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Regaining Your Dream
By Rhana Pytell
Posted: March 26, 2008, from the April 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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If you are new at this, ask your team members what information they would have liked to know when they began working for your organization. Involving your staff in systems documentation can make the process much less daunting for everybody. Ask them to document their activities so that when they leave—and they eventually will—you’re not left reinventing the wheel.
Systems work: a personal approach
I recently resolved an issue that, although minor, threatened to become a recurring problem that could drain my time and energy from other areas of the business.
About a week ago, I came across a couple of team members who were communicating emotionally and negatively with one another. It is important to remember that in order to deliver an exceptional client experience, everyone must work together in harmony. These individuals lost sight of this larger goal.
If this continued to occur, I would be dealing with their negative impact repeatedly. I conducted a little research, wrote “Guidelines for Interpersonal Communications,” and put this into a company-wide e-mail. I also added the file to each of the employee job descriptions under the heading “Teamwork” and within our training checklists to ensure that each new employee understood the expectations regarding the clarity and professionalism of their communications.
One of the guidelines I passed on originated with leadership guru Stephen R. Covey: Begin with the end in mind. In our case, I stressed that one of the necessary results of interpersonal communication is mutual respect. When my employees read this, they had an “a-ha” moment and realized that their tone and word choice would be quite different if they consciously conversed with this outcome in mind.
It works for clients, too
Once you’ve begun to establish spa management systems in the areas of operation, you’ll soon notice that you have more time to devote to other projects. When this happens, it is important to turn your attention back to clients in order to achieve the target 70% client retention rate that almost guarantees business success.
To boost retention of your most profitable clients, create a client retention or client loyalty-building system that could include:
- A list of policies and expectations regarding your staff’s level of client service and professionalism
- Training in rapport-building skills
- Staff rewards for client retention
- An acknowledgement and referral program
- A VIP retail pricing program
Whichever processes you select, be sure to document the employees responsible for executing these processes; the accountabilities of each position in the area of client loyalty building; and measures to help you to evaluate each team member’s performance within a certain position.
A wealth of resources
If you get stuck in the process of designing and developing your systems, you can turn to a wealth of resources. The Society of Human Resource Management is excellent for helping you to develop ideas and processes for training and personnel management. Alternately, you could turn to ISPA and its retail management tools to gain control over your inventory management.
In addition, there are new technologies and tools being developed every year, ranging from software that helps you focus your marketing budget to Web-based management systems that help you quickly build, update and share operational systems with your staff.
Tools such as these are becoming increasingly affordable and available and, with a small investment of time on your part, could help you disentangle yourself from the most burdensome of operations to achieve your profit goals, and live the dream of wellness and balance that you so enthusiastically provide for others.