5 Things Every Salon Front Desk Needs
Editor's Note: This blog has been updated on 12/18/2020 to reflect that Mindbody no longer sells Poynt.
Running a salon carries with it a powerful mission. Every day you’re tasked with helping people look and feel their best. The stakes can range from a client wanting to look his or her best for a first date, or an anxious regular explaining a high-stakes interview they’re physically and mentally preparing for.
The thing is, it’s all in your hands (literally).
At some point, your efforts to help others shine will leave some tarnish on you—both physically and emotionally.
Inevitably, the rigors of daily life, the balancing act of running a business, putting your customers first and managing your team while juggling home life, family and friends becomes too much.
And when you feel that drain, you risk everything falling apart.
But there’s good news here, too. You can decrease all these risks by taking preliminary actions to control what you can and wrangle the tasks that can be drains or problem points.
Which is why we’re starting with the first point of contact, the place you work to perfect every day: the front desk.
That’s right—the front desk.
Step out of your daily routine for a moment and think about the best experience you ever had at a salon—as a customer or an employee—before you opened your own. Whether it was the pleasant aroma, the flawless organization of merchandise or the smile that greeted you—it began at the front desk. The first 10 seconds set the stage for everything.
Here are five tips for a fresh, clean and functional front desk; a way to tidy up and control the clutter and make life better not only for the patrons who support you, but for your own peace of mind.
1. The right salon point-of-sale system.
Payments are the crux of your business. Taking them is at once the biggest annoyance and the key factor in whether you’ll be able to keep your business alive.
Salon owners and massage therapists are required to swipe a card or take payment, cue the customer to a tip, print a receipt and finish the transaction with a pleasant smile and a farewell. A tall order, especially if you’re reaching between multiple devices. Make sure your POS system is fast and efficient to avoid any hiccups during checkout.
2. Dedicate a point-of-sale device.
A dedicated device to run your scheduling and sales software is the key to business owners like you staying organized and on point.
Relieve the front desk clutter by having a dedicated device just for checkout. This makes it easy for your staff to greet and check-in customers and complete the checkout experience. An iPad, or even a smartphone, running the Mindbody business app can alleviate stress at the front desk. Learn more here.
3. A calming retail area.
Transitioning in and out of salon mode can be jarring. The best way to invite patrons to relax is by offering a drink, such as lemon water or tea, a place to sit and flip through a magazine, turn their devices off and be present for their time with you.
If the experience is a good one, which it will be, be sure to carry merchandise with your logo along with your clients’ favorite products. A magazine rack and a well-stocked retail area also yields more revenue and a more grateful customer at checkout.
4. Meet and greet.
The smooth transaction, the relaxing environment, the perfectly curated merchandise—none of that matters if the person greeting them isn’t a reflection of the best version of your brand.
People are sometimes nervous when they come in for their first treatment and the more comforting you are, the more likely they’ll come back…and maybe even refer their friends.
Oh, and one last thing…
5. Don't forget about the fellas.
That’s right guys, on some level it’s gotta be about the guys. When we play to stereotypes, we say traditionally men are reticent to buy accessories: they’re there for a quick cut and bounce. This isn’t so true anymore. Shaving, lotions and self-care solutions (from combs to razors to clippers) are topping lists lately.
It’s less about manscaping and more about him looking and feeling like he’s at the top of his game, always. Be sure to carry products for men and walk the guys through what each one does during his appointment. He’ll feel great as you’re wrapping up and may make a few extra to-go purchases.