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Tips for Running an Efficient Front Desk in Your Salon

A good receptionist can make all other parts of the salon shine. If you aim to create a more efficient salon front desk process, this is the post for you.

Picture yourself in the middle of a manicure; you’re wielding files and brushes, chatting with the client—and then the phone rings.

What now?

If you leave the station, the client may feel neglected, but if you don’t pick up, the person calling you won’t be able to make an appointment.

Hiring a receptionist can help you avoid such situations.

However, there’s more to the role than answering the phone.

Receptions are there to make clients feel welcome and handle scheduling, among other tasks. However, there are nuances to running a front desk.

In this article, we’ll tell you how to set up your front desk staff for success so that your entire salon can thrive.

Hire the Right Person for Your Front Desk

As the first point of contact clients have with your salon, receptionists can help establish a positive client experience right from the start.

This is why you need an upbeat and organized person at your front desk.

Hiring a methodical person can do wonders for your salon in terms of booking appointments or ordering and organizing supplies.

However, don’t forget that a receptionist’s primary role is interacting with clients, which is why your front desk worker should also be open and approachable.

Greeting clients is a crucial element of communication in a salon, and having a dedicated person to give the clients a warm welcome helps set the tone for the rest of their stay.

Source: Instagram

Since the receptionist is also the last person a client interacts with before leaving, their communication skills can encourage your clients to return.

To see why it’s important to hire a receptionist with excellent social skills, let’s run through a list of some of the receptionist’s day-to-day tasks:

  • Answering phone calls and messages
  • Greeting clients
  • Handling refreshments
  • Asking clients for feedback
  • Booking the next treatment
  • Offering and selling aftercare products
  • Taking payments

As you can see, an uncommunicative person wouldn’t be able to handle these as efficiently.

A great receptionist can even boost your revenue by motivating clients to buy an aftercare product that they otherwise wouldn’t consider.

It takes a bit of salesmanship and attention to detail, but a skilled receptionist should be able to explain how a specific product can benefit the client according to their needs.

So, when looking for a front desk worker, make sure to hire a person that has not only experience in that role, but also an enthusiastic personality.

Establish Consistency at Each Customer Touchpoint

If you want an efficient front desk in your salon that consistently provides a great customer experience, you have an opportunity to establish that consistency way before the treatment begins.

The solution is standardized training.

Standardized training for each new employee will ensure that each customer has a satisfying experience, regardless of which receptionist works the shift.

Salon success coach Kristi Valenzuela considers removing inconsistencies in training an essential part of front desk success.

“[The experience] must be the same for every new person who touches the desk.”

Putting new employees through standardized training ensures they all follow the same protocols and procedures, so the customer knows exactly what to expect.

However, if you’re too busy to devise a comprehensive in-house training program, there are courses designed specifically for the front desk staff at a salon, like the one in the image below, developed by Statements the Salon.

Source: Instagram

You could also do a combination of both, supplementing an external training course with your own insights and practices.

For instance, imagine one of your receptionists offering a beverage to a client.

The client would appreciate the refreshment and expect the same service at each subsequent visit, so it would be unacceptable for other receptionists not to follow the same protocol.

The same goes for other areas of customer service: the level of formality, opening and closing procedures, handling upset customers, handling walk-ins, and more.

Standardized training helps you remove inconsistencies and provide front desk workers with clear instructions on how to interact with clients.

Ensure a Good Flow of Information

Front desk workers are the heart of the salon; they are the connection between clients and beauticians.

However, they can only excel at their job if you provide them with the latest information.

Suppose a client calls to inquire about laser hair removal.

Even if your receptionist doesn’t perform the procedure themselves, they should know enough about it to answer some of the client’s questions.

This means you should arm them with knowledge about each treatment your salon offers.

They should be able to give the client some basic information about:

  • Compatibility with skin types
  • Treatment effects
  • Equipment used
  • Aftercare procedure
  • Recommended products
  • Allergy warnings
  • Duration
  • Price

There’s quite a lot to remember, so you could consider compiling a document with details on all procedures or even let the receptionist shadow the beautician to see the treatments first-hand.

Source: Zoyya

Besides the technical details, the receptionist assists the team with booking treatments and relaying information between the staff and the clients.

If a client calls and requests an appointment with a particular beautician, the receptionist should know that employee’s schedule and availability.

Because of that, if there are any changes in employee schedules, the receptionist should be among the first to know.

Similarly, make sure to always keep them posted on any adjustments to your list of services or prices.

Since the receptionist’s job is to keep the salon running smoothly, you should always keep them in the loop.

Empower Your Receptionist With Technology

With so many responsibilities to juggle, receptionists appreciate every single technique that helps them save time.

Technology can automate a number of front desk tasks so that your receptionist can focus on other activities where their expertise is needed.

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Receptionists are known for their ability to multitask.

But if your clients see the person at the desk struggling to tackle too many tasks at once, they may get the impression that your entire salon is disorganized.

Luckily, you can automate different salon front desk activities and retain efficiency even when your salon is at its busiest.

Technology can help you streamline the following tasks:

  • Booking
  • Appointment reminders
  • Client communication
  • Email marketing

Since booking takes up the most significant amount of time of your front desk staff, let’s see how you can improve it with a software solution.

Receptionists usually cover booking on three different fronts: online requests, phone calls, and in-person booking.

That means it’s quite common for a client to stand at the desk waiting while the receptionist is on the phone creating another client’s appointment.

Unfortunately, this could cost you future sales, as research shows that waiting time negatively affects the customers’ overall satisfaction with products and services.

However, if your salon gets an online booking system, the clients wanting to book from home won’t have to call anymore; they will be able to simply create an appointment independently.

That way, your receptionist can give the in-person client their undivided attention.

You may be worried about the implications of not being in total control of scheduling appointments.

Don’t worry; there are booking apps created with salons in mind, anticipating any needs you might have, such as our booking solution, Zoyya.

Source: Zoyya

Zoyya allows you to let the clients either book their appointments themselves, or request a specific appointment which is then confirmed by your receptionist.

Either way, your front desk will spend significantly less time on booking management as a result.

Since the human touch is irreplaceable in salon customer service, you should let the front desk staff manage in-person client communication, while automating those tasks that technology can do just as efficiently.

Separate Front Desk from Back Office Tasks

Being a receptionist is a versatile role. Still, your front desk employees shouldn’t be burdened with absolutely all the tasks that need to be done in a salon.

The front desk staff already handles booking and payments, so it may sound convenient to ask them to take care of some administrative tasks while they’re at it.

However, that may affect their efficiency in dealing with clients.

Therefore, your safest bet is to separate the front desk tasks from those that belong to the back office, such as accounting or supply management.

Source: Zoyya

While your receptionist could keep count of supplies and contact retailers to place new orders, it’s vital to schedule such activities during the times when your salon is less busy.

You don’t want clients waiting to be seated or to pay while the receptionist arranges delivery details on the phone.

If you know the salon is always packed on Fridays or Saturdays, you should ask the receptionist to reschedule any organizational tasks to slower days, such as Monday mornings.

That way, the front desk staff will be able to handle all client matters with full attention and efficiency.

If you feel compelled to use your receptionist’s skills to handle the occasional administrative task, make sure they do so when there are no clients around and compensate them accordingly.

However, delegating back-office tasks to the salon manager is a much better option.

Conclusion

With more salons realizing the benefits of having an employee dedicated to client management, front desks have stopped being a feature only in large salon chains.

They are now a common occurrence even in smaller local salons. Your salon could also benefit from them.

However, the front desk can bring value to your business only if you invest time to train your receptionists properly and then continually keep them updated on the events going on in the salon.

With a bit of effort on the employer’s side, the front desk can become a salon’s most powerful asset in building client relationships.

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