How you book your treatments can make or break your business – Part 1

Feb 11, 2013 No Comments by

Your client’s first impression of your salon/spa can either make or break you. And where is the first point of contact in your Salon or Spa?

The first point of contact with a new client is your “front of house staff.” They can either make a client feel that her needs are being attended to or they could taint the relationship before it has even developed. If your staff are not trained properly in dealing with clientele in a professional and polite manner, you are probably losing money daily.

You all know that the more people you can fit in your day, the more money you can earn! Simple, yet most salon owners negate to understand the importance of first impressions and diary management.

What is the most important aspect you use to determine if you will revisit a beauty business again or not? It is usually the customer service experiences.

If your needs were met and the interaction was enjoyable, you would surely return. Our industry is all about THE EXPERIENCE! To ensure return visits, the customer experience needs to be better than good, it needs to be excellent. Think about it, where is the first and last point of contact with your customer – the front desk. In my opinion, this is the most essential part of your business and the systems, protocols and attitude of this area or this person, can greatly affect your business.

My Promise To You

Client information and requests are noted in this area again increase the opportunity for guests to get exactly what they have requested and, going above and beyond, taking your business out of reach to your competitors.

I have learnt through my travels and dealings with spas, salons and clinics around the world that 90% of you reading this post have at some point, fallen prey to allowing your customers to pick the exact time that works for them and not the other way around. What happens is, you end up with a reservation book filled with dead slots which costs you money as your therapists are not earning revenue.

Here is my promise to you, if you take on following ideas and make them yours within your business, your turnover will increase dramatically, your profit will increase dramatically, your customer experience will become mind blowing and your complaints will decrease. You as a business owner will have peace of mind to sit back and enjoy some of the things you used to enjoy before your business began running your life. You have enough stresses in the daily running of your business to worry about always having to check-up that the diary’s bookings make sense to your bottom line..

So how do you train your reception staff to always have the salon/spas best interests at heart?



1. Prepare and Practice

• The receptionist must know what each of the therapist’s can offer in terms of treatments Have they been made aware if someone is not brand trained or does not use a particular type of equipment!
• Receptionists need to have an understanding of what is involved in the treatments you offer? If not, make sure he or she is trained. The ideal scenario is to have a training program with employees on your front desk where they are taken through the treatment experience and what the brands you carry are all about.
• Has your receptionist been taken though what your expectations are at the front of house, what are the 5 golden rules? What are your 5 don’t you dares?

2. Opening the booking area

You need to have a check list of how to open reception or the front of house. If you have a computer system, how is it logged on? For eg: Salon Management Studio has a shortcut on their desktop and each individual user has a login, this is used to track who made bookings, received payments etc. If you have a written diary system, where is the book kept, is it safe, does someone take it home, in case of a fire, what happens to all your data? Losing this information could end your business, take it seriously.
To protect against disaster, salon management studio is one of the only booking systems that keeps your data in the cloud, the data is backed up on various servers countrywide so that even if your system crashes, your business data is always safe!
What is the start up for the day, do you need to check your messages, update your BBM status for the day, put a Facebook post up or make confirmations for the following day.
Also on check list how does the front of desk look? Make sure there is standard operating procedures in place to ensure continuity.

3. The Greeting

• For the love of all things wonderful please get your staff to SMILE, when answering the phone or if there is a walk in customer. People can hear a smile and waiting customers as well as  passers by can see you book people’s appointments. Rolling your eyes or looking bored or annoyed is going to do nothing for your image or to encourage their desire to book an appointment.
• Keep eye contact, in the case of a phone call, keep your head up so if someone walks in, you can acknowledge their presence straight away.
• Have a greeting line that you all agree on, use your name in the greeting and always welcome or thank your guest for calling.
This is the type of conversation you may be having.
“Hello welcome to Salon Management Studio, this is Michelle speaking how can we brighten your day today.”“Oh wow Michelle,that sounds wonderful. It is Jane here, can I book my massage for Friday. “”Jane it’s so wonderful to hear from you again. We have openings on Friday, we have 12pm or a 4pm appointment available, which would you prefer?” “The 12pm slot is best for me, will that be with Mary? ” “Yes of course I know you only like to have your massage with Mary and so we make sure your always booked in with her. I’ve booked that for 12pm on Friday, you will be receiving a confirmation text message shortly, and we look forward to your visit on Friday.

There is a lot of information within that script that we will soon cover.

My 5 Golden Rules:

1) Clean and organized (the area and the diary need to be tidy, easy to work in or with and organized in a particular way that all people that use the systems or reception area are aware of where things are and how things work. If receptionist no: 1 is sick or off receptionist no: 2 or therapist, knows where everything is and what is going on in the diary. With Salon Management Studio the system is clean cut and organized with a 4 dimensional way of looking at your diary from the point of view of the therapist, the location, the equipment and the client. If you have paper booking or a different system, people must be responsible for their booking and accountable if they making a mess.
2) Three Ring Policy and Acknowledgement – The phone must be answered with in 3 rings. You have competitors; if a new client is calling and you don’t answer, they will go elsewhere. If you’re not that lucky to have someone available to answer the phone, make sure you have a good answering service. “Welcome to Salon Management Studio, you have reached our answering service, our apologies that no one is available to take your call, however we guarantee a call back within 2 hours. If you leave your name, cell no and details of your query we will be in touch, thank you for your understanding and we look forward to seeing you in the spa”
3) Attitudes – Learning to adopt these traits will benefit you hugely in your dealings with clientele: Calm, passionate, kind, accommodating, specific, knowledgeable, efficient and organized.
4) Book wisely – The treatment must be booked back to back or with 30mins or 1 hour gaps between treatments, no dead slots between customers.
5) Spa Mission Statement and Philosophy – every business has a mission statement or a philosophy something it strives to be or a goal and reason for being. Front of house should be the image of that philosophy and the ambassadors for that mission statement. It should be their mantra.

5 don’t you dare!

1) Never leave reception unmanned. I believe that this is essential; however some business just can’t afford the over heads of someone on the front. I still maintain that making a receptionist part of your business plan from the get go is the fastest way to insure growth in your business. However that is if you get the right person. Anyway if you have someone then make sure they know not to leave reception unattended, if they have to leave on lunch etc they must have a replacement. Remember this is where your first impression is made, if there is no one around then the well ask yourself what would the first impression be?
2) Never Be Rude to a Customer – Repeat after me. I will never be short with my customer, I will never tell my customer she is wrong, I will never roll my eyes at our customers, I will always treat mu customer as she would like to be treated, I will always show much customer love and respect. In extreme cases If manager no longer wish a person to be a customer they will politely let them know in writing or verbally. I will not discuss customers with one another with out there consent, gossiping is not an option. All clients are to leave the spa feeling loved, respected and appreciated. This way they will always return to you to again feel those feelings of lover, respect and appreciation. I love you all but if you cannot manage to offer this feeling for at least 93% of the time you are in the wrong business.
3) Never tell a customer she is not booked in. From time to time, mistakes will happen; we are all human (that’s where the assistance of Salon Management Studio helps out). A customer may walk in and she is not booked for a treatment. Until you have fully investigated and exhausted every option for a solution to the problem, don’t tell her she is not booked in, don’t look stressed and panicked. Take her name and what treatment she is booked to have, get her to take a seat and see if you can fit her in. If not, then go and sit next to her and apologise and see how you can make it up to her. Most of the time it is not the mess that makes people made but the very unprofessional and non-caring way people deal with it.
4) No one left un-sold – it is the reception desk, the front of house, the welcoming person whatever it is you call it. But it is this persons job to make sure that anyone who calls, or enters the business is enticed into a treatment, retail product or at very least, a tour. No one should walk in and walk out again without spending money or booking an appointment. If they do, then it is a wasted opportunity, one you may never get back.
5) Client Queries – from time to time customers will ask questions or make requests that we can’t answer right away. In this case we must get back to them within 24 hours customers must be told, the answer may take me a sometime to find, I will get back to you within 24 hours.

Now that we have gone over greeting & general Outline of what is expected from a receptionist. I want to talk to you about clients comfort at Front of House
a) No more than 2 people behind reception at one time unless there is more than 2 checkout points. This is due to the fact that people can often feel intimidated when faced by 1 receptionist and 2 therapists. If you are the 3rd person, move away and make yourself useful elsewhere.
b) When discussing your treatment menu with a client, make your way around the desk. Body language is key when trying to gain someone’s trust and having a big desk between you does not help.
c) Refreshment – we are in the beauty and health industry. Water is an essential and the least we can do is offer our guest a glass of water while they wait. Be prompt with this service. A nice touch, is offering a guest some Ice Tea, Fruit Juice or Chai Tea. It’s the little things that keep them coming back.

Next week, I am going to take you through the booking proces and we are going to talk about Booking 101. In the meantime I hope you have found this post helpful. Now it’s your turn, I would love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any ideas, tips and tricks that will take your bookings and profit to the next level…

Customer Service, Salon Management

About the author

The author didnt add any Information to his profile yet
No Responses to “How you book your treatments can make or break your business – Part 1”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.