Why great front-of-house staff are vital to your business
It’s my favourite place to be, at the front of my Glow Beauty salons. I can see and influence everything and everyone, which is why, I believe, front-of-house staff are so important to your business.
It’s why those who do it must be selected with the greatest of thought because they will need a huge bunch of skills. In this position, you need someone who is caring, loyal, calm, positive, enthusiastic, sociable, articulate, passionate, knowledgeable, motivated, has an incredible attention to detail and, of course, exceptional customer care.
We all know that first impressions really count and it’s something we can never afford to forget. Our job is always to make the client know they are important and welcome.
What makes great front-of-house staff?
If done well, it is an exhausting but totally wonderful role, and those we trust with front of house must really care – they need to commit to the business, understand its values and communicate these consistently, always acting as a role model and speaking well of your company.
They must also understand and remember that customers are created from customers, so they need to impress and influence all. It’s important to remember that the smallest of things and gestures really matter.
For example, using the client’s name correctly, reading their body language, being interested in the customer, listening to them, and understanding their wants and preferences, before then recording their relevant information and using it to give the best service and care with every visit.
They also need to adapt to the client and not expect them to adapt to us. You will always get problems but the most important thing is that they are addressed and dealt with promptly, calmly and professionally – not ignored.
Client delays can obviously cause stress but understand no-one is deliberately late. You're your front of house staff should never scold because clients have long memories. Managing delays professionally is the key – nine times out of 10 if managed with a calm skill then everything gets done.
When a therapist is late, remember, clients hate waiting. It’s a fact. Tell your front of house staff to acknowledge the delay, make the client aware and treat them with care. I find that occupying their time helps as when unoccupied it can somehow last longer. When things go bad make them good and they’ll usually return.
Retailing is a big part of the role
Your staff who work the front of house also need to think of retail as helping. Aftercare is essential – it is your duty, you are providing a professional service. If you don’t advise you are not doing your job, but most importantly, it shows clients that you care.
I love to do this and it may drive others crazy but I believe the management of white space is critical to a successful salon. Use all white space to upsell, upgrade, treat, train and sometimes have a coffee together. You’ll find full columns equal happy staff, thus making a successful business.
I always remember a treatment begins when our clients book an appointment and only ends when they leave. Clients now have so much choice that we must create an experience, making their visit unforgettable and exceeding every expectation, ensuring they choose you.
Both time and technology have changed, professionalised and organised our front of house teams beyond imagination (that’s another story), but we must never forget the basics of human contact – a smile, kindness and care.
Sara Shoemark is owner of Glow Beauty, which has three salons in Chester, Mold and Wrexham, and a judge for the Professional Beauty national and regional awards.