There’s merit in the old expression: A smile goes a long way. So, it’s not surprising that when you Google “customer service tips for receptionists,” you get a list of nice-to-have personality traits: friendliness, patience, honesty, attentiveness.
But as a service professional, you know it takes more than good vibes to get the most out of your front desk.
To help you do just that, we’re taking a deep-dive into what it takes to make a great front desk experience for clients and how you can use that experience to boost income and make your business even more efficient. Because if a little good attitude goes a long way — imagine how much further it’ll go with some smart life hacks.
5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Front Desk
Automate, Automate, Automate
First things first. The more efficient you can make your business, the more efficient your front desk can be. So whether you’re looking to hire and train your first receptionist, or you already have one in place, automate as much of their day-to-day processes as you can. This way, your receptionist has more time to focus on helping your clients.
- Use online booking. Online booking through a platform, such as Schedulicity, allows them to schedule and reschedule on their own, your front desk will field fewer phone calls and emails about your hours and availability. (Be sure to check out our guide to finding the scheduling app that’s right for you.)
- Offer modern payment options. Make accepting payments as easy as possible — for your clients and for your receptionist. One way to do that is to require prepayments when clients book their appointments, so you have those funds collected up front, taking some legwork away from your front desk.
- Teach clients your system. A big way your receptionist can help clients and help your business run more efficiently is to teach clients about your online booking system, how to save credit cards on file to use later, and the process for cancelling/rescheduling.
Pro tip: Speaking of scheduling and payments… Schedulicity has built-in payment processing, so you can keep your calendar and your payments all under one roof!
Keep It Positive and Friendly
In addition to your website and online booking platform, your front desk is likely to be one of the initial points of contact clients have with your business. So it’s important to make a strong first impression.
Here’s a simple checklist for a great first impression on your clients:
- Smile and greet clients as they come in
- Don’t ignore clients, no matter how busy
- Maintain positive body language
- Use “please” and “thank you”
- Watch your tone (sound helpful, stay engaged)
Bonus Tip: Harness the Power of YES
Your front desk is the go-to place for info about your business, scheduling, and payments, so you want your receptionist’s mindset to be all about helping clients. This means encouraging your receptionist to focus on what they can do to help clients (saying yes!) — instead of leading with something that sounds more negative.
Here’s a great example of avoiding the negative…
“Sue is free on Tuesday the 18th at 3:30pm or Thursday the 20th at 10:15am. Since Sue doesn’t take appointments on Wednesdays, I’m hoping we can squeeze you in one of those times.”
By focusing on the positive first — Sue has openings on Tuesdays and Thursdays — your clients will have a more positive outlook on the booking process.
Another important part of an efficient front desk is keeping your procedures consistent. Whether it’s greeting clients by name as they arrive or following the same checkout process every time, consistency helps improve how your client perceives their experience. If you’re struggling to find a front desk flow, try putting together a checklist of day-to-day tasks to keep the process the same as each client comes in.
Boost Sales with Your Front Desk
Think of your receptionist as a kind of “frontline salesman.” Here are three key areas where your receptionist can increase your salon revenue:
- Hooking new clients. Whether on the phone or in person, your front desk makes the first impression. Your receptionist should not only be able to sell potential clients on why they should book with your business, they should know enough about each of your services to make thoughtful recommendations.
- Rebooking support. As a service provider with a busy schedule, you may not have the time to think about rebooking a client after their appointment. That’s where your front desk comes in. Check out is the perfect time to pitch another booking.
- Retail sales. Selling retail or products can be tricky, but a receptionist who can sell products is an easy way to increase revenue. On top of product sales, make sure your front desk is familiar with selling your gift cards, telling clients about promotions, and any beauty treatment workshops or add-ons you might offer.
Market from Your Front Desk
On top of your email marketing and social media efforts, your front desk can be one of your best marketing tools. As we saw in the sales section, your front desk is great for spreading the word on upcoming promotions or new services you’re offering. So if you have summer deals or special promotions around the holidays, make sure your receptionist is in the know.