“Currently, the concierge has to greet guests and check out others while answering the phone; it’s not realistic,” says Adams. “In the future, support personnel will be more like those, who in better restaurants, go table to table. Think of your experience in an Apple store. Everyone is out-front and engaged in facilitating service.”
Training this person may be easier, says Meyer, just look for someone with a true spirit of service. This is not a minimum-wage job, she stresses, but the cost of non-service providers can be supported via retail sales and pooled bonuses. In the long term, better service builds business and retains more clients.
“Our consumer focus groups revealed that the biggest complaint about salons was unprofessionalism,” says Meyer. “The new concierge can change that if you re-think how you operate.”
How One Salon Does it At New Reflections in Plymouth, Minnesota, Ridgedale-location manager Kelly Geatz says Motorola radios and headsets help the salon coordinate every step of guest visits, enhancing team performance.
When guests arrive, guest services notifies the stylist with “Excuse me, Emily, your guest Mary has arrived five minutes before” (meaning early) or “five minutes after” (a way to avoid saying “late.”)
Anytime during the service, the stylist can use her headset to request beverages, a magazine or retail be brought to the chair. Finally, the stylist calls for a closing ticket.
“Guest services brings the ticket and a personalized form to the station,” explains Geatz. “They take any information on add-on services, note recommended retail and ask when the stylist recommends rebooking.”
They also ask the guest if she’d like them to book that next visit and if she’d like a complimentary make-up touch-up. Then, they return to the front, fill out an Aveda “Purescription” pad for the guest, gather retail, schedule the rebooking and fill out a reminder card. Once the guest reaches the desk, check out is fast and efficient.