to do or say while there… What to make sure they DO do while there…

The Beauty Underground had the honor of doing the hair for designer Katty Xiomara’s show at New York Fashion Week 2016, creating the exact same look across all the models.

JL: Again, know what a complete session bag looks like. Follow up ahead of time with any questions you have about pre-looks. Come to work, not to socialize. Know your place, and follow the plan. Do the job that you were asked to do by coming. Know why you are there, know who the lead is, and know what your part of the team is. Don’t try to be the lead if you aren’t the lead! No time for divas. You are part of a team. At Fashion Week, each model has to have the same look so it looks like the same person did every single model.

DR: Are there any shows that you still have on your bucket list?

JL: Some of my biggest aspirations are anything outside of the U.S. as far as fashion. I’m also still looking for chance to win NAHA Stylist of the Year! That’s not a fashion show, but a big dream of mine. I’m really hoping to achieve it before I die. It would be great to walk up there with a walker haha!

DR: In ONE word, how would you describe your relationship/feelings about working in the beauty industry?

JL: Magic.

DR: You are obviously an inspiration to others, both inside and outside of the salon. Where do you find your inspiration? From whom? From where? How? What do you do?

Jill often looks to her good friend, Ruth Roche, to stay motivated and inspired.

JL: I just love being around like-minded creative souls (like those in The Beauty Underground). A constant in my life is being around Ruth Roche as much as I can. I love working with Charlie Price and that opportunity is a true gift I’ve been given. Really, I find inspiration from anyone who has the same drive and love of the craft as I do.

DR: Do you have anything else you want to share pertaining to fashion shows and your experience with them?

JL: If you’re part of a team and you’ve committed to do it, stay open and stay willing to be a part of “a team.” Also remember that fashion shows are a great opportunity to get inspiration and experience live and in-person. At fashion shows, you are in the “right now” of fashion. Take advantage of it! 

DR: Thank you so much for your time and insight, Jill! It’s been a pleasure.


 

Check Jill out on Instagram or Facebook 🙂

 

Sincerely,

Dianna & Mandy

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