A receptionist can make or break a salon professional career. The receptionist is a client’s first encounter with you and the salon, and depending on an owner’s perspective, duties can range from simply booking clients to managing everything in a salon.
Recently, at a salon happy hour, I shared a bottle of wine with a group of receptions. You know I wanted to get the skinny on the challenge of balancing both clients and salon professionals. I started by asking them what their pet peeves were. Two glasses of wine later, the insightful responses were worthy of a book on how to create a fulfilling salon career. Here are just a few quotes from receptionists:
“I am leery of those who instantly want to be friends with me—a receptionist is onto the game. I really do try to rotate clients, however, I also take the call from the unhappy client, therefore, if someone constantly pleases clients, of course they are going to get the greater share of the walk-ins. When someone’s skills appear deficient, it’s really scary to book them with new clients. That’s just the truth”
“Stylists forget that my job is on the line also and that I must attract and retain clients. If I don’t book and retain enough clients, the salon’s revenue is affected. And, so could my job. It’s a lot more work for me when the salon is fully booked, but I know I am doing my job when I can say we have nothing available today.”
“Stylists who complain about not getting walk-ins either lack technical skills or are not in the salon enough. You need to be in the salon if you want to build your book. I don’t understand why anyone could believe they will grow by coming in only for their appointments. Most clients who want a haircut want it on the spot.”
“Don’t hang out at the front desk or try to overhear my phone calls, I hate it and feel I’m being spied upon. I handle personal information from stylists and clients that I try to respect and keep confidential. Go away.”
“If I am doing something you don’t like, or we can work better, please come and tell me. Do you want to gossip or a solution? Sharing your dissatisfaction in the breakroom makes matters much worse for everyone.”
“I try to appear calm and courteous, but don’t judge the book by its cover. You never know what just went down at the front desk. We keep so many secrets. Maybe I just got off the phone with an angry, offensive client or convinced your client to give you another chance.”
“It all works smoothly when each stick to doing our job well. Be a great stylist and allow me to be a great receptionist.”
“Every stylist that comes in daily, with a good attitude and tries to please clients will eventually make it big—regardless of skill level. This is a people-pleasing business.”
“I would rather work with beginners trying their best than divas who refuse to work as a team. We are all in this together”
Darn it, and I was going to bring cookies.
Carlos Valenzuela is a hairdresser/educator, ex-salon & school owner, author and corporate spokesperson with forty-five years of beauty experience. His focus today is raising wellness awareness and assisting salon professionals in developing a fulfilling career via his podcast “Tiny Steps for Salon Pros” www.anchor.fm/carlos-valenzuela and at industry events, seminars and in-salon workshops.
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