When Synergy, Knowledge, and Passion come to your front desk, everyone wins.

by Sara Altizer

newconcepts.600pxLisa Yeakley and Amy Foley have been running New Concepts Salon in Madison, Wisconsin for seventeen years. They continue to build a reputation founded on quality education for stylists with an emphasis on personalized service.

“Being in business for seventeen years definitely shows that we are doing a lot of things right in our salon company, but we saw that there were areas that needed improvement,” Lisa explains. “We were attracted to SSBC’s revamped Front Desk training programs after hearing about them at Symposium 2015 and from our salon coach, Britta Larson. What really sealed the deal was knowing that each element of the program—the First Impression Workshop, Front Desk Profit Power, and Front Desk Tracking—would all be customized for our team and our specific salon needs.”

“We wanted to improve team synergy and salon goals,” Amy explains. “Our RTS (Retail to Service) and team morale was low. Our stylists and front desk team were in a slump, feeling completely defeated about meeting and maintaining individual and team goals. As leaders, we hadn’t really followed through on some policy changes and we needed to establish a sense of accountability.”

Certified Front Desk Trainer, Ashley Biehn, is passionate about helping others reach their full potential, earn more income, and find synergy with their team. One of the main reasons she wanted to become a Front Desk Trainer was because she recognizes that the biggest challenges salons face is the gap in communication between the front desk and the service providers. Ashley explains, “Efficient front desk training makes a huge difference in salons, because it shows each team how to work together, gain team synergy, and put systems into place that are proven to get results and enhance the customer experience at the same time!”

In-Salon Event

“When I walked into New Concepts on day one, I shook the hands of the owners, as well as all attending the workshop. After getting a feel for the salon and its space, I began to set up for my workshop.” Ashley says. “I had already done a preliminary consultation with the salon over the phone, which allowed me to tailor the training to their specific needs. Customizing allows the salon company to maximize the results on the investment they make in the program.”

“In the phone consultation, I identified that the main issues confronting New Concepts Salon were retail sales, consistency in tracking, team willingness, and motivation,” Ashley explains. “The Front Desk Division has many proven methods for combating these issues. I focused our training on the Four-Step Checkout, how to utilize the front desk tracking binder to showcase their new favorite obsession, and proven motivational ideas to get team members feeling inspired.”

“The staff was completely receptive to the guidance I provided to them,” Ashley explains. “Now they understand how valuable their role is in the company, and they are excited to put the concepts into practice.”

Immediate Results

Owners Lisa and Amy were amazed at the immediate results. “Our salon team gained sales confidence and better sales techniques while understanding how to utilize tracking systems,” Amy explains. “We learned how to enhance our guests’ experience, build excellent team synergy, and grow our salon’s income tremendously! We grew our RTS from 11 percent to 18 percent, and rebooks from 62 percent to 69 percent. Our increase in RTS alone put an approximate $2,300 on our books in the two months after the workshop.”

Long-Term Success

Ashley recommends a yearly in-salon event to serve as a refresher course and to train any new staff in the systems. The benefit to this is that oftentimes new issues may arise and the training can be customized to fit the salon’s specific needs.

Lisa and Amy kept in close contact with Ashley, working via phone and email correspondence to discuss any concerns about the team’s performance. This accountability and support contributed to three months straight (and counting) of hitting RTS and PB goals in the salon. “We are now able to raise each RTS and PB goal by 2 percent and we continue to grow,” Lisa explains. “It sets the bar higher for our salon team and motivates us towards success.” The New Concepts front desk team regularly monitors their numbers and engages in friendly competition for added incentive to push towards the goals.

“Prior to getting the Front Desk Training, the front desk service providers felt as though they were ‘just filling a gap’,” Lisa explains. “Now they feel as if they are an important part of the team, and as such, should be respected and utilized properly. We now do Front Desk Tracking religiously, and have consistency with offering welcome packets and tours and providing an overall better customer service experience. I would highly recommend Front Desk Training to other salons, because it will help you refocus energy on important principles of salon environment and create team synergy. We highly recommend Ashley as your Front Desk Trainer if you are looking to motivate your team, raise the bar financially, and create an ultimate customer experience for your salon guests!”

Quantitative Service Results:
Before/After Front Desk Training

Before After
Gift Card
Barely Thriving20%

Rate the Following Categories 1-10 (10 best) Rate Before/After Front Desk Workshop

FIRST IMPRESSION dress code, self-appearance (hair, makeup, etc.)710
PHONE SKILLS consistency of greeting, information given on services, pricing810
GREETING front desk consistency, salon tour, welcome gift, etc.68
CONSULTATION interesting, thorough, discuss pricing, offering add-on services79
OPENING RETAIL SALE opening the sale on the phone, or when guest walks in710
HOME CARE EDUCATION discussion of products at the station or hands-on lesson79
guest clarity of “plan” or next visit recommended
CLOSING team communication of products needed/next appointment810