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“Me” Service to Become “Team Service” – Part 2

September 15, 2019 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments

In Part One of last week’s blog post (read it here), I detailed why the industry’s pervasive “I/me/mine” attitude is the major obstacle to teamwork and the delivery of extraordinary customer service.

More importantly, I detailed what feeds the “I/me/mine” mentality. Because owners obsess over how much each individual brings in, the message being sent is that their “I/me/mine” numbers are all that matter.

  • Teamwork is compromised. Customer service is compromised. Team service doesn’t stand a chance.

Read Part One for my recommendations on how to shift your salon/spa from “Me” thinking to “We” thinking. This is a prerequisite to team service.

If you’re thinking, “What’s the big deal? Clients at my salon/spa are free to see anyone they want.”

My response is, “Are they really?” When clients call to schedule an appointment, the first question they’re asked is, “Who with and what day and time?” That’s “Me” service, not team service.

From the very first visit, clients are trained to return and request that one service provider.

True, client loyalty is all about building relationships. But when the system procedures are designed to build a relationship between the client of the company and one service provider, the system is flawed.

  • Proof: When clients feel uncomfortable going to another service provider to the point where they feel like they’re “cheating” — the system is severely flawed.
  • It’s so flawed that clients often ask to book an appointment on their regular service provider’s day off if they’re seeing another service provider. That’s nuts. That’s the opposite of team service.

The wrong outcome by design: Service providers that become possessive of “their clientele” is not what growing a successful salon/spa service business is all about. The devastation of walkouts and employees leaving with “their clients” is not what growing a successful salon/spa service business is all about.

So, what exactly is team service?

In its simplest form, team service means that the skills of the entire salon/spa are available to each and every client — each and every visit. This simple statement is shared with clients on every phone call, check-in, during services, and at checkout.

  • When a first-time client schedules an appointment, the order of priority is the client’s preferred day/time, services desired, and if there are any special needs and challenges. Only then is the client scheduled for a consultation with one or more service providers with the expertise to best serve that client.
  • Every client is provided with the names of those service providers that are skill certified to perform the services that clients require. Best course is to personally introduce clients to other service providers.
  • During a client’s service, one or more service providers may provide their expertise.
  • The team-service approach breaks down walls, builds relationships and provides clients with greater access and options when needed.

The focus of team service is to put the needs and convenience of the client first by giving them access to the skills and talents of the entire team. Isn’t that what a service business is all about?

Key advantages of the team-service business model:

  • Balanced productivity: The request-based approach is about building individual followings one column at a time. This means certain service providers have waiting lists while others wait for something to do. The team-service business balances out and drives a higher overall company productivity rate. It allows for more efficient use of talent and hours for sale. (Remember, a salon/spa sells time.)
  • Obvious brand point of difference: The team-service approach can do wonders for establishing your company’s point of difference in a very crowded marketplace.
  • Higher first-time and existing client retention rates: Because team service is systems driven, the level of consistency in customer service is significantly higher. This means higher satisfaction rates, higher pre-booking, improved frequency of visit and more.
  • Recommendations drive up-selling and retail: The very foundation of team service is built on the professional recommendation. This means clients are naturally exposed to more options that are customized just for them. Recommendations drive retail sales. Service providers recommend. Front desk/guest services closes the retail sale and prebooks the client.
  • A team doing great work: Isn’t “doing great work” the vision of every salon/spa professional and owner? Team service is all about doing great. Team service is all about exceeding customer expectations. Do that and the revenue will come. This is where salons and spas on Team-Based Pay have a significant advantage. Team service as described here is a challenge if the pay method is commission due to the “who gets the credit” factor.

But our clients won’t like seeing other service providers

This is absolutely true if clients are not educated on exactly how team service will benefit them. And yes, some clients will never want to see another service provider under any circumstances. That’s totally okay, because it’s what the client wants.

For a traditional “request” salon/spa, implementing team service is going to be a process. It will take time to educate clients so they understand and become comfortable with the idea of being serviced by a team rather than one individual.

But the biggest hurdle is going to be breaking free of the “I/me/mine” “It’s my client” mentality that is prevalent in commission salons and spas. Furthermore, many Team-Based Pay companies are still request rate driven.

Here’s my challenge to you: Employee-based salons and spas must look to the future with fresh new thinking. Continuing the practice of employees growing individual clienteles feeds the “I/me/mine” thinking that does little to grow a company and a brand.

The team-service business model brings new excitement and stature to salon/spa companies. More importantly, it creates a complete separation and distinction from booth rental and suites where team service is damn near impossible.

Lastly, the team-service business model is about paying employees well to do great work. Higher company productivity rates mean efficient use of payroll hours, and that means the opportunity to pay employees better and offer meaningful benefits.

It’s time for employee-based salons and spas to distinguish themselves as truly offering the highest level of customer service.

Want to learn how to create your own Team-Based salon or spa? Register now for our four-day Strategies Incubator Seminar.

Categories: Productivity , Teamwork

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