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Ken’s diagnosis:

The idea of having a receptionist merely to take bookings and meet and greet clients is a luxury that many salons struggle to justify financially. Many are part-time workers and are rarely focused on their real role.

Meeting, greeting and booking appointments is merely part of the role, and for this you need an outgoing person with great people skills and empathy to establish and meet the needs of clients whilst making them feel special and important.

The real role of a receptionist Tracy, is to grow their salon’s results. Reception is one of the key result areas in a salon and has many key performance indicators which can, and should, have both minimum performance standards and aspirational goals set for them.

Here are just a few of the areas that should have these set: salon utilisation, individual stylist utilisation, enquiry conversion, new client percentage, rebook percentage, upgrades, frequency of client visit, new client retention percentage, over the counter retail sales, lost client re-engagement, and there are many more.

So how does one go about setting these performance standards and goals?

The first thing to do is collate accurate numbers for the area you wish to focus on. Let’s say salon utilisation. Presumably you already know the utilisation percentage that you need to reach breakeven and this could be set as your minimum performance standard. Now look at your current utilisation, which is hopefully above your breakeven, and create a new, aspirational goal that you would like to achieve. Your goal must be specific, measurable, achievable, results focused and you must set a time when you either want to achieve it by or will reassess the situation.

This type of goal can then become the responsibility of your receptionist(s) and you could consider offering some form of incentive when the goal is achieved.

You can then set goals for other areas mentioned above. I would suggest focusing on growing one or two areas at a time but minimum performance standards should always be set for all areas.

A responsible, results-driven reception team can play a key role in growing a salon’s results.

Ken West is director of business experts 3•6•5 – email him on KenW@365Hair.com

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Ken West