10 tips for Salon receptionists: a powerful checklist

1. Smile and greet salon clients

Please don’t turn or walk away, pick up the phone or start chatting to a colleague as a client walks up to the front desk. It looks off hand and your job as salon receptionist is to make a fabulous first impression.

Instead, stop what you’re doing, give them a genuine smile and greet them.

2. Don’t abandon a client standing at the front desk

You are talking to a client in reception and the phone rings. Always awkward I know.

But don’t suddenly abandon the client and grab the phone – tempting as it is if only to stop the incessant ring.

Just remember the client standing in front of you takes priority over someone who calls on the phone.

Let the phone go to voice mail then ring the caller straight back as soon as the client leaves the salon.

3. The power of ‘YES’

Always tell your client what you CAN do for them. It’s too easy to slip into negatives.


‘Sue is free on Tuesday 18th at 3.30pm or Thursday 20th at 10.15am. Are either of these good for you as she doesn’t work on Wednesdays.’

It sounds so much more obliging than ‘Sue doesn’t work Wednesdays.’ End of conversation.

Appreciate the power of ‘Yes’ and always look for ways to help your clients.

4. Don’t ignore clients just because reception is busy

Chatting with a client when someone walks in?

Acknowledge every client immediately as they walk in through the door. A smile, nod and ‘I’ll be with you shortly, please take a seat’ works best. Ignoring an ever growing queue of people just makes them silently fume and they start their hair or beauty treatment feeling grumpy.

5. Never discuss salon clients in front of others

Oh so tempting as it can be to rant to a colleague or share some juicy gossip, keep it for later when you’re off the salon floor. Not only is it unprofessional but those clients who overhear will wonder what you say behind their back.

6. Positive body language at the front desk

Make regular eye contact to show you’re interested and sincere. Keeps arms open. Your head up. And smile.

Using your hands to communicate cooperation, sincerity and reliability. Both make an ideal base for a reception team training session.

7. Are you using the right tone of voice?

Ensure your non-verbal communication (body language) is in tune with your tone of voice.

Always sound cheerful, enthusiastic and helpful even if the client is grumpy and pushy. A sarcastic or aggressive tone from you will only make matters worse.

8. Use their name for a lasting impression

Use your client’s name, particularly at the start and close of the meet and greet.

We all love the sound of our name and react well to it. But don’t overdo it as it soon becomes cheesy and insincere.

9. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ go a long way on reception

Gratitude is powerful as it changes how people perceive you – for the better. And it’s so easy. These little words make a big difference to how people react to you and this alone can make a receptionist’s job less stressful.

10. Help clients understand your salon systems

Many receptionists act as the salon coordinator and manage the team’s work flow and the client’s journey from booking to paying. It is essential you understand all the business systems so you can explain ‘what, why and where’ to often sceptical clients.

Allergy skin testing is a perfect example. Many clients see it as an unnecessary visit. A complete chore. A well-trained receptionist understands why a test is necessary for the client’s well-being (and your salon insurance) and can explain the benefits while making it as easy as possible for the client to pop in.