Saturday, April 3, 2010

Salon Training 101 or How to Answer Phones

So, several of you have asked for some posts on the salon. Most of the time, it pales in comparison to the c-store, but I had the “privilege” of attending a seminar on “Maximizing your Front Desk Results” last Monday. I think it should be renamed “what a waste of my time.”

For two hours, i sat with other salon coordinators learning the intricacies of answering phones at a salon. In this riveting class, I learned the following things.

  1. The merits of a professional manicure vs.. one that you do at home. I mean really, clients can SO tell if you paint your own nails. How ghetto.
  2. Should you say “good morning/afternoon” or “thank you for calling.” Getting these things right can truly make or break your salon. Now seriously, have you ever called to make an appointment and decided you WERE NOT letting these people cut your hair if they didn’t said Good Morning instead of Thank you for calling? If you have, you should go to another blog because you SOOOO won’t find this blog funny.
  3. How we should look like we were ripped from the pages of the latest magazines to reinforce that the stylist know what they are doing. Quite frankly, if I'm paying $50+ for a hair cut, I'm more concerned about the stylist than what the phone girl is wearing. I’d also like to point out that they never mentioned what magazine that you needed to look like you walked out of. I think that leaves things open for interpretation.

And finally the scripts. Because, god forbid, you answer the phone and not know precisely what to say.

What if they want to know prices?!? (ummm, you tell them)

What if they don’t like their haircut?!? (how about apologize and offer to get the stylist on the line so we can determine how to make this right)

Free thought was NOT encouraged. The answer to everything…use a SCRIPT.

So we did a script writing exercise, with each group given a challenge that we had to address. My group got “monthly special” – and no not THAT monthly special you dumb-dumbs. I was paired up with a salon owner who employed a staff of 15 and another coordinator who was completely overwhelmed.

As we began to discuss, the salon owner reinforced to us that “she had this down…i write these scripts for our Salon.” So after some writing, here is the exchange:

SALON OWNER: I have the script, are you guys ready?

ME: Lay it on me.

SALON OWNER: “Thank you for calling Moron Salon, this is Owner…would you like to hear about our 45 minute massage for $45 special?” Great huh?

ME: And if I was to say “yes, tell me about your special” isn’t your answer just “it’s a 45 minutes massage for $45” Why are you asking me if I want to hear more when you just told me all there is.

SALON OWNER: silence…still silent…slow blink. Okay, well what about “Would you like to hear about our 15% off all product special?”

ME: All products are 15% off?

SALON OWNER: ummmmm…what would you say if you don’t like these?

ME: “Good morning Fantastic Salon, this is Coordinator K, would you like to hear some ways to pamper the mother’s in your life?”

SALON OWNER: Wow…that’s really open-ended…you’re amazing.

This woman runs a salon that probably has $100,000/month in services and can’t figure out how to answer the phones! For all that is holy, save me from stupid people.

My boss’ response to the class – “I thought that class had SUCH good information.”

Why me.


  1. One lucky thing for me with my family living with me. My niece is a fabulous stylist (a former profession). Every little bit helps!

  2. I had a co-worker who used to have a picture on his door of Haley Joel Osment, from the movie the Sixth Sense. The quote above it read: "I see stupid people... and they are everywhere!"

    See... it's true!

  3. No scripts at my salon. I'm supposed to feel welcome at my salon, greeted by you who might not recognize me, but you know I've been in here before. I say fight against them. Hold up signs. Do anything. Just don't do it, please. Worst place ever for a script.

    Also -- I just found your blog, and I must say, I am much amused.


  4. You have really helped several of individuals like me, who have been searching internet from past quite a long time to find detailed information on this particular topic. Thanks a ton. Salons in indore