How to Make Your Front Desk a Profit Center

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One of the biggest complaints from salon and spa owners and managers is the abundance of “downtime” as well as lack of motivation at the front desk. Believe it or not, the front desk can do so much more than answer phones. With the right education, your front desk can be a profit center with the potential to generate additional revenue.

As business owners, we tend to focus on revenue, we set goals based on revenue, and we give our employees revenue-based goals. Yet – revenue is the result of what we did yesterday, and it’s too late today to change that.Training your front desk on the key growth indicators will allow you to create predictable, increased revenue. Focusing on growth strategies will help make your front desk an integral part of your team, keep them motivated, and create more revenue for your salon or spa.

Here are just a few ways to turn your front desk into a profit center:

New Clients per Month: You need new guests to make up for the existing guests you do not retain. Incentivize your loyal clients to refer new customers through a loyalty points system and train your front desk to speak to the benefits of your program.

New Client Retention: Once you’ve put in the effort to attract new customers, you must convince them to stay. Give your front desk the role of providing tours, handing out goodie bags, providing new client surveys and sending out welcome emails. Your software should be able to indicate on the book or provide a report of all the new guests due in so your front desk can provide the best experience.

Repeat Guest Retention: Retaining the guest who have already shown loyalty will increase productivity over time. Train your front desk to always pre-book clients for the next appointment before leaving. Customer service also plays a huge role in retaining guests – each visit should be an unforgettable experience.

Frequency of Visit: At the dentist, you always schedule your next appointment before you leave – so why shouldn’t your business be any different? Pre-booking is the easiest way to grow without spending money. Your front desk should always pre-book the next appointment as well as send “We miss you” emails to clients who haven’t visited in over 90 days.

Average Ticket: There are several ways to increase the average amount a guest spends at your business including up-selling, cross-selling, and suggesting add-on services and retail products. Pre-determined dialogues may help your front desk gain confidence when initially implementing these selling strategies – which should always be a part of the booking, check-in, and check-out process.

Not sure where to start? Create a “playlist” with action items to complete when your front desk has “downtime.” Your software should be able to generate simple reports as a reference. Action items to include on the playlist: Call people whose gift cards are about to expire; call new clients from last week that didn’t re-book; email or call clients who are due in for services this week and didn’t book ahead of time; identify slow departments for the next day and reach out to clients already on the book to up-sell another service.

If you educate the front desk on these industry-proven growth strategies and action items, you’re bound to see a change in revenue and motivation from your front desk team.

- John Harms
Founder and CEO, Millennium Systems International
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About: John Harms, Founder & CEO of Millennium Systems International, creator of Millennium Software, has been designing industry leading salon scheduling software and educating the beauty & wellness industry since 1987. Today Millennium is utilized in thousands of businesses in over 38 countries and operating with approximately 150+ employees worldwide.  Millennium currently runs its corporate headquarters out of New Jersey and its international office is based in the U.K


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