A Week of Opportunities

(Front desk of Republic Salon in GA, a winner in the 2008 SOTY competition)

When it comes to growing your salon business, the front desk can be biggest driver of success.  "And, if a salon empowers these professionals with right tools, it can make a big impact on the bottom line," says John Harms, founder of Millennium Software. "Existing clients are your most valuable ones, and the front desk can play a big role in getting them in the door more often.

Harms recommends setting up a weekly calendar with assignments and goals for each day, then developing a reward system for the front desk staff who meet those goals. While each salon should develop the schedule that makes the most sense to them, Harms shows what a potential assignment calendar could look like:

Monday: Upsell Day-have front desk members identify opportunities in the upcoming week's schedule, call clients on the books and offer them incentives for add-ons.   A few deep conditioning services or manicures tacked onto scheduled cuts and color services each day can make a big difference at week's end.

Tuesday: New Client Retention Day-send out welcome cards to the past week's new clients with an incentive to return. 

Wednesday: RepeatClient Retention Day-contact any existing clients who haven't returned to the salon in 90 days with a special opportunity.

Thursday: Gift Certificate Day-contact those whose gift cards are due to expire in an attempt to get them in before the expiration date. They'll appreciate the warning, and will reward the salon with their loyalty.

Friday: No Show Day-follow up on that week's no shows and cancellations in an attempt to rebook. 

"There should be no downtime at the front desk," says Harms. "If no one is standing at the desk and the phone isn't ringing, then those professionals can be tweeting and texting clients about adding highlights to their service."

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