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Celebrity colorist Sherry Ratay, is a Joico artistic colorist, award-winning color expert and salon owner. With over 20 years of experience in the beauty industry, Ratay is recognized as a distinguished colorist and frequently travels all over the country to train and educate other professionals; providing advice to thousands of colorists through America.

SALON TODAY asked Ratay to provide her top recommendations on how to keep your salon feeling luxurious and professional. Here's her two-cents!

First impressions matter! What’s it like when they first enter the salon? Are they greeted? Are they introduced to their stylist? What’s the service like? Did they get the proper product recommendations to keep their hair looking salon-fresh? Make sure you’re also walking them to the front desk to re-book. Judgement is made within the first 7 seconds. Once the a new client has a bad vibe, you will have to work extra hard to change their opinion. Everything matters during their first experience.

What’s the salon “feel” like? Once inside the salon there are a few things that clients look for/expect. Give your salon that an extra luxurious feel with fresh flowers, beautiful glass wear, linens in the bathroom, etc. Cleanliness matters too! 

When checking out at the front desk, use proper English. This might sound silly but I cringe often when I hear certain words like, "Tip," "Thanks," "Hang on," "Hey," "Come on back," "What would you like," and the list goes on.

I would prefer to hear, "Gratuity," "Thank you," "Would you mind," "Hello/Good Morning/Good Afternoon/Good Evening, Mrs.?" "Please come with me," "Would you like."  

Customer service is key! Acknowledgement of the client by their name, remembering special things about their person life and preferences are by far the most important. Always make the client feel like they are the most important person in the room. These are small things but HUGE to your client.

Body language and tone of voice are a coupe things that some people cannot recognize, but it's very important.  If you approach someone with a strong presence and they are more of an introvert, they will immediately feel intimated. (There are a lot of personality books to read up on and my favorite personality test is the D.I.S.C., this is a test that I give to everyone that is applying for a position at Salon Ratay.)

Offer exceptional staff and services. Train your new employees with an associate program. Once complete, put them on a tier system. To climb the tier, it all reflects on their experience and goals. As they progress, their goals and benefits will increase as well. 

Here’s a quick view of what is required with the tier system here at Salon Ratay:

Tier 1: Begins with 50% pre-book, 18% retail to service sales and 20 new clients. Once these goals are hit and held for a quarter the stylist will progress to the next level.

Tier 2: The goals increase to 55% pre-book, 18% retail to service and 20 new clients. As the tier increases so does the pre-book. As the stylist increases in the tier system the stylist commission increases, retail commission increases, and higher level education is paid. 

Stay on-task with quarterly meetings. Hold meetings with each stylist to look at their numbers and communicated to inform them of what they are doing well and how they need to improve. Once the communication is week, so is the stylist-owner relationship. When that is gone, the stylist is no longer a team player. Remember in order to create a luxurious and professional salon, you need to have clear communication with the clients AND your team.

Originally posted on Modern Salon

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