First Impression and Your Front Desk

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and works side by side with your front desk team and service providers!

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by Kristi Valenzuela

*Podcast available below*

The first impression that a salon makes on a new client is VERY IMPORTANT because, like it or not, people “judge” us.  The first impression is a way that a guest will determine very quickly:

Like/Don’t Like
For me/Not for Me
Coming back/not coming back

They have a predetermined expectation of what they feel qualify as good customer care and whether they received quality for the money they pay for their salon experience.

Some common MISTAKES that I see salon company’s making when it comes to their first impression area are:

  • Poor training inconsistency between team members
  • Poor language – “no problem” rather than “my pleasure”
  • Lacking knowledge – of services, products, and pricing (all team members)
  • Not going over and above with the guest experience – missed opportunities of guest experience and service revenue
  • Poor systems at check out – the right hand dosen’t know what the left hand is doing (front desk / service providers)
  • Lacking salon tour
  • Lacking follow up (phone calls, email – THANK YOU)

The BEST way to get away from making these mistakes is to really focus on the FIVE areas of a first impression. By recognizing what they are AND understanding what the IDEAL scenario is- you will be able to start wowing your guests.

Here are the five different areas of a first impression:

  1. Phone Skills
    • Qualified, friendly people answering the phone, can answer all questions regarding services, products, prices, etc. in an efficient, pleasant, and professional way, and is consistent each time they call in.
  2. Brand Image
    • Does what you look like and act like when they come in represent who they “thought” you were, or what they expected from your brand.
  3. Greeting
    • Efficient, friendly, retail area is exciting and easy to browse, front desk team offers other opportunities if time allows for guest.
  4. Building Rapport
    • At the station, signature/thorough consultation, price before the service starts, hair lesson, friendly and personable (boundaries not to get too personal).
  5. Closing
    • Efficient check out with service provider and front desk team.  All products recommendations and re-book recommendation should be written down and handed to the front desk professional to assure an efficient and professional check out.  Service provider should introduce the guest to the front desk person who will be helping check them out, then the service provider needs to LEAVE the front desk – DON’T HOVER and HANG OUT.  (Hanging out looks like the service provider doesn’t trust the front desk with the process of taking money, tip, or scheduling.)

What do you think? How do YOU make a good first impression with your clientele?!


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