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BLOG: Why a great receptionist is the best investment your salon can make, by Salon Evolution

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Steven Gunnip, director of Salon Evolution, discusses the importance of a great salon receptionist and the impact they can have on a business

The mission of any salon business should be to create a positive and enjoyable client journey from beginning to end. A great receptionist or front of house team is crucial to ensure a smooth process that maximises opportunities for increased sales, client loyalty and retention, and a positive overall experience. I have spoken to salon owners who say that a dedicated receptionist feels like a luxury that they cannot afford; however they are anything but. It may not be easy to directly quantify how much revenue this role can bring, but in terms of structure, success and sales, a brilliant receptionist cannot be underestimated.

Salon scheduler

I’m a big believer in making every single second of salon time count in the best and most productive way possible. Before the day begins, every member of staff should have a clear idea of the activity scheduled for the day or week ahead, so that they can move seamlessly from one client to the next. A receptionist can become a personal scheduler across the whole salon business, making sure that all stylists understand their role in the working day and their contribution to the day-to-day running of the salon. With a structure like this in place, every member of staff benefits, leading to a motivated, effective and happy workforce, which will be clear for clients to see.

Making – and keeping – appointments

Receptionists can organise your entire booking system, keeping no-shows to a minimum by calling every client before their visit and confirming or rearranging their appointment. This ensures no stylist’s time is wasted and all columns and time slots are filled. In the same way, a receptionist is key   when it comes to being proactive in making sure that clients re-book their next appointment before they leave, and invest in products to complement their new style. All of these details bring money into the business that cannot be underestimated.

Knowledge is key for add-ons and retention

A great receptionist is essentially the eyes and ears of the business, looking out for potential opportunities and listening to customer feedback in order to make recommendations, both for clients and to further business prospects. Make sure that your receptionist is as knowledgeable about the treatments and services you offer, and products you stock, as your stylists. Invest in training for your front of house staff or send them on training courses along with stylists to ensure they are well versed in every aspect of the business and gain knowledge of the industry as a whole. This will reap untold rewards in sales, allowing them to recommend and upsell services or deluxe packages, such as an intensive treatment and scalp massage to make the most of a client’s new cut or a deluxe blow-dry to show off their colour. Hair treatments can form one of the key elements of client retention, so having a dedicated member of staff to recommend a treatment that improves hair condition, shine or vitality will make sure that clients remember your salon as the one that improved the quality and appearance of their hair, making them more likely to return in the future.

The personal touch goes a long way

Receptionists can bring a personal touch to every client visit; greeting them by name as soon as they walk through the door, remembering their preferred service and treatments or even how they take their coffee are little touches that are sure to impress. Time and time again clients remark that the salons they return to are the ones that indulge in the finer details – asking them about their family, for example, and knowing their likes and dislikes straight off the mark. When hairdressers are busy running from client to client, the receptionist is a point of consistency in the salon, reminding each stylist of all the important client details and taking the time to engage with them on every visit. It’s these small touches that can make a huge difference to the overall client experience, providing the perfect point of difference to truly set a salon apart from local competitors and increasing the chances of repeat appointments.

An organised team is a motivated team

It stands to reason that the lack of a receptionist in a salon can leave a team feeling disorganised, not knowing which client is booked in when or with whom, leading to a feeling of frustration and a lack of confidence in procedures and processes. If a hairdresser is doing a great job, providing excellent services to a loyal client base, but they are being let down through disorganisation, or their clients cannot book in with them at a convenient time because of poor time management, this can be disheartening, leaving them feeling that their great work is not being maximised.

A receptionist sits at the heart of every salon and should be thought of as a complete concierge service for your clients, attending to their every need. More often than not, a receptionist is the first point of contact for many clients; whether that’s over the phone when they book their appointment, or the first face they see when they walk through the salon door, meaning they can make a lasting impression of your business. By investing in this crucial role, you can expect to see greater business structure, increased sales and client retention, and a smoother client journey, proving that front of house staff really are an invaluable addition to any hair salon.

– Steven

Salon Evolution is a business development and marketing agency that works side by side with salons, helping to future proof their business, eradicate down times and reach their target market through carefully executed brand exposure.
Twitter: @salonevolution

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