Whether you’re an LHAA apprentice working with a salon mentor or you’ve graduated from the Academy and begun your hairdressing career in a junior role, it’s important to remember that you’re a vital part of the customer journey. And making the customer’s experience special begins long before the stylist cuts their hair. Don’t believe us? Think about it for a second.
When you’re a Junior you’ll probably spend a lot of time working reception, and reception sets the tone for everything. You’ll be the first person the client speaks to, the first smile they see, and it’s your responsibility to put them at their ease and make a great first impression. And it’s not just the customer who’ll appreciate it, the rest of the salon team will too. After all, nobody enjoys having a stressed-out unhappy client sitting in their chair.
Be friendly and relaxed. Make plenty of eye contact and treat the customer like they’re the most important person in the room. Confirm who they’re here to see, that the appointment is correct, and tell them how long they’ll have to wait before their stylist is ready. If they’re wearing a coat or jacket, offer to put it in the cloakroom. Would they like a tea, coffee or soft drink? Show them where to sit down and then make it for them, so they can properly begin to relax and enjoy their appointment.
But you don’t have to wait until the customer arrives to make their experience memorable.
When you’re working reception and answering the phone, be clear and friendly and always remember that even when people can’t see your face they can hear the smile in your voice. Say “Hello, welcome to (the name of the salon) – how can I help you?” and listen carefully to their reply. Even if it’s the same enquiry you’ve already heard a million times today, answer it with energy as if it’s the first time you’ve heard the question. Be polite and helpful and if they ask you something you don’t know, tell them you’ll put them on hold while you find out the answer.
Whether it’s dealing with clients face-to-face or over the telephone, reception is your opportunity to be the salon’s brand ambassador. Do it well, and everyone will remember.
So what about your other ‘junior’ tasks like polishing the mirrors, tidying the workstations or sweeping up the hair? How can you make the right impression doing those?
It’s simple. When you clean the salon and help to keep everything tidy and professional, you’re showing your commitment to the job and you’re letting everybody see how serious you are about being a success. You’re also enhancing the salon’s reputation by making it a place that customers want to come to and you’re supporting everybody who works there by making their life as easy as possible, so they can concentrate on giving their client the best haircut they can. That’s how important your role is, even when what you’re doing doesn’t seem so glamorous.
And, finally, here’s our biggest piece of advice about how to impress in an apprentice or junior role…
Use your initiative and always be ready to help. During your free time, support the stylists and keep observing and learning. The more willingness and persistence you show, the faster your hairdressing skills will develop and the more enjoyable your days will become. And don’t be afraid to interact with the clients and take every opportunity to work on your customer service and communication skills. Every day you’re at the salon, even if you’re not cutting or colouring hair, you’re building a valuable professional and personal network. Who knows where that could lead in the future?
Don’t forget that every great hairstylist started where you are right now. When you’re an LHAA apprentice, you’re laying the foundations for a fabulous career.