Data-Driven Salon Summit, a two-day event held May 19-21, 2019, in Atlanta, GA, brought together salon owners and managers, technology companies and specialists, financial advisers, along with coaches and consultants, for a deep-dive into the metrics of “salon success.”
A peer-driven, hands-on experience, salon owners, especially, took full advantage of the data resources of ZeeZor and Salon Today to learn about benchmarks and best practices – from the industry’s leading experts – to help them drive improvement in a range of areas including retail and service sales, engagement, marketing and retention.
“The bottom line is that nobody has all the information or all the data but even the best data in the world is not valuable without context,” Steve Reiss, publisher of MODERN SALON Media said in opening the summit. “We have this event because information is power; good data can change your life and bad data can be equally disruptive. I think you’ll find the most valuable conversations you’ll have here are with people you would never have thought to talk to and when you leave this event you’ll have a network of people you can call and they can help you on your journey.”
Todd Weeks, one of the keynote speakers, titled his presentation “Are You Running Your Business Or Is It Running You?” and this question resonated with attendees and inspired many of the presentations. A roster of salon professionals who were identified as leaders of specific salon metrics took to the stage—and the classroom—to discuss the ways drilling down on metrics can inform a salon’s business. And that once demystified and understood, data should be put to work.
“I’m inundated with data,” shared Scott Missad, president and CEO of Gene Juarez Salons & Spas, who emceed the event with Frank Gambuzza, founder of Salon Visage. ”There are reports and more reports but we don’t know what to do with the findings of the reports. Data without action is just noise. Here, you are going to be presented with actionable items from everything you attend.”
Chris Nedza, founder of ZeeZor, a real-time data analytics and employee engagement app for salons and spas, kicked off the presentations. “Data helps us achieve both employee and consumer engagement," he said. "Engaged staff is more productive, more creative, and more loyal. And we can use data to understand our consumers so we know how we get them in, and, once in, how we retain them.”
The presentations on the first day of the conference focused on how to engage staff, while the presentations on Day Two focused on engaging clients. Throughout the two days, mainstage presentations and workshops revolved around five key metrics, including SGP (percentage of service guests purchasing retail, average ticket, productivity, client count and client retention).
Harry D. Wood, a master stylist at Atlanta's Van Michael focused on the metric SGP, or the percentage of salon guests purchasing retail. His presentation recommended strategies for greeting the client and establishing rapport, segmentation, effective questioning, active listening, presenting the offer, overcoming objections, presenting the second offer, and closing the sale.
"Asking for the retail sale isn't asking for the sale. It's demonstrating your professional expertise as a subject matter expert while showing a genuine concern for a client's needs," Wood said.
Gary Harlan, co-owner of NColor Salon and Spa in Naples, Florida, who averages a client retail ticket of $367, schooled owners on boosting average client ticket. He demonstrated how he focuses on creating both an optimal client experience as well as a strong relationship with each client. He also showed the audience how to increase the frequency of visits with key clients, allowing stylists to shrink their client base and work smarter, not harder. "I create my own economy," Harlan said.
China Wong, owner of Salon Spa W in Des Moines Iowa, and Jyl Craven, owner of the Jyl Craven Hair Studio in Canton, Georgia, focused on the metric of productivity. Wong shared strategies for pushing productivity for the salon by maximizing revenue per square feet, exploring and bringing on new services that increase average ticket without adding in more time to the service, and creating a team of support for stylists that have room to increase their productivity. Craven shared her strategies for maximizing productivity as a working stylist, including how she prepares herself for the day ahead, finds every opportunity with each and every guest, and how she tracks and measures her success.
Daniel Holzberger, a master stylist at Van Michael, talked to the audience about his tactics of boosting client count. He walked the audience through the Van Michael service wheel, talked about their habit of keeping client cards and shared his philosophy on every client becoming a walking billboard. "The key is consistency," he said. "While McDonald's isn't the best restaurant in the world, it's consistent. You can go into any location, order a Big Mac and get the same thing. Your clients should be able to get the same experience at your salon no matter who does their hair."
Jana Westerbeke and Megan Jasper from Gadabout Salonspas and VerVe Aveda Lifestyle Salons took on the metric of client retention. They shared their strategies of boosting staff retention to preserve client retention, matching new clients to service providers and giving priority booking to stylists with higher retention rates, transitioning clients who save the date (prebook) into loyalty appointments (standing appointments), as well as how retention plays a role in how a service provider advances in her career.
Breakout speakers explored innovative best business practices that are giving salons an competitive advantage:
In "The Future of Work," Stefanie Jackson, owner of Canvas Salon and founder of Salon Colab, helped owners and managers understand the mindset of the younger generation stylists on their team, why they have a need for instant results and why they struggle to feel fulfilled, and how they should use different strategies to recruit, train, manage and retain them.
Cindy Howell, a former Great Clips franchisee owner, showed the audience how she evaluates data to identify theft in the salon, which can happen when product or cash goes missing from the salon, when service providers perform services that aren't charged to the client, or service providers process a coupon on a client ticket but pocket the difference. "Trust your gut," she told the crowd. "If something is gnawing at you, trust the numbers--the data leaves clues."
Salon 124 Group's Brian Perdue and Amber Burns dove into ROMI (return on marketing investment), sharing some specific social, email and direct mail campaigns they have conducted with some amazing results.
From Headlines the Salon, Gayle Fulbright and David Linde walked the audience through the benefits of working with Yelp!, sharing strategies for advertising through the platform, how to generate reviews, how to address negative reviews, as well as how they hosted an event for the Yelp! Elite.
Stacey Coronado from 20 Volume Salons and Spas took the audience on a tour of her deskless salon experience--sharing the technology and processes she uses and the results it's generated.
Connor Keppel and the team from Phorest showed the audience how innovative salons will leverage data in the near future to attract their next wave of VIP clients.
Through a number of case studies, Daysmart/Salon Iris CEO Jeff Dickerson illustrated how owners can leverage technology to tap into more opportunity with each and every guest.
And on behalf of SureTint, Rodney Cutler shared his journey of building a successful salon business based on his involvement in the fashion world, while discussing the technology tools that keep him growing into the future.
Two evening events encouraged the Data-Driven attendees to continue the networking:
With acrobats, appetizers and and DJ, Minerva Beauty hosted the Recognition Party which celebrated the Salons of the Year honorees and the ZeeZor Award winner. Charles and Debra Penzone accepted the Salons of the Year Grand Prize for their location in Dublin, Ohio; while Jyl Craven accepted the ZeeZor award from Clayton Nedza.
On the second evening, Keune North America hosted an amazing get-together at the Keune Academy in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta.
Originally posted on Salon Today