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Salon/Spa Front Desk Staff: Don’t Talk “Team” and Treat Them as Something Less


In last week’s blog post, “Why Retailing Must Be a Team Sport,” I listed a bunch of responses to the question, “Who gets the retail commission on walk-in retail sales?”

The one response that smacked me in my “culture reflects leadership” brain was, “Hire a receptionist and pay zero commission.”

First, the days of a “receptionist” disappeared decades ago. Working at the front desk as a guest services provider is an essential and massively demanding position at salons/spas.

Second, and more importantly, the “pay receptionists zero” commission on any retail is nothing short of treating your front desk/guest services team as second-class employees.

FACT 1: A well-trained front desk/guest services employee plays a key role in driving your company’s overall productivity rate, prebook rate, first and existing client retention rate, retail sales, upselling, gift certificate sales — and the coordinated operation of your salon/spa.

FACT 2: Just because front desk/guest services employees don’t physically deliver salon/spa services with their own two hands, doesn’t make them any less valuable to contributing to company growth.

FACT 3: Front desk/guest services employees show up ready for work. They deal with demanding client requests and challenges all day long. They have strict procedures they must follow. They make everyone in the company look good. Got a challenge with any of this? Work a day at the front desk and you’ll understand.

FACT 4: Front desk/guest services will only become a viable career when the position becomes recognized as a true team player that contributes to the growth of the company — with income potential equal to their responsibilities.

Here’s my challenge to you: Do a seriously deep assessment of how you and your team view and treat your front desk/guest services employees.

  1. No double standard: If you truly believe in creating a team-based culture, every employee must be treated as an essential contributor to growth.

  2. Team bonus: One of the cornerstones of Strategies' Team-Based Pay Business Model is team bonus. When monthly service and retail goals are achieved, everyone — including front desk/guest services — earns a fair share of the bonus pool. Why? Because they helped the team make goal. The “who gets the credit” commission thinking gets in the way of teamwork and fairness … and retail sales potential. At the very least, consider eliminating retail commission and implement a retail team bonus. We can help you do this: Click here to schedule a free 60-minute strategy session to map out a game plan.

  3. Rethink front desk/guest services compensation: Paying minimum wage, or not much more than minimum wage, is not in alignment with the responsibilities and contribution to growth of the position. For years, I’ve been hearing owners say, “Front desk/guest services are underpaid.” It’s time to recognize and fairly compensate these amazing team players. To do so, it may be necessary to rethink your entire approach to compensation. Pssst...we can help with this, too!

Ready to start building YOUR Team-Based salon, spa, or medspa? Schedule a free 60-minute strategy session here, and let's map out the action steps to get you there!


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