Management Practices

The Revolving Front Desk

Kristi Valenzuela | July 10, 2011 | 2:41 PM
Kristi Valenzuela, founder of Crystal Focus Salon Coaching

The highest employment turnover in salons is at the front desk.  The average front desk professional lasts less than a year.  This leads to inconsistency in customer service, frustrated service providers, mistakes in appointment scheduling, and never-ending training costs. 


The root of the problem is not having an effective plan for filling the front desk hourly schedule with qualified front desk professionals.  Many salons have more part-time people than full-time, and unfortunately many front desk professionals are young people who have limited (or no) previous experience in customer service or sales.  (This is the first impression of your salon, you don’t want to be someone’s practice run at customer service! )


The first step in preventing high turnover is to plan your front desk scheduling structure.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind when developing or improving this important part of your business plan:


  • Make sure you are budgeting correctly for front desk salaries. The formula I use: Front Desk Salaries / Month = 4% of Gross 

Example: Salon Gross = $50,000 per month --> $50,000 X 4% = $2000.00 budget per month


  • Hire a full-time person(s) first; then plan part-time employees. 


  • Hire people with customer service and sales experience! Due to the current unemployment rate, qualified people are available at a lower cost!  Former real estate ladies are GREAT!)


  • Develop a structured front desk training program–customer service, sales, scripts, goals, etc. (more to come on those strategies in this future blog! Stay tuned!)


Preventing high turnover at the front desk will provide happier clients, grateful service providers, an opportunity for organization, and a fabulous first (and lasting) impression!


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