Compensation Disastors by Skip Williams [VIDEO]

VIDEO: “Compensation Disasters”
Skip Williams
Resources & Development Skip Williams @ SalonSpaOwner.com

Skip Williams tells us how to survive the economy

“Compensation Disasters” by Skip Williams of Resources and Development

Survive the economy via compensation changes, 20~ish minutes. There are NO skips this time!

Attack of the Salon Spa Staff

Attack of the Salon Spa Staff
Janet Sanders
salon spa staff attack
Have you ever undergone an attack of the staff? It starts easily enough. You walk in the door and immediately people are telling you “we need laundry detergent, there are no slippers that match, isn’t my next client a request – that name looks familiar!”

Breathe deeply and smile. Always smile. A busy day running a spa is always better than a miserable day ________ (fill in the blanks with your last corporate wage job).

In most cases your employees just want you to be informed so that you can fix the problem. However, if a list is set up to keep you informed of items needed soon (detergent, polish remover, product, napkins, whatever) you can always get the list from the break room and make a dash out to pick stuff up. That’s easy.

What you should NOT do is to lash out at your employees saying “everyone just back off I just walked in the door!” Not good. You just set a bad tone, vibe in the spa. Now everyone is walking on eggshells and making plans to go home early or call in sick the next day to avoid you.

It’s not easy being the boss. But you gave yourself this distinction when you opened up your own business. You told your friends and family you could handle it. Well — this is it. You have to wear many hats. Some hats look good on you — the friendly concierge, the likeable shopper gathering supplies. But for some reason the Manager’s hat gives you the willies and doesn’t quite fit. Did you have a bad experience with a crazy boss? Did you vow never to BE a crazy boss? Don’t let your past experiences cloud your actions. Take people as they are and treat your employees with respect and admiration and they will do the same. Remember you EARN respect — it is not automatically given to you just because you are the employer. They are in a closed room giving spa services to your customers. They should know what you expect and how to conduct themselves and professionally represent you and your business.

If you love the spa business it will be very apparent to your employees and customers. If you are treating your spa business as a gold mine and the gold is not there and you are stressing, well then it may be time to end the misery and do something you truly enjoy doing. People want to do business with and work with people who enjoy what they do.

Although I don’t like being bombarded with questions when I walk in the door, I know my staff is concerned because these things need to be done and they know how important it is for the spa to run smoothly. If they did not care and whined and complained and did not alert me to things that are important they are no good to me or my business so I let them go ruin someone else’s world.

At the end of the day all problems are resolved. We made many clients so happy that they are returning at a later date. The laundry is still going. The phones are ringing. The website is up and selling for us 24/7. We have money in the bank. Cash tips are dispersed. We go home, get up the next day and do it all over again.

Work alongside your staff and set the tone of professionalism for your spa business. It will reward you with a satisfied group of employees that will grow with you because they believe in you.

“Rock Star” Salon Spa Customer Service Checklist

“Rock Star” Salon Spa Customer Service
Christopher Brazy
salon spa customer service checklist
While clients are crucial and caregivers are extremely important, there’s one person that effects everyone, the receptionist.

Your receptionist is probably aware of all the basic duties, such as: scheduling, selling GC’s, proper phone etiquette, keeping the tone of the Spa appropriate, laundry, cleaning, closing, etc. but do they know their importance? Most see it as just a “phone” job and don’t realize their true role. They also act as concierge, and this is a vital role in your spa’s success since they handle the guests experience. They are also the first and the last person our guests will see so have the power to make or break a wonderful visit.

It is up to the front desk staff to make sure our guests visit is flawless. This means tactfully handling any problems as well as the basic duties. We should take care of ANY and ALL client concerns before they even arise. In short, a concierge will make sure a guests needs are fulfilled.

We are a Day Spa, and as such should always focus on the EXPERIENCE. And often, the client is nervous if they’re here for the first time. We’re not a salon where all the client expects is that you don’t ruin their hair and they’re used to being ignored. We’re a SPA. We are what birthday and anniversary gifts are made of. We are where they can go to escape with their friends. We are the place that will make them Queen for a day.

With such high expectations, and with the way “bad news” travels, we want to make sure we actually EXCEED their expectations and the front desk staff is greatly in charge of that. To help we’ve setup a checklist for our staff to use. Create your own, but here’s a sample to work from. Caregivers should have a similar set of SOP’s (standard operational procedures) for the consultation, treatment and retail recommendations.

Here’s our personal checklist for the check in and out procedure to get you started:

Check in

Know who’s coming in and be ready for them
Have their paperwork ready
Open the door for them
Greet them by their name
Confirm their appointment(s)
Update any missing info in their file
Give them a tour if new
Mention the restroom
Offer tea/water
Seat them in the waiting room
Let caregiver know they’re here and if they have additional appointments
IF doing a 2nd service, have them change into robe/slippers.
Get “thank you” card ready to mail if a new client.
Check Out

Let caregiver finish up with the client
Compliment them (your skin looks great, you look soooo relaxed, etc.)
Ask how their service was
Act on their response
Ring up service
Ask about product (should be ready and waiting on the counter with their spascription from the caregiver)
Ring up product
RESCHEDULE
Remind them to drink water and have a great day!
Complete paperwork with caregiver (update birthday, email, etc).
So make it easy for your staff, help them remember their duties. Create your own SOP and talk to them about how important it is for them to follow it exactly. Have them study and then go over it with them. Practice it with them step by step showing them exactly how you’d like it done. Then role play with them to see if they’ve got it. Observe them, secret shop them, talk to them about the rewards for handling it properly (which should show up in add-ons, retail, rescheduling and customer service). Take action and set your staff into motion now and then reap the rewards of being the only owner in town to have something in place that makes sure the clients experience is unforgettable.

Tag-Team Retail Sales for your Salon Spa

Tag-Team Retail Sales for your Salon Spa
Christopher Brazy
how to improve salon spa retail sales
Most spas leave cash on the table …lots of it. They do so for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest is caregivers are nervous about being seen as pushy. It’s almost ironic that the client came to see us for advice, yet we often feel it’s being pushy to give it to them. With the help of the receptionist, retail can not only increase your bottom line by 50%, but can develop a more loyal following as well.

People buy products for many reasons. Some want a souvenir, to act as a daily reminder of their experience with you. For some it’s an impulse, being caught up in the moment and not wanting their experience to end. Some visit the spa not only to relax, but are looking for guidance but are too shy to come out and ask. Believe it or not, ALL will respect your and your staffs’ professional recommendation on what will help them. The trick is getting your staff to put their clients needs before their personal beliefs of appearing pushy.

Clients WANT to know how to take care of themselves, but are often shy to mention they don’t know how or that they fell for the latest infomercial or proactive ad. They need to be led. Take them by the hand and explain the options they have to obtain THEIR goals (which should be found out during the consultation). Professional skin and body care advice is, after all, why they came to see us. Not providing it is a disservice to the client and their needs.

To meet your staffs’ needs and the clients, meet your staff halfway. Make them comfortable in their recommendations (or SpaScriptions) by training them how to best care for the clients needs. Have them consult with the client in advance of the service to determine the clients goals. This takes some bonding, some digging and probing and is explained in detail on our “consultations that sell” DVD. Next, provide the service, then have your staff write up a “spascription” and have product ready for when they walk the client up front. Product should be waiting on the check out counter for them, next to the receptionist who will be checking them out, so they don’t have to try to find it on the shelves. Take a quick minute to say “this is the product that will help you meet your goals, you’ll LOVE it!” It is LITERALLY as simple as that. Now the caregiver mention when they should reschedule and then WALK AWAY.

THE FRONT DESK PERSON simply points toward the product sitting on the counter and asks “will you be taking this with you today?”

THAT’S IT.

Here’s a recap:
Adjust your staffs’ attitude about sales, it’s about giving the client what they came here for.
Uncover the problem during the consultation.
Perform the service.
Have product to fix the problem waiting up front.
Tell them how much it’ll help (with a POSITIVE and UPBEAT attitude).
Walk away.
Have receptionist ask if they’d like it.
It’s as simple as that. Don’t go into a long speech about ingredients, or how to use it, or how much it’ll help, or how cheap it really is compared to something else, just make your recommendation and walk away. They’ll buy it. Don’t believe me? TRY IT.

Salon Spa Employee Contract [DOWNLOAD]

DOWNLOAD: Salon Spa Employee Contract
Christopher Brazy
salon spa employee contract
Hiring one new staff without proper paperwork is a mistake. Protect yourself, your clients and your private business information by having a proper contract.

This sample contract will give you something to begin with. Please consult with your accountant and lawyer to create one specific for your state or purchase more a more thorough one from our shop.

Vist our DOWNLOAD AREA to the LEFT or use this link to go straight to it here.

Salon Spa Interview Form [DOWNLOAD]

DOWNLOAD: Interview Questionnaire
Christopher Brazy
salon interview questionairre form
Want to know if you can trust your new applicant? If they’ll turn you in or steal your clients? What their strengths are? Then this download is a must. Choose the proper questions to choose the perfect applicant.

Vist our DOWNLOAD AREA to the LEFT or use this link to go straight to it here.

How To Handle an Indecent Proposal from a Massage Client

How To Handle an Indecent Proposal from a Massage Client
Christopher Brazy
indecent proposal during massage
We all hope it won’t happen but eventually it will, the indecent proposal. Will you let it demoralize your staff or handle it professionally?

The first gut reaction of many staff is to immediately freak- out. Weather they finish the service or kick them out, your caregiver will be ruined for the rest of the day if not week. They won’t be able to concentrate on their work. They may not be able to accept male clients again. They’ll be “off.” If it happens enough they could even leave the field.

Training your staff in advance how to handle the situation can make all the difference. A proper attitude about the situation is key. Let’s start at the front desk. Your receptionist should know that if anyone sounds fishy or asks strange questions or for unique services (male-brazilian) it’s best to address it up front that way it doesn’t even become an issue.

One simple fix is to ask for a credit card to hold the appointment (as we should be doing anyway) and get all their information, name, address, phone, etc. Most likely, only a valid client will provide accurate information. Those with ulterior motives won’t want to provide contact info.

A blunter, more direct approach is to simply ask. Try saying something like this: “Yes we offer that service, but legitimately. IF you’re looking for something else non-therapeutic or more sensual you should try the 24 hours place next to the strip club.”

Ok, so you should keep most away with the previous tactics. If anyone does happen to make it in without being screened out and do approach your staff, let them know that WHEN IT DOES HAPPEN to handle it with the proper attitude. They could say “I’m sorry, you’re in the wrong place. We offer therapeutic services here, not sensual.” It probably took the client a whole hour to get the nerve to ask, and after a response like that they’ll be so embarrassed that they’ll slink out afterwards.

Let your staff know IT’S UP TO THEM on weather they want to finish the service or not. If they’re in control of the situation and don’t let it affect them, then continue. But other clients will persist.

Some clients are like bullies, they get their kicks out of your response. So when you stay in control of the situation and don’t give them what they want (a “shocked” response, not sexual favors) they lose. These are the types who will continue to ask and hint, and may get touchy. This is where you, again, don’t give in and get flustered but just say “I’m sorry, you’re in the wrong place, the service is now over, you can pay on your way out.”

These words should be used only upon a proposition or severe hinting. Just because a man becomes aroused and it may be noticeable doesn’t necessarily mean he’s planning something. Sometimes it just happens.

If there’s a situation of hinting and your staff isn’t sure, it’s up to them to let the client know this isn’t that kind of place. If they persist or try to negotiate, then you should end the service immediately and ask them to pay on their way out.

Letting your staff know it’s going to happen and how to handle it is key. Their attitude and professional response, not giving in to their shock factor, will keep them in control. With a procedure in place everyone will know what to do to.

Now, take action! Write up your policy, meet with staff to train them on it and get it done. Another item accomplished.

How To Get More Repeat Salon Spa Clients

How To Get More Repeat Salon Spa Clients
Christopher Brazy
repeat salon clients
Rebooking a client is CRUCIAL to any spas survival. Services are where the bulk of our money is and with all the costs associated with getting a new client in, we let them walk out without rescheduling them. We probably won’t see them again for another year, if they haven’t been stolen away by another spa that’s more on the ball by then. No wonder so many spas are having a tough time at it.

Importance of Regulars
Let’s start with some motivation and what a “regular” means. Most spa visitors come what, once a year or once a quarter if we’re lucky. And it often costs us $$$ to get that new client into the door. Imagine how much we’d $ave if we got a client to visit sooner instead of finding a new one. Well, we’d first save on that $$$ to get them in the door and if they came 4x as often, that’s 4 times the income! Could you imagine if we took all our yearly clients (probably 80% of your list) and made them into regulars that came 4 to 12 times/year? A spa that would normally do $240,000/year would be doing $800,000/year. That’s a jump! So how do you turn a yearly visitor to a monthly regular (our lifeblood!)? Much of it is done BEFORE the service even starts.

The Three P’s
A consultation in advance will help you achieve your rebooking goals. DO NOT hand a new client a pile of forms and ask them to fill them out. That’s a waste of their time and an insult when the caregiver walks in and asks the same questions they just took 15 minutes writing down answers to. INSTEAD, try this:
Have the receptionist get all the basic info (name, addy, phone, credit info, etc) upon booking the appointment.
Have the caregiver’s consultation focus on three things. Finding out their preferences, uncovering their problem/concerns and preparing a plan to fix it.

A consultation that focuses on the three P’s (preferences, problem & plan) will help the client take action on achieving their health care goals instead of procrastinating them away. People rarely take care of themselves so we need to help them prioritize their health care goals. After all, why are they getting a service anyway? Because their skin/body NEEDS it. The thing is we’re lucky that they’re here at all, let alone back in a month to continue working on their needs. Find their concern/problem AND GET THEM INVOLVED WITH IT and you’ll find a new regular. Nothing has a magical fix that can be taken care of in one treatment and then ignored. Multiple visits are required. But that will never happen if the client isn’t emotionally involved. They don’t just come in and say “oh my God! I hate my skin, please fix me!” They come in and say “oh I just got a gift certificate and thought this would be nice.” It’s up to you to find out their real concerns which takes some probing… actually, a lot of probing. We’ll go over this deeper in our “consultation” article.

Exclusive, Limited & Yummy!
What if the client just didn’t open up and your staff can’t get people on board with a treatment plan to meet their goals? Try something else. Sell to the “yummy-ness!” People love the personal touch spas offer and if you can give them a good enough excuse to be back in, they will. Setup a series of limited, exotic treatments that are just to die for. Since they’re only available for a month or two you should have good luck getting them back in to try them out. When the client is checking out have a little promo/sign by the register and mention “Ohhhh, you’ve GOT to get back in to try this. It’s only here until next month.” Since you’ve got to order special product in just for a limited time you could price it $20 more and then hand out $20 coupons for it. People take action better with deadlines.

CASH
What if they say there are money issues? Really, that means we didn’t educate them enough to create enough desire, but we can still work with it. We’ll work with their desire of money by setting up a membership plan or series special. Offer a steep discount for a year commitment on a plan or a series of “buy 5 get 1 free.” You could also have a reward program in place. Let them know that they get X for their visit(s) and even for rescheduling before they leave. People love these things, Jennia will drive across town to get a gas stamp in her book for free milk.

Lastly, ATTITUDE IS KEY. Here you can tag-team with the receptionist (just like with retail sales) to take the pressure off the caregiver. Have the caregiver walk the client up, recommend the product, ask for referrals/pass out their card, mention they’ll touch base with them shortly to see how their doing and TO GET BACK ON THE BOOK IN 4 WEEKS SO WE CAN CONTINUE WORKING ON THAT PROBLEM. Now the caregiver can WALK AWAY.

The receptionist picks up the ball and ASSUMES THE SALE. That is she says “same time 4 weeks out?” or “is 4 weeks good for you?” Or if you don’t have luck with that try “Isn’t she just awesome! She books up well in advance. When did she say to come back in?”

By following these steps, this simple routine, you’ll see a nice increase in pre-bookings.
YOU MUST TRAIN your staff.
YOU MUST PRACTICE with them.
YOU MUST EVALUATE them performing it.
IF you fail to instruct them, practice or check up on them they will take the easier of roads and just say “goodbye” which is the last time they’ll get to speak to that client again.

Now, write up your training plan, schedule it, demonstrate it, practice it, evaluate it …and be the one to reap the rewards for your persistence in completing it.

Remember, you have to TAKE ACTION to make change.

Front Desk Scheduling Checklist [DOWNLOAD]

DOWNLOAD: Scheduling Checklist
Christopher Brazy
Front Desk Scheduling Checklis
Scheduling is more art than science, but with these easy to follow steps the blandest receptionist can turn into a scheduling machine.

Your receptionist should be knowledgeable about the importance of their job and how much it took to get that phone to ring. Follow these steps to best utilize your schedule times, provide top client service, offer add-ons and keep Satrudays open for our regulars.

Vist our download area or use the link below to go straight to it.

How to Train Your Front-Desk Salon Spa Staff

Front Desk Magic
Christopher Brazy

Your front desk staff can make or break your business. Literally, they can ruin you or take you to stardom. With these training tips you can make sure you’re on your way to the top.

Let’s talk about their importance first. Instill the importance of their role into them. Let them know they are the first contact, the concierge on the way in and the one to reschedule on the way out. They handle all inquiries and are crucial in getting the client to book or get their information for follow-up purposes.

Call around to other spas in your area and say “you’re thinking about a visit” to see (use our secret shopper questionnaire below):

Do they sound friendly? Like a place you’d like to visit? Can you tell if they’re smiling?

Are they order takers? Or do they lead you in the call?

Do they know what they’re talking about? Are they familiar with the services and can make recommendations?

Do they ask for the appointment?

Do they offer to send you more information if you don’t book?

Do they get your contact info or email to follow up with you?

Do they ask for a credit card to hold the appointment and make you aware of their policies/location?

Do they have information to send you if you ask for it?

Do they ask how you heard about them?

Do they offer you upgrades or add-ons?

Do they seem competent in their job?

How do you feel upon hanging up?

You should always lead the client and direct the call. Never just let them blindly wander aimlessly. You know your spa and services best so should take charge and help the client. There are also bonuses to handling the call properly. Your simple recommendation will keep the most profitable services on the books AND slowest times filled if handled properly.

If the caller chooses not to book find out how they found out about you and if they’d like more information. It takes $$$ to get that phone to ring (figure it out exactly how much and let your staff know the amount). If they know it takes $104 to get a new client, they’ll be more responsible on the phone. Never let them go to voicemail, never leave them on hold (get the second callers # quickly and offer to call them back) and never let them hang up without asking for some sort of contact info to follow up with them (we ask if they’d like us to email them a $20 coupon).

A properly trained front desk person can SIGNIFICANTLY ADD to your bottom line. TAKE ACTION this week. Setup a training and make sure they’re not missing any opportunities.