More often than not, the styling team and the front desk team are co-existing under the same salon roof without a true understanding of what each other's daily responsibilities, stresses and frustrations are. There is miscommunication, lack of training, and high turnover at the front desk which leads to breakdown in the systems and costly appointment booking mistakes.
There is segregation in the cultural belief system of hierarchy, and many times the front desk individuals are treated as they are the lower end of importance and status in the salon. The challenge of team resistance starts at the leadership level. Leaders have to put into place the systems needed to create team synergy and a culture that demands mutual respect.
Here are a few systems that can be put into place to develop not only a smooth running team from front to back, but also more money in everyone's pockets!
- Hire Smarter. Review your budget and hire a mature, professional and qualified front desk person. Stop giving high school students their first job!
- Fire Faster. Review your new front desk individual after 15, 30 and 45 days. Look for excellence and effort on learning the systems, being confident with clients, and cool and calm with service providers.
- Team Synergy Systems. Implement mandatory systems that link the service provider team to the front desk. Prebooking and retail are top on the list. The service providers should be writing down their recommendations to make "the close" at the front desk seamless, effortless and fully supporting of the service provider's repeat business of the client.
- Celebrate. At each team meeting, spend a few minutes to celebrate the front desk team's monthly accomplishments. Announce the goals they have achieved and the additional money they were able to bring in for the service providers.
- Respect. Respect is earned, but leaders have to set the front desk team up for success. I love when salon owners have implemented a one week (or more) internship at the front desk before a new stylist can receive a chair on the floor.
- Leadership Support. The salon owner or coach should continually guide the two teams to see each other as equally needing each other.
There is a customer service fact that is revealing 85 percent of the reason why a customer comes back for a second visit was due to the total experience in the salon. It's time to play nice in the sandbox, and give the salon guest an amazing experience she'll remember and come back for!