Is your front desk making you money? Or do you view it as a non-profit center within your salon/spa? When most salon/spa owners are asked that very questions they would say I don’t really know. Did you know the front desk is the most underutilized part of most salons/spas today? The reason for this is we are not putting enough training and energy into this area. Traditionally, a salon/spa business spends thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours, per year on training their technical teams. There is a big misconception in our industry, that the only way to be more profitable is to have a highly trained technical team. Yes, it is important to have a highly trained technical team outside the front desk; however, it is a missed opportunity to not provide education or training to turn your front desk into a profit center.
It all comes down to TRAINING…
Let’s talk TRAINING. Do you hire a stylist right out of cosmetology school and give them a chair in your salon/sp and a full book of guests to service and tell them… now go for it? Most likely the answer to this question is NO! So, why do you hire a front desk associate without much “customized” training and tell them now go answer the telephone and book appointments? If you want to turn your front desks into profit centers you might want to take a new approach. The approach is TRAINING.
In order to have any area within your salon/sap a profit center you must have systems in place.
Here are a few areas to consider creating training systems for your front desk.
- Client Scripting – We can create a consistence experience for our guests by developing customer service scripts that address everything from how to welcome guests into our salons/spas, to making suggestions to add up-services, rebooking and the list goes on and on.
- Scheduling and Managing the Books – As we know time is money or wasted time is lost money. It is imperative that we train our front desk team on the meaning and the value of each 15-minute block of time on our appointment books. Empower them to fill today’s empty spots not next weeks.
- Phone Etiquette – It’s not just about answering the phone by the third ring… It’s much, much more! Servicing our guests via the telephone is one of the most challenging areas of customer service. However, we spend no time teaching our front desk team the rules to proper phone etiquette. By empowering our team on the “how” to answer the phone, place calls on hold, re-direct calls, take messages, answer service and product inquires we will be sure to WOW our guests.
- Retail Sales – Yes, that’s what I said our front desk team should be our retail “assist” team. They have an opportunity of being the last person your clients are in contact with. They have the perfect opportunity to assist guests with their home care needs. We need to provide training in retailing, product Knowledge and product merchandising. What would it look like if your front desk team added $10.00 of additional retail to each service ticket?
- Client Satisfaction – the front desk team is the first and the last person our clients see. They truly leave a lasting impression on our salon/spa visitors. You might want to train them in creating a courteous and professional experience for all of our clients
- Now that you have created front desk training – it’s time to implement them into an effective program.
Think about your salon/spa’s assistant training program or apprenticeship program. What elements exist – perhaps you offer a salon/sap orientation day, provide demonstrations, and hands-on workshops, live models to practiced on, you provide them with product knowledge on professional and retail products, computer training, and maybe even some homework assignments? In other words you have an actual timeline-training program for your technical team.
Now it’s time to create a timeline- training program for your front desk team. Remember, this training program is not for new hires. It will be for your existing team and moving forward with all new hires.
You might be saying this all sounds well; however, I do not have any more time or recourses to develop a front desk-training program. The great news is there are several options available to you to support you in this process from on-line trainings, training CD’s, in salon coaching & trainings.
Being in Action with Expertise – knowing when to ask for help without much delaying the check-in – checkout process is the key to front desk profits. In order to turn your front desk into a true lucrative profit center you must develop a consistent training system for your team to live by everyday; enabling a pleasant and superior check-in/out experience.