5 Simple Salon Reception Rules to Boost Your Business

salon reception rulesThe NHF Salon Focus magazine this month featured my 5 Simple Salon Reception Rules for a new team member or receptionist to learn.
And there’s a discount code at the end of this page to book one of the last few slots for the reception course I am running on the 12th June!


I emphasise to receptionists always to contact a client if they have missed an appointment.

You should always confirm the appointment at least 24-hours prior, by text or telephone. If they don’t show on the day, contact them to make sure they are OK and reschedule.  Most clients will be extremely apologetic and grateful for the call. But the key is, if you don’t contact them, then they may be too embarrassed to return.


I find it incredibly disrespectful when a regular client gets moved from one column to another without being asked or consulted.

When taking a booking, always repeat back to a client their appointment time, treatment and who the appointment is with at the time of booking. This should now be set in stone, unless there are circumstances completely out of your control.

If you do have to change an appointment, the client should always be fully informed and give their approval. Change without acknowledgement at your peril!

It should be no different with new clients. They may have noted who their appointment is with and will feel totally undervalued instantly at their first (and possibly as a result only) ever visit to you.


Always introduce yourself and preferably wear a name badge. One sure way to make a client feel worthless is to refer to them in a three-way conversation as “he”, “she”, “him” or “her”.

Always ensure you remember a client’s name – and know the preferred name they wish to be addressed by, and then use it frequently during the conversation. If you have inadvertently forgotten, then apologise and ask again.

In correspondence, where possible either always use a person’s name or a simple “hi” but never, ever refer to a client as “Dear client”. This is so impersonal!


If you need to contact a client and cannot get in touch, please only ever leave a message on a personal mobile phone. Never leave a personal message with a family member or friend, or on a landline answerphone.

Remember, it is a client’s own private business to choose to visit you, and you may be breaking their confidence and trust in you by revealing to a third party that they use your services.

If necessary, only ever leave a personal name, along with a contact number asking them to call you back. Never mention the business name unless you are 100% certain that you are not divulging unknown information.


I always say that there is one thing you don’t ever know about a client – and that is what they don’t want you to know. When a client arrives, you don’t know what kind of day they have had, or what is truly going on within their work, family or life in general.

If a client does arrive in a less than pleasant mood, it is essential to read the situation and never, ever react. There is a saying “attitude breeds attitude” and it takes very little to accelerate a situation.

Always stay 100% professional, as there is a strong possibility that the client is unaware that their behaviour and attitude is noticeable to you. If they are aware, then they will apologise on the next visit and thank you for their tolerance.

But if a client is being abusive or aggressive, that’s not right and not something you should have to tolerate. Call on someone senior and more experienced – ideally the owner – to help and intervene. If nothing else, they need to know what has happened – and perhaps why – and take a firm decision on how to respond.

To Book a place on Let Your Reception Team Boost Your Business on 12th June, make sure you get your £80 discount by calling the NHF on 01234 831965 or email [email protected] using my special code SRTREAM.

That means your Beauty Entrepreneur price is only £170 instead of the full price of £250 🙂

See you there?

Here’s to your great business!

Susan x

Lifting The Lid On Awards Judging

I was thrilled by your response to last week’s newsletter about the benefits of entering the Professional Beauty Regional Awards. Amongst all the excitement though, there were one or two comments expressing concerns such as– “Am I giving away my business secrets to competitors and judges?” and “Aren’t the beauty awards rigged anyway?

Both valid questions. But, after nearly a decade as a judge, I want you to know just how hardworking and deserving the winners are year-after-year.

So, with the blessing of Eve Oxberry, Professional Beauty’s Head of Editorial, I’m here to lift the lid on the judging process and dispel any doubts about any underhand activities…

How the Judges are Chosen

Across all the awards categories there are about 60 judges, each handpicked by Professional Beauty. It’s completely voluntary and totally unpaid. Judges can’t get rich this way! They’re all passionate experts in the field, often with award-winning backgrounds. Crucially, every judge signs a confidentially agreement, keeping everything they read on an entry form Top Secret.

Professional Beauty gets the final word on who judges what, with around six experts per panel. No judge can assess any business they have a vested interest in, nor can they judge in their own region.

Initial Judging

You, the salon owner, submit the best entry form possible (with the help of my free ebook, of course). All entries are then distributed to the relevant judges who get a fixed time to review and electronically score out of 10 each contender against 10 criteria. There’s no conferring and, let me tell you, it can be a very solitary, weekend-killing task!

Making the Shortlist

As you’d expect, the finalists are those salons racking up the most points from the collected, confidential scores. What you may not realise is that the judges find out the shortlist exactly the same way as everybody else – by eagerly waiting for the Professional Beauty website announcement. It’s a great achievement to get this far, and Professional Beauty staff contact each salon to offer congratulations and explain what comes next…

Coming to Visit

And, for many people, what does come next is the scariest part of the process: a judge visiting your salon or spa. The announced judges, all industry experts, announce at the time of booking who they are and arrange a time to visit as a client to sample a range of treatments and learn a bit more about the business. You don’t have mystery shoppers at this stage.

The announced judge files a separate report on everything from pre- to post-visit care, but their real job is to check that your initial entry form is a fair reflection of day-to-day reality.

Delicate Deliberation

When the regional judging panel get together for final deliberation, usually by conference call, the announced judge feeds back all the info from the visits and the panel ask their own questions. Each judge separately re-scores the finalists across the criteria, in all ten critical areas, and submits their new scores electronically, ready for the big awards event in Manchester.

And the winner is…

It’s not just the nominees who get an adrenalin rush, it’s us  judges too. We’ve all formed personal attachments to outstanding businesses and we’re willing them to succeed. But, just like you, we don’t know the winner until that envelope opens:

“And the winner is…” I get goosebumps just thinking about it!

Are the Beauty Awards Rigged? No!!!

So please, trust that your entry is well looked after by people who care with no hidden agendas. There’s still just about time to rush in a last-minute entry by clicking here. Don’t forget to also download my ebook, How to Successfully Enter and Win Business Awards, here. Be quick – there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Here’s to your great business,

Susan x

Interview with Lesley Caster, Pro. Beauty Winner

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Lesley Caster of City Retreat, the 2017 Winner of Professional Beauty Salon AND Employer of the Year about her determination to make her salon stand out in a crowded marketplace, and also how it feels to win awards for your business.

The video is only 3 minutes long, so click below to be inspired!



Here’s to YOUR great (award-winning?) business,

Susan. x