Ken Picton heads up Wales’ leading destination salon and has amassed a huge haul of awards over the years , including three times Wales and South West Hairdresser of the Year and a host of business accolades. Here he talks us through his failproof tips for managing a team.
"THE IMPORTANCE OF FEEDBACK
Feedback is one of the most important tasks a manager or salon owner can undertake.
Because the truth is a crucial ingredient when working with clients or people from your team. Without the truth, you and your team cannot make the correct decisions.
Quite often salon owners or managers focus too heavily on negative feedback and don’t put quite as much importance on positive feedback but it’s important that both are shared with your team.
We have invested lots of time and money over the years getting feedback from our clients, satisfied and dissatisfied, from using pre-paid postage questionnaires, phone calls and in-salon questionnaires and have got feedback on things like the hours we open to services that they would like us to introduce as well as our quality of service.
For me client feedback is so powerful, especially if used well, and it allows us to respond immediately to positive or negative issues - it also serves as a great motivator for your team.
In this day and age however, it’s super easy to create an automated survey system which can be done through emails with software like MailChimp or through your in-salon computer system.
At the Ken Picton salon we automatically survey every single client on every single visit. It’s a huge source of information for us to help guide the team. That feedback is then instantly passed onto the team member by email or by sitting down via a one to one. We also share all positive feedback to every team member, as it’s great for all the team to be aware of their colleagues doing well also. Our automated survey asks specific but simple questions:
Were you made to feel welcome on arrival?
Were you offered refreshments?
Were you happy with the consultation?
Were you given aftercare advice?
Were you pleased with your service and overall experience?
Would you return to the salon?
Would you recommend us to friends/family?
However these questions can be changed at any time and we can focus on specific clients or team members, so you can use different questions for new clients or for new team members.
As well as a rating system, we also encourage any additional comments and suggestions, offering the chance to win prizes as an incentive to the clients; having systems like this in place also lets your team know they have to perform every time with every client.
We use a cloud based system called Salon IQ, which automatically feeds back the results and targets achieved at the end of each week by text or email, so each individual is aware instantly of what they have achieved.
We also have a system where every single member of our team, at the click of a button, can see how they are performing instantly with regards to things like care factor, client retention (new and existing) and request rates etc and we encourage them to look daily.
Regular team meetings are also a great avenue for delivering feedback, especially as your team grows and the busier you get the less time you tend to give to feedback, which is why we have a weekly team meeting with all the team in salon hours (9am-10am) on a Friday.
This serves as a great platform for sharing information, introducing new services or products and education but most importantly it gets your whole team together on a regular basis so you are all singing from the same hymn sheet, as they say and it allows you to change systems very quickly if they are not working.
However, feedback should never be a one way street, salon owners and managers also need feedback from their team, as they are the ones on the front line of your business and you should always listen to them on ways to improve. As my team has grown I have realized the importance of good communication, it helps to improve service and systems.
Remember – praise good performance and challenge poor performance through communication and feedback, as the truth is very powerful.