How 5 Little Words Can Make Your Front Desk Run Better.

I’m often amazed that an industry so “image conscious” could be shooting themselves in the foot before they even meet a potential client.  Poor telephone skills can give your salon a terrible image and sometimes infuriate a new prospect before they even step foot in your door!

Not only that – your current clients often call your salon to check up on appointments or to make new appointments.  What kind of message are you sending to them if your receptionists can’t even answer the telephone in a professional manner?  Not a very good one – I can tell you that.

I know this blog is normally reserved for talking about HairMax salon software issues but I’ve heard these basic mistakes being made over and over again and I felt compelled to address them.

Plus, there is also a big productivity lesson that can be learned from just asking five little words.  That’s right – five little words that can not only make your desk staff more productive, but also make the data in your HairMax salon software more accurate.

The five little words are “Have you been here before?”  I know it sounds basic but it’s more important than you can believe.  I will get to “why” in a moment.  But first, let me tell you what most clients hear:

“XYZ salon and day spa, please hold”

You would be surprised at how many salons I call up (particularly busy ones) that have a receptionist that pulls a stunt like that.  If you’re the client – immediately you get a rush of fury running up your spine.  This is the proper way to answer the telephone:

“Thank you for calling XYZ salon and day spa, I have 1 client ahead of you, could you please hold?”

Then, you wait for the response, and move on.  This lets the client know where they stand in the queue and that you at least care enough to ask them if they want to hold.  Ok, now that we’ve gotten past the introduction, lets talk about the booking.  This is a typical poor salon:

Client          : “Hi, I’d like to make an appointment for a cut and blow dry”

Receptionist: Ok, when would you like to come in? or “Who would you like to see?”

Both of these responses are wrong!  The first thing out of the receptionist’s mouth should be “Sure I can help you with that – Have you been here before?”. The client’s answer to this question will determine a lot.

If the client answers “yes” – I know that they’re in the computer and I can get to them easily by just asking for the last 4-digits of their home telephone number.  They also know whom they want to see, and I can go right to the “time narrowing” stage.

If the client answers “no” – I know that I’ll need their first name, last name, and telephone number to book the appointment.  So much time is wasted by searching for clients that are really “new” to the salon, or worse yet, bogus names are added to the system by careless receptionists.

Now, I could go on and on about how to book the client appointments quickly from here but if you just change those first two things (introduction and adding the 5 little words), you will have happier clients and a more productive front desk!

Best regards, Steve Sampson

HairMax Salon Software is a product designed to be the best investment your salon has ever made.  It is not only the easiest and most powerful salon management software on the market.  It is from a company dedicated to becoming the ultimate VALUE source to the industry.


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