Been thinking about getting rid of your front desk? SalonBiz customer Kristi Brehm of Lavish Salon in Webster, TX went for it and has never looked back. Here are some lessons she learned in the process…and how SalonBiz can help you make the transition nearly seamless.
GIVE GUESTS A SURFACE.
When checking in, checking out, or shopping, you need to provide a place for purses, jackets and, of course, products. A strategically placed table works well. Fight the urge to fill every empty space with décor or retail and make sure to leave enough surfaces to accommodate your guests and their belongings comfortably.
HAVE YOUR TEAM HIT THE FLOOR.
Without a front desk to hide behind, your guest services staff (no longer the front desk staff) will need to be trained to spend time on the floor, greet guests and guide them through checking in on the SalonBiz iPad App or a desktop running SalonBiz. This often results in improved guest care, and bigger retail tickets. “The table also creates more intimacy,” says Brehm. “There’s a face-to-face encounter when you are standing right next to someone without a barrier between you.”
“We used to put comments in the client notes like, ‘She’s always late,’” Brehm says. “We had to get rid of that because our computers are out in the wide open where anyone—including clients—can see them. Now, if a client tends to be late all the time, we word it to say ‘Please allow an additional 15 minutes,’ instead. We must be positive instead of negative, which is always good.”
GIVE EVERYTHING A PLACE.
A beautiful, clean table with just three computers on top presents some logistical issues as well, so Lavish was sure to incorporate intentional space for the tools they uses the most. There are discreet drawers in the desk to store all the brochures, pens, etc., that used to be stowed behind the front desk.
KEEP CORDS OUT OF SIGHT.
It takes a creative approach. When Brehm was designing the space, she had wiring installed in the floor under where the table was going, and asked for one hollow leg in the table, through which all the cables run down seamlessly to the ground.
EMPOWER YOUR TEAM WITH MOBILE APPS
Stylists tend to use the front desk for their job, so when you take that away, make sure they know everything they can do on the Stylist App, such as checking color formulas, accessing their calendar and their client notes, and easily checking their numbers to see how they’re doing on their goals. This should be the most fun part of the transition: empowering them with all the information they need, at their fingertips.
End Result: Positive Changes
“There is so much more interchange that goes on between front desk staff and clients because they are sharing the same space,” she says. “Clients are given more assistance. With the front desk, staff members hid behind it—it was like this safe box they could exist behind.
“By stripping that away, it stripped away everything that came with it: staff who didn’t interact with retail clients or check on clients whose color is processing, etc. Having the table encourages staff members to interact with clients more,” she adds.
Brehm finds the whole salon is just a more open, friendly and interactive space with the table. And although it was a risk—the table cost about $6,000—it’s one that has paid off.
Not only has she noticed a difference in her retail numbers, she’s also noticed a big difference in the overall client experience at Lavish.
“It has promoted so much better customer service by having the space set up this way,” she says.