The salon industry is a competitive space. While customers might feel loyal to a particular stylist, if they find that they don’t get the customer service they deserve, they’ll have no problems going elsewhere.
Your customer’s perception of your salon often starts at the front door. As soon as they step in from the street, they have expectations for how they will be treated. Walking into a busy salon might be preferable to walking into a dead quiet one, but only if you are acknowledged at the door.
But if you don’t have someone ready to greet your customers, they might start thinking about looking elsewhere for their next appointment.
At Salon Iris, we work with a lot of salon owners, so we know how difficult greeting everyone can be. When you have a receptionist managing hundreds of calls per day, it might seem like an impossible feat to also have them greet people at the door. However, what a lot of people don’t realise is that the greeting doesn’t have to be verbal.
When customers walk through the door, they can see that everyone is busy. So if someone on the front desk makes the effort to acknowledge them with their body language, this makes a huge difference.
Body language in this instance can be something as small as a smile or a nod in their direction. Even gesturing to the seating area until you can give them your full attention. These things make a huge difference to the customer experience.
The biggest problem salons face is ensuring consistency in the way customers are greeted. In an ideal world, a receptionist would be available to greet customers and keep everything running smoothly.
But we all know that the role of the receptionist is so varied. They might be taking calls, taking payments, booking follow up appointments, upselling products or even preparing beverages for visitors.
This is where it helps to make greeting customers a team effort. Imagine an invisible hierarchy within your salon staff. At the top is the receptionist, the person best placed to greet customers. Next, we have the salon staff nearest to the door. If they are using the blow dryer or absorbed in a complex task, then the task moves to those further away.
Instead of thinking of greeting customers as a receptionist-only task, spread out the responsibility across your team.
Even small changes to your body language can make a huge difference. Even if you are absorbed in a task such as booking in a client or making a change to a booking, a little effort can go a long way. Sit up straight and turn your body to the visitor. If you are on the phone, smile and gesture to the waiting area with an open palm. Never point.
If you are absorbed in a task that needs your immediate attention, smile and let them know you will be with you in a moment. If you have an apprentice working in your salon, they can take responsibility for taking drinks orders and preparing drinks for customers. Just be sure they are up to speed on the expectations of how customers should be greeted.
You don’t need a huge grin to keep your customers happy, but a smile can do a lot to put them at ease and make them feel better about waiting. A successful receptionist will not only help to keep customers happy, but they can also be vital to the sales process.
Customers are much more likely to trust a warm and welcoming receptionist when they recommend a new product for them to try.