Jill, I have to thank you for posting on this topic. It is another of those things that we often assume is more of a common sense type of thought process that really isn’t. Odor is a very important thing to consider in the impressions that we make. Our salon has recently experienced this very type of problem with the overwhelming smell of cigarette smoke. The person I mentioned last week who is no longer in the industry, well she also smoked. We all tried to help her out and give her suggestions that would help her to make the best impression possible on her guests, but no matter how many times we tried to explain how bad it is to smell of it at work, she just stubbornly refused to stop smoking during her shift.
I know that guests refused to book another appointment with her due to the odor — not because she did a bad service. It was extremely noticeable because we have a strict non-smoking policy on the premises of the salon and parking lot area and it is in the employee handbook that you are not supposed to smoke during your shift. However we could legally do nothing about her coming in to start work or leaving for a lunch break and coming back reeking of smoke. She was off of the premises and on her own time — all we could do was keep talking to her about it and hope that someone was able to explain it in a way that she would understand.
The ironic thing is that we have a couple of other smokers working at the salon and we never smell it on them. They aren’t just covering it up either. They truly do a great job of getting rid of the odor and never do it during their shift. If you didn’t know they smoked at home you would never guess that they do at all. It is a hard choice to make to not do during your working hours, but ultimately a good one to make for your business.
On another note, this week in our salon we were lucky enough to have Coach Kristi Valenzuela of Crystal Focus Coaching come in to teach a two-day class on the importance of the front desk and how to make it a lucrative part of your business. This was an amazing team-building class for my coworkers and me. I learned so much that I think my brain is still processing information and is swirling with ideas to help implement some of that knowledge.
Some of the best tips I got from that class are that we need to have systems for dealing with different actions that we need to take in the salon. It was a wonderful experience to brainstorm with our whole team to come up with new ways to introduce new staff to our guests and potentially gain the new service provider an appointment with that guest. We were also taught new ways to develop scripts for answering the phone and greeting the guests that walk in the door that would make us stand out from the salon down the street.
I know that we did a good job before, but sometimes due to that lack of a system we would all falter and give a guest a less than positive impression of us. Overall the class was a huge success and I think that the whole team is looking forward to using some of these systems to help us to grow the salon to stand out from the rest and become the best!