From the time they are in school hairdressers are taught to build up a book of business so they will have the stablity of a steady income stream. Unfortunately, that can lead to a bunch of little mini-businesses within a salon, instead of everyone working together as one business. Stylists take pride in their waiting list - it's a badge of honor to have people unable to get an appointment. Great for the ego, but not so good for the salon. The salon needs those people coming in NOW, when they want the cut, not next week. Chances are there are stylists who are only 50% productive who could take care of these clients on waiting lists and keep the guests' frequency of visit high.
When we were a commission salon, our pay system actually encouraged stylists to hoard clients. Now that we are a team-based pay salon, stylists are being compensated based on salon goals, not individual production, so it's to their benefit to encourage their clients to see someone else if they are booked. Easier said than done...
This has been the biggest challenge so far of our conversion. The stylists blame it on the clients (they want to see me, they don't want to see someone else). I contend that we created that attitude and we can change it, but only if the stylists really want it to happen. My stylists will tell a client it's ok for them to see someone else, but if we don't deliver the message properly, they won't believe it.
The other day a guest was running late so he could not keep his appt with his regular stylist. I moved him to someone else and told the original stylist this was a big opportunity for her to express that it's ok for him to see someone else. I encouraged her greet him warmly when he was in the other stylist's chair. Tell him "Hi, Tony! It's good to see you. I'm so glad Tamara could take care of you today, she'll do a great job." So what did she do when he walked in? She said, "Hi Tony". That's it! How do you think that client felt? Did he feel like it's ok for him to be in another chair? Heck no! He thinks that his regular stylist is annoyed at him for not waiting for her.
This is so obvious to me and I don't know what I'm doing wrong that keeps my team from following through on this! I think it comes down to ego. It feels good to have people want YOU and it hurts a little to see them happy with someone else. This will continue to be a big challenge for us in the coming months.
Any ideas out there on how to tackle this one? I'd love to hear them!