Friday, September 21, 2012

Make or Break Reception Areas

The words “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” are ringing in my ears. For many professional beauty businesses the front desk reception area creates the first impression. Whether this is a client's initial visit or they have been coming to you for years, the reception area sets the stage for their experience. Front desk are the often forget hidden potential for relationship building and additional profits. Make your reception area work for you!

Professional & Friendly
Picture your client getting ready to be pampered, but they approach the front desk to check in and are greeted by a gum smacking woman, who is texting or chatting away on a personal call.  his takes away from the overall experience and could potentially drive a client to your competition. You want a professional greeter who makes eye contact, says hello, confirms who the client will be with today, and what they believe they are getting done. If there will be a wait, they offers the client a drink or magazine. Sometimes the receptionist is on a business call, they should smile and nod at the client to acknowledge they will be right with them. Once the call is complete, they apologize for the wait and welcome the client warmly. Keep the desk area clean, no cell phones, food, school work, or treatment practicing. This staff member's focus is about servicing the customer. They are your brand ambassador from the moment the client steps in your door.

Make sure your receptionist is armed with info on your menu of services and products. While waiting or checking out, may clients might want to ask a question about a new treatment or product. Answer their need right away by a fully trained receptionist. Friendly small talk about the community or the client's family helps build report. An employee with a knack for remembering faces, names, and personal info can excel.

Retail Add-onsSelling at time of check out is important to increase your average ticket. You don’t want to overcrowd your desk area but products such as gift certificates/cards, ancillary impulse buys, or group packages are ideal items to promote. Any special promotion or event can have tasteful signage as a possible conversation starter. Your receptionist can soft sell by bringing them up in conversation to drive awareness and increase sales.

Rebooking and ReferralsRebooking clients ahead of time can shorten the window between a clients next visit thereby increasing overall sales while keeping your chairs full. Your receptionist can encourage clients by saying their stylist has been booking up quickly. To be sure she gets her desire time, why now book now.  Also front desk personnel can be a resource to obtain referrals. Have clients fill out a referral card at time of check out and as a token of appreciate offer a free pack of trial samples. Clients love them and you gain a new client lead.

The HireAll this sounds great, but you need the right person to take this on. A person with custom service background is ideal. Offer competitive compensation but make them accountable. They can be bonused on a variety of performance-based stats such as number of gift card sales, number of referrals or rebookings, and overall retail sales. Your reception staff is vital to your brand and your bottom line. Let them know they are a valued professional on your team building your brand.

Have you overlooked your front desk profit center? Incorporate some of these tips and watch your bottom line grow!

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