The Role Call in Question… | Graham Clarke

November 02, 2023

Dissecting the Pros and Cons of Employing a Receptionist | Graham Clarke, CEO, Murdock London

The operation of a hair salon or barbershop involves more than just delivering exceptional haircuts and styling services. The presence of a receptionist plays a pivotal role in enhancing customer experiences, managing appointments and contributing to retail sales.  


Enhanced Customer Experience. A receptionist is often the first point of contact for clients visiting a hair salon or barbershop. Their warm greetings, professionalism and assistance in scheduling appointments create a positive first impression, setting the tone for the entire visit. 

Efficient Appointment Management. A receptionist’s primary responsibility is to manage the appointment schedule. This ensures that customers are accommodated promptly, minimising waiting times and enhancing overall customer satisfaction. 

Revenue Generation Through Upselling. Receptionists can play a crucial role in boosting retail sales by suggesting and promoting haircare products and other retail items. Their ability to engage customers in conversations about these products can significantly contribute to additional revenue streams. 

Professional Call Handling. Having a dedicated receptionist allows the salon or barbershop to manage phone inquiries more efficiently. Clients seeking information about services, pricing or availability receive accurate and courteous responses, creating a positive brand image. 

Focal Point for Communication. Receptionists serve as a central hub for communication between clients and stylists. They relay special requests, preferences and instructions, ensuring that the hairstylists are well-prepared to meet the clients’ expectations. 

Streamlined Operations. By managing appointments, walk-ins and customer inquiries, receptionists free up the hairstylist’s time to focus on providing high-quality services. This enhances overall salon efficiency. 


Cost Considerations. Employing a receptionist adds to the salon’s overhead costs. This includes salary, benefits, training and equipment. Small salons or barbershops might find it challenging to allocate resources for an additional staff member. 

Staffing Challenges. The ideal candidate should possess a blend of customer service skills, organisational abilities and industry knowledge. This process can be time-consuming and demanding. 

Variable Workloads. The demand for receptionist services might fluctuate throughout the day, leading to periods of high activity and others of relative calm. Managing such variable workloads effectively requires careful planning. 

Retail Competency. While a retail-savvy receptionist can boost sales, not all candidates may possess the necessary expertise. Finding individuals with previous retail experience can be challenging, limiting the potential benefits of upselling retail products. 

Dependency on Technology. Many salons use specialised software for appointment scheduling and client management. Dependence on technology introduces the possibility of technical glitches, which could disrupt operations and customer satisfaction. 

Resource Allocation. The time a receptionist spends on retail-related tasks might reduce the time available for other essential duties, such as phone management and appointment coordination. 


In the dynamic world of hair salons and barbershops, the employment of a receptionist offers both advantages and challenges. The receptionist’s role goes beyond managing appointments and phone calls; they can significantly impact retail sales, customer satisfaction, and overall salon efficiency.  

However, the decision to hire a receptionist should be made with a thorough assessment of the shop’s size, resources, and the potential benefits they can bring. While previous retail experience is a valuable trait, it’s important to consider a candidate’s overall suitability for the role to ensure a seamless integration into the salon’s operations. 

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