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Team Service: What It Is and Why It Works


Teamwork in a salon/spa is a beautiful thing to observe.

Everyone shows up at the daily huddle on time and prepared to hear the game plan for the day.

The front desk team welcomes clients with a smile, gets them checked in and guides them off to begin their services.

Service providers have that same welcoming smile and begin the process of consulting and delivering professional services.

It all looks great, but there’s an embedded thinking and behavior that undermines the client service experience.

Yes, an assistant can prepare and help deliver the service, but that’s not team service.

Yes, a colorist may do the color and a stylist the cut and finish, but that’s not team service. Why? Because that colorist and stylist automatically become THAT colorist’s and THAT stylist’s request client.

Strategies has been teaching and coaching Team Service for over 25 years because it is the foundation that a Team-Based Culture and Business Model is built on.

We divide our description of Team Service into two “Team-Service” Commitments.

It begins with a Team-Service Commitment to the company that sounds like…

Unlike other salons and spas, the skills of our entire team are available to each and every client.

  • We regard waiting lists as a sign of inefficiency and lack of teamwork. Each team member takes responsibility for every hour the business has for sale.

  • Our client’s schedules are more important than our own.

  • As long as there is time on the schedule and skill available, we will accommodate their needs without inconvenience or delay.

The Team-Service Commitment to the company allows team members to focus on each and every client’s total experience and highest level of satisfaction.

  • The objective of every team member is to create a “retained salon/spa client.” It’s not about the old school “building my book so I can take them with me when I leave.”

  • Team members go out of their way to put clients and team first.

  • Team service is about building a loyal company clientele and meeting customer needs at the highest level. It’s not just about sharing clients.

  • The talents of a team far exceed those of any individual.

Next is the Team-Service Commitment to the client that sounds like …

Unlike other salons and spas, we practice the highest level of team service. This means that the skills of our entire team are available to you. We don’t lock you into a single technician or keep you on a waiting list. Meeting your service needs and busy schedule is our top priority.

To ensure consistent service quality and technical skill, every team member must complete our Internal Skill Certification Program. You have the confidence and peace of mind, knowing that you are in the talented hands of a skill-certified team member. You will always enjoy a fresh perspective, and you will always receive the utmost in quality service and attention — unconditionally guaranteed. 

It’s all about leadership, systems and Team-Based Culture building

  • Think about the vision you have for your company. Does anything in your vision state that it’s your company’s responsibility to attract new clients so individuals can build their own clientele to take with them when they leave? If it does, you’ve designed your company to being vulnerable to the financial devastation caused by employee turnover, or even worse, by walkouts.

  • Think about the service culture of your company. Do you see any service provider indifference towards clients that are not scheduled or assigned to them? I’m referring to the “it’s not my client — It’s not my job” service wrecking thinking and behavior. Do you want this thinking and behavior in your company?

  • Think about your professional consultations. Consultations are in abundance in a Team-Service Company. Consultations provide a “point of difference” because they are the platform that truly places the “skills of the entire company” to fill client needs and expectations. FACT: Consultations are in short supply and are often rushed to begin a service, ruining the client experience and potential service revenue.

  • Think about client checkouts and incoming calls for appointments. A client calls your company to schedule an appointment. Chances are, the response is something like, “Who with and when?”. Why is “who with” the response? It’s because it’s the easiest and fastest way to book an appointment. The response should be, “What services would you like to schedule and is there a preferred day and time?” The “what services and when” are more important than the “who.” You’re building a company — not someone’s column on the appointment book.

  • Think about, “But clients don’t want to try other service providers.” If one or more of the above bullet points hit home, then you must understand that salons and spas trained clients to request and be loyal to specific service providers. Simply put, it requires less work to build request rates than to commit to the systems, thinking and behavior to create a Team-Service Culture and company. FACT: You can train most clients to embrace team service. The more you convert to team service, the higher and more balanced your productivity rate and service revenue opportunity. More importantly, your company becomes less susceptible to the ravages of turnover.

Here’s my challenge to you: Take time to truly digest what you just read. It is absolutely possible to for you to create a higher level of team service in your company. It’s going to take planning, work on developing new systems, scripting, training and more. But it’s where and how you need to lead your company into the future.

There is no downside to team service. Even minor gains are a step in the right direction.

The industry has been in a state of disruption far too long. Walkouts, financial stress, business closings, a labor shortage, infighting over “who owns the customer,” don’t belong anywhere in the professional beauty industry. Yet it exists.

The industry has reached a crossroad. One road leads to more of the same stress, challenges and dysfunction that has plagued the industry far too long. It’s time for all employee-based companies to travel down a better road, a team-based road that leads to a prosperous and sustainable future. It’s a road built on best business practices, operational excellence, fiscal responsibility, team cultures, and career growth.

NEXT STEPS: Learn all about building a team-based culture at the Strategies Incubator Workshop.


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