Phorest FM Episode 129: Tamara Shaw On The 7 Steps Of Highly Effective Salon & Spa Customer Journeys

If you were asked to detail the seven crucial steps in a salon or spa's customer journey, would you be able to nail all of them down? Are you solely focused on the quality of your treatments and services? Taking clients through a journey enriches their relationships with your brand while providing a safe space for you and your clients to discuss their worries and come up with tailored solutions. Optimising this can often make the difference between your salon or spa and the one across the street.

Featuring Beaute Industrie's Founding Director & Community Creator Tamara Shaw, this week's episode explores what successful customer journeys are made of, other than being a planned combination of activities, preferences and paths a client can take within your business.


Tamara Shaw

With over a decade of experience in the beauty industry as a therapist by trade, educator and account manager, Tamara saw a gap in the industry for connection and support. A passion for building community and boosting collaboration to the industry, Tamara launched Beaute Industrie – an online support platform for the professional beauty industry, and has since been changing the lives of brands and business owners with focus of culture over competition.

Beaute Industrie serves to connect business owners and teams with inspiration from industry experts, expands knowledge through educational pieces and brings the latest in product and technology innovation, all in an online platform with 24 hour access. You too can be a part of the Beaute Industrie community through their online membership platform, attending the networking events, tuning into the podcast channel or booking Tamara in your space for a mentoring session.


Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 129. I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle Springer. This week on the show, we’re joined by Tamara Shaw, Founding Director and Community Creator with ten plus years of experience in the industry. I hope you’ve got something to take notes today because we’ll be discussing Tamara’s 7-step salon customer journey recipe for success.

Killian Vigna: So grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, relax and join us weekly for all your salon’s business and marketing needs. Good morning, Zoe!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Good morning Killian. Listen, I hope you don’t mind the small sociology insert. I find it something really interesting in the concept of community, and we just mentioned this in the blurb. You’ll get where I’m going with this in about a minute. We’ve talked about culture, networking on the show before. We’ve had many guests talk about culture, actually. We only ever touched of community talking about, Facebook groups. But something is interesting in community and growing, and if you look at studies of people growing older, you can see the happiness rates by looking at how well people are surrounded as they grow older. There is something very special about us humans that we need this sense of belonging, we need a sense of community, and I find that so interesting because you can create these small communities in so many, different ways and in the salon industry I think it’s one of the best places to do that.

Killian Vigna: I couldn’t agree more, and like you said, everyone needs that sense of belonging, you see when you’re kind of young… I used to laugh when parents were saying “You’ve got a massive group of friends now, but that will start phasing out as you get older,” and it does. Eventually you get to that stage, and when your family and your friends kind of move on you’re like whom have you got left, and you feel that sense of isolation. Again that sense of belonging, which brings us towards the focus of this episode. So the episode title today is the 7-Step Customer Journey, and that’s exactly what it is.

As a client going into the salon, it’s an experience you want to feel. Again, you want to feel like you belong in that salon. So what are the touchpoints that your salon have, to make your clients want to come back time and time again? To feel comfortable there and again to belong? I keep saying belong but-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It is the best word for it.

Introducing Tamara Shaw [02:26]

Killian Vigna: It is the best word. So I suppose without further ado, our guest today has set up the first online support community for hair and beauty professionals in Australia. Welcome to the show Tamara!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Welcome to the show!

Tamara Shaw: Thank you so much for having me.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s so good to have you on. I’m glad that Bek put us in touch.

Tamara Shaw: I know! Likewise, you’ve got some amazing Phorest connections down here in Australia.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That’s amazing to hear. We’ve actually just talked to Billy Rickman. I don’t know if you know him and he was saying the same thing. He was like, people in Australia are getting to know you slowly, but surely this is happening!

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, I know Billy well, and that’s exactly right. Phorest nowadays, what we see in community groups and things like that and people say, well… What salon software program can I have, it’s just “Phorest, Phorest, Phorest” which is so nice to see.

Killian Vigna: It’s weird how fast the community has built up there in Australia. We’re only in Australia just over a year I’m going to say. Bek is constantly coming back with people who are dying to talk to us, and it’s just weird how quickly that is building up over there.

Tamara Shaw: Yeah. Our little island is small, but we talk loud.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I love it. So we’re going to be talking about customer journeys today, but before that, we thought we’d kind of ease into the conversation with maybe some insights about your background and also perhaps Beaute Industrie.

Tamara Shaw: Yes! So for me, as you mentioned, ten years in the beauty industry now, and it’s a short time in comparison to some, but I feel like I’ve done almost every pathway and that’s not… it’s just for lack of being a terrible employee. I can put it down to that. I’m always that person to ask, “Why are we doing this, and how are we doing this?” I want to explore more, and I want to go further. I found that being self-employed is where I can do that. I’m asking myself these questions now, but I studied a diploma in resort management. So in that, you could work in the water rec area, the dive area or the spa, and so I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time when I left high school.

So I thought spa rings pretty, I’ll go, and I’ll have a say… What the course is like, and I got in there, and once again I was asking why. I was doing massage and doing facials, and it didn’t give me passion, and my teacher said, “Why don’t you drop out of the course if you don’t like doing the spa side of it?” I said, “If I’m going to run a resort or if I’m going to be a manager, I need to know how to do all of the things so that if people ask me why, I’ve got that action, I’ve got that answer for them.” So, I went into the industry being a therapist initially. Got into [inaudible 00:05:22], actually flew over to London and was I able to travel around with the cruise ships, very fortunately all around the Caribbean, across America, across the UK.

I was doing an international detox program with people who are holidaying with a free buffet, and here I am, a little girl from Australia trying to detox, walking around the buffet with a tape measure around my neck. So you can imagine that it didn’t quite work out the way that I had planned it to, so back to Australia, I come, and pass-through management. Next thing I know I’m doing education and this is where the Beaute Industrie journey really started, was when I started doing education, I was educating for a franchise at the time and the therapist and the business owners were just consistently asking me the same questions, “What’s our service to retail percentage? How can we keep our staff? Tamara, I’m exhausted through massage, what can I do to keep the longevity of my career?”

So in that time, I travelled on through into a sales repping role, or account management if you’d like to call it. Once again, the same questions. I just thought “This is bananas, is nobody talking to each other?” I felt like if I had a clinic on the street and somebody else had a clinic down the road on the same street, or even within five minutes of me, I would call them and say, “Can we please have a coffee and just talk about this?” Because you’re going home and for me, my two closest people were my husband and my dad, and I’m going home telling them about things in the beauty industry and they just giving me the most impractical advice, “Fire her, why don’t you quit…. why don’t you do this?” It just wasn’t practical. So Beaute Industrie was born, and we’re now an online support community for exactly that. The professionals within the beauty industry, be that therapist, managers, business owners, all intertwined.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: This has been for a little over a year now?

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, that’s exactly right. About 18 months.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That’s amazing. Congrats on that!

Tamara Shaw: Thank you!

About the online support community Beaute Industrie [07:37]

Killian Vigna: So how does your community work as an online forum? Do you use social accounts? I know you have the podcast and you have the website, but how else can people get involved in this community?

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, that’s a great question. So, we do have a Facebook group, but really the crux of it is the membership platforms. So through the membership platform, we do have an online forum where people can ask and answer questions. In there, they feel connected because similar to a mini-Facebook I guess, they can see all of, the other salon owners and managers and therapists in there, and think actually she’s around the corner, or she’s nowhere near me. I do want to connect with that person and have a chat and have a coffee, or “Okay. They’ve recently introduced led, and that’s what I’m thinking about doing. Why don’t I call them?” So, that’s a big part of it as well as just that connection through any platform. Be that Facebook or the website as well.

The 7 steps of highly effective salon/spa customer journeys [08:33]

Killian Vigna: So for our topic today, we’re talking about the 7-step customer journey. Is this something that had come out of that community group that you have or is this something that you’ve been perfecting through years, perhaps since the international detox?

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, I guess it’s a combination of everything that I’ve learnt, and that I’ve walked through in the beauty industry. Education is such a big thing, but what I’m finding, and this is one of the biggest questions and queries from our members in the community, is just that level of expectation that the business owner has, that the therapist has of the business owner and that the client has of both of those people. So I thought, well, if I can just create something extremely simple, that shows you if you’re an average therapist or if you’re an exceptional therapist and that we can actually help beauty businesses level up and help our clients understand and really feel compelled to go into a professional beauty salon or clinic or whatever, then that’s what we’ll create. So hence, the 7-Step Customer Journey was born.

Killian Vigna: I love kind of how… do you know when you see blogs and stuff like that, they always have the odd numbers. They really resonate with our clients, but it tries my OCD mass. I’m sure there’s that logic behind the madness of the seven steps.

Tamara Shaw: There is [laughs]! Maybe we’ll add an eight one in there for you.

Killian Vigna: It would just make me feel so much more at ease!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So what if you walked us through the seven steps? Let’s create a face scenario and manage it as if it was a real-life situation. Say Killian had to come in for I don’t know, a facial or anything, a massage.

The booking: can it be done easily and efficiently? [10:23]

Tamara Shaw: So I guess the first step starts before he comes in for the treatment. The first step is the booking, and this is where the lovely team at Phorest helps our industry so much. The booking needs to be two things. It needs to be accessible, which I highly recommend a lot of business owners have online bookings because I know for me when I’m making bookings, and I did a bit of research lately, people are making bookings between 11:00 PM and 1:00 AM.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We did similar research, had the same kind of results!

Killian Vigna: We’ll think about it; it’s going to be in your downtime? When you’re not working, people think I’m open nine to five, that’s when people are going to call me. But, people are working, people are busy, and I’m not going to call up from my waxing and when I’m in the office.

Tamara Shaw: Exactly! So you must be accessible, and so online bookings are that because it’s not realistic to pay a receptionist to be there of all hours of the night and who has that in their budget anyway!? So, accessible is number one, and then two is available. So when I go and make that booking, how readily can I get into my appointment? Is it four weeks? Is it six weeks? Is it further than that? That’s step one because the client has an expectation somehow that they can get in today for a facial, where in reality, that might not be the option. So we do want to show them the next best option and when we are available and having that accessibility of being online and being able to see and forecast, okay, when can I come in for an appointment? Then that’s step one of the customer journey.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I suppose online bookings do manage that client’s expectations because they have myriad options there to pick from and see the actual availability and not just imagine what is going on in the salon.

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, that’s exactly right. Then that way can they… sometimes they can also see if they’ve got a favourite therapist, am I able to book in with her? How much is my service going to cost? Cancellation policy. There are so many good things about having that online booking system.

Killian Vigna: I think the best bit there is removing the element of phone tagging, or email tagging where I email you, “Have you got an availability now” essentially, or I call you and I go, “No, we don’t have anything now, but I’ve got something in an hour…” “No, an hour doesn’t work. Have you got something…” and it’s just back and forth and back and forth, and it’s so much time. So moving on from there then, what’s the second part of this journey for me?

The greeting: warm, friendly, therapist presentation [12:56]

Tamara Shaw: Yeah. So then you would be in the space ready for your service. You would walk in, and step number two is actually the introduction, which is a hard one to get right because we’re so busy, and often we reply that to the clients. “How’s your day? Busy! How’s your day? Busy.” So we don’t actually give time to the client and welcome every client into the space as if they are brand new. Even if they have been there before, it’s everything from introducing yourself as a skin specialist or as a massage therapist, greeting the client with their name, having their consultation form on an iPad or on the clipboard and actually being ready for your client rather than sometimes we close the salon door when we’re ducking out for lunch and then we come back and our client’s there waiting for us. So it’s that introduction and really how you meet and greet your clients on that first contact.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Do you have any tips for when you are busy and feeling overwhelmed, but have to greet that client well? How do you manage the two?

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, that’s a great question. I always like, as soon as I see the client, it happens in a split second, once you kind of master it, but you just kind of turn your client hat on because you could still have hot towels to roll. You could still have wax that needs melting, but you’ve just got to think outside of your head and think, okay, my client’s here now, I need to wow her. So it’s just taking that downtime hat off and putting the presentation hat on in a matter of time and plastering a big smile across your face and saying, “Hi Jenny, I’m so glad to see you again.” Or “Thank you so much for coming in for your appointment.” That straight away will make the client feel warm and welcome in the space.

Killian Vigna: It really is something as simple as that, as a client, you walk in, you understand everyone is busy, so you’re not expecting them to drop everything and come over and shake your hand. But just that turn of the head, that smile, that nod, just acknowledging that I’m there. It goes such a long way.

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, absolutely. Couldn’t agree more.

The consultation: asking open ended questions [15:06]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So Killian now has his lemon water, you mentioned the consultation on the iPad. I’m assuming that’s step three, is that correct?

Tamara Shaw: Yeah. You’re 100% correct, yes. So when we are actually meeting greet the client, and hopefully we may have a receptionist, or a manager who has said, “Tamara your client, Jenny is on the couch, she is wearing a blue t-shirt, she’s ready, she’s filled out her consultation.” I would go up to Jenny, and I would say, “Jenny, my name’s Tamara, I’m your skin specialist today, thank you so much for completing that consultation form, would you like to come on through to the treatment room?” Then I proceed with the consultation. Now the thing with the consultation is that everyone asks the same questions. We need to start to exceed the client’s expectations. Not just saying things like, “Oh, so are you using a creamy or a foamy cleanser? How many times are you exfoliating your skin? Okay, so you’ve got a balanced diet,” but it’s exploring that conversation.

“Can you point to your skin where you are having troubles? Can you explain to me your three main meals a day? Are you snacking? What are your favourite snacks? If you’re drinking coffee, are we doing a long black or are we having full cream milk? Are we having plant-based milk?” These are kinds of questions that are going to trigger skin responses, not just on the face, but skin responses on the whole body. If we’re talking about hair, the quality of the hair. If we’re talking about nails, the quality of the nails, all of this really does matter. Our clients are used to us asking the same questions, and therefore they say, “Actually do you know what? I’m just here for relaxation today. I don’t want a consultation. I’m not here to be sold to.” So if we flip that conversation, and we get them on questions that maybe they haven’t been asked before that are a little bit, more savvy than that is the perfect consultation.

Killian Vigna: So with your consultation then, do you include that in degeneration of the booking or is that an additional time allocated beforehand? Because if they do get so used to the same monotonous questions, surely they think that by bypassing on the consultation, I’m going to get longer in my treatment.

Tamara Shaw: Yes. If it’s a first time consultation, I’ll recommend either a 15 or 20 minutes aside from the treatment, because it is quite an in-depth consultation. You don’t want that to be taken away from the treatment time. Because actually, a further step is performing the treatment. So if it’s a first-time client, setting aside that time, if it’s a recurring client, just confirming that nothing has changed and then going on through and performing the treatment from there.

The diagnosis: educating the client, planting the retail & rebooking seed [17:56]

Killian Vigna: Okay, cool. So then we’ve done our consultation and had our treatment. Or… is there another step before the treatment?

Tamara Shaw: Yes. Once we’ve done our consultation, we get the client on the bed or in the chair, and we clean the skin, or we clean the hair. Or if we’re doing a pedicure, we would clean the feet. This usually is the cleansing step. Because we have cleaned the skin, the head, the feet, whatever we’re going to clean, this gives us a chance to see the skin in its natural state. Because remember your clients coming in, they might have gone to the gym, they might have SPF on, might have makeup on, it’s really impossible for us to diagnose anything if they’ve got something on their skin, their hair, or on their nails. So once we’ve cleansed the skin, we go into the full step, which is the diagnosis. This is where the magic happens. If you forget any step, it’s not this one.

Killian Vigna: This is what clients are hoping to get resolved, yeah.

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, that’s exactly right. The diagnosis is where you as a therapist get to use all of your time that you have studied and actually show off a little bit, to your client and show them “This is what I’ve discovered during the cleanse. And now based on what you’ve told me in the consultation, it makes so much sense that A, B, C is your concern.” During the diagnosis, I like to show the client in a mirror, so that they can see what I’m talking about and I like to give them that education there. Then here is the little magic moment where we talk about the product recommendation without mentioning names or prices because that’s too salesy, nice fluffy self-treatment rooms. We also mentioned that we’re not Harry Potter with a magic wand fixing their skin or their hair in one treatment, that we’re going to need to get them on a treatment plan and then we’d be quiet.

Killian Vigna: I was just thinking… This is your golden moment for that up salon for that retail sale?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Even the rebooking, really!

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, that’s exactly right. I think, sometimes in the consultation, we give away too much information, and it’s intangible to the client because we haven’t touched the skin. We haven’t seen the skin or the hair without anything on it. So how can we make that validity and that suggestion without actually seeing and playing with what we’re trying to fix? So when you do it after the cleanse, it just gives more reality to the recommendation.

The treatment: is it exceptional? [20:31]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It makes sense. Okay, so let’s say Killian has had his recommendation for his skin. Now he’s getting the treatment. It has to be that step! I can’t see anything else coming before that.

Tamara Shaw: That’s exactly right. So step five, is the treatment and you absolutely must perform an exceptional treatment. If you perform an average treatment, all of the work that you’ve done beforehand just falls to the wayside. The treatment must be incredible, and the easiest way to do this is to be present with your client and to be focused on them. I guess, sometimes we think about lunch, we think about boyfriends, Saturday night, next client and it can be distracting for us, and then our client feels that disconnect in the energy. So just being present and taking a moment and being with your client and just thinking, “I want my client to have the most amazing treatment today” and then performing that for them.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I read an article recently saying mindfulness could increase revenue in salons and spas. Would you tend to agree with that?

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, absolutely. Here in Australia at the moment we’re seeing a lot of facials come in with treatments like crystal healing, reiki, even hypnotherapy. So yeah, potentially.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Interesting. I’m going to have to look into this.

Killian Vigna: I think it’s mad that we’re on step five and we’ve only just got the treatment now. So to recap, step one was the booking, step two is the greeting, step three is the consultation, step four is the diagnosis, and now we’re down to the treatment where quite often you’d walk into the salon, and it’s nearly straight up, right, treatment. Let’s go; you’ve skipped four steps already.

Tamara Shaw: That’s exactly right, and it is that first interaction. I think the landscape of the beauty industry has been that 10, 15 years ago we were just doing massage, and that’s all we were doing. There was no retail; there was hardly any rebooking. It was all just experience. Whereas we’ve come so far now that we’ve gone through Medi Spa, we’ve gone through beauty treatments, we’ve gone through serious skin and now injectables and laser and IPL, where the client is, understanding that they can get really fast treatments and really good results. But because now everyone’s so busy and we’re running around on coffee and adrenaline and dry shampoo for the life of us, now we all want results and experience and that time that I take out, I want it to be high-end.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Of course. Yeah, it makes total sense. In terms of… because I’m going to ask this before we move into other steps when a client has many… So I’m just thinking about say the last time I went to a spa when I had a massage, a body wrap. I could have access to cold and hot baths. How does this customer journey step work when you have multiple treatments happening all at once in one day, back to back? Are you going through the whole seven steps all over again each time? Because you’re not necessarily going to see the same therapist either.

Tamara Shaw: Yes. This is a little bit more tricky, if I’m being honest. We do… if a client is having a three or a five-hour all-day spa package treatment, we don’t want to perform seven steps every single treatment. Absolutely not. Your client would leave, and they would not pay you. What we do want to do is just pre-frame the conversation. So I would say, “Jenny our treatment today, what we’ll be doing is just stopping for a moment after I’ve assessed the skin or after I’ve had a look at the muscle function. Then I’m just going to give you a little bit of information on how I can best customise your treatment today.”

When we say it like that, it’s A, asking for permission from the client to open up the conversation mid-treatment, but it’s also pre-framing it in a way that I’m not going to sell you something, I’m just going to give you that advice that’s best suited, so I can customise the treatment. Nine times out of ten, your client will be more than happy, and they’ll say, “Yes, that’s absolutely not a problem.” You might get one client who would say, “Actually, I’d prefer to snore the entire treatment,” and that is fine too.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, of course.

The prescription: reiterating what was discussed during the diagnosis [24:55]

Killian Vigna: Okay, so now we’ve finally gotten up to our treatment, and you’ve got your solution there if we’re doing multiple treatments without scaring away our clients. What are the next steps between the treatment and going to the point of sale or finishing up your day?

Tamara Shaw: Yeah. The biggest thing that I hear from both business owners, managers and therapists is that therapists are running behind. That’s when they have that knock-on effect in their appointment book, and it just looks like a domino because then they’re retailing, and I say that word in a negative connotation I guess because, they are trying to sit there with the client and just sell and sell and sell because we’ve got targets to hit, right? But when you do the diagnosis, it’s almost like planting a seed in your client’s mind. So you may, for example, say to a client who has acne, “Jenny, suitable for your skin as per the consultation and as per what I felt and what I’m showing you here in the mirror, I’m going to give you a little bit of homework to do.

That may be in the form of a really gentle acid, and at the same time, I’m also going to ask that you have a look at your eating habits as well and make it more of an alkaline pathway so that we can have that internal and external combination. Of course, we know that unfortunately, one treatment is not my magic wand, so I will need to be seeing you again. Today’s the 1st of August, so about the 1st of September there.”

So what happens when you come to step six, getting your client off the bed, you let them know, “Jenny, how was your treatment today? What I’m going to do is calmly leave the room. Now, I’ll bring you back a glass of water. I’ll also go through what that homework was that I was talking about and once you’re up and dressed, we’ll have a further talk about that.” So your client knows.

Okay, number one, I’m getting dressed, I’m staying in the room, I’m getting water brought to me, and the conversation is going to continue. It’s not now that I’m sitting there with the client selling to her and two, the thing with the clients is that once they’re off that bed and if they leave the treatment room, they’re busy and their day starts all over again. So they’re turning their phone off airplane mode, and kids are messaging, and husband’s asking what’s for dinner, and we’re getting our keys out, and we’re getting our parking ticket out. But when they’re in the treatment room, that’s their safe space. That’s your opportunity to bring in those retail options.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: What happens if, say your client is a little hesitant, and you can feel it, and maybe it’s because of budget, perhaps it’s because of the mix of retail and needing to come back say every three, four weeks?

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, that’s a good question. I guess I like to refer to these as client objections and there are reasons why client objects. So, for example, if your client is saying to you, “Look, Tamara, I’m just not sure.” Then I would say to her, “Is there anything that I can clarify for you?” Because perhaps along the way I may not have been clear, or maybe I have confused my language, and she’s concerned about an acid or an enzyme, and she doesn’t know what that exactly means. Versus if my client is objecting with a budget for example, then I would understand that obviously there is a money constraint there but is she actually available or he is – I’m thinking of you there Killian – or  are they available to… what is their budget? Is there, instead of recommending $120 serum, is there maybe a $60 serum that we can opt for instead? So it’s really finding out what that objection is, why my client is saying the objection and then working around it. Whereas I generally know what happens with our therapists is they hear the objection, and go, “Okay, no worries.”

Killian Vigna: So would you… if you got that client that is just not going to use the products. What are your thoughts then on I suppose giving them like an aftercare list? Say here’s the products we used, or I know you’re not going to purchase them now, but would you still do anything like that? I know some salons are kind of against giving them a list of products used and products recommended to use after because they’re not buying them in the salon.

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, look. It depends on the client’s behavioural types. This again comes down to the therapist educating and self-educating and wanting to expand their knowledge beyond beauty school and going a little bit deeper into exploring human pattern and behaviour. I know that sounds big as a beauty therapist, but it’s just why is my client going to buy and how are they going to buy? So when I’m dealing with a client who’s like that, for example, there are some clients whom you can see ten times, the key is you need to say the same thing ten times. On the eleventh time, they will buy a $1000, $2,000 from you, and they’re going to follow you to any job you go to. But for that client who is a little bit hesitant, unsure, they want to build trust with you. So if you see them ten times and you tell them ten different serums, ten different treatments, then they go, “This feels salesy, I don’t trust her, I’m not buying today.”

The rebooking: securing their next appointment [30:35]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Human behaviour, right? Well speaking in of human behaviour. What about… So we’ve, covered the prescription then, and it’s not about being salesy, it’s just continuing the conversation after the treatment in the room, keeping that calm and I suppose safe space. What about the rebooking then? Because that’s when you’re going to the till you’re paying up and hopefully getting your client to come back in a couple of weeks time.

Killian Vigna: What’s the secret to upsell products and rebook someone at the same time?

Tamara Shaw: There is a secret and Phorest helps with the secret, I’m not just saying that because I’m on your podcast but, you guys have the ability to be on iPad for your therapist, and that is an absolute beauty, because having 10 or 15 therapists around one till trying to book a client in, is mayhem that I’m sure we have all experienced. So the rebooking is actually, if possible, should be done in the treatment room. Once we’ve confirmed with the client their product prescription, we would actually combine the product prescription in with the amount of the rebooking. So for example, if my treatment package was $1,000 and my retail item was 120, then I’m telling the client your total today is $1,120 and that way you get your home care and you get your next five visits. So I kind of bundle it all up together.

If you want to be really savvy, and you’re a little bit analytical, what I would do is break that down by the day and then you’re actually getting about $3.50 a day, which you can say to your client, if you just cut out that fifth extra coffee that you spoke about in the consultation and invested that into your skin and your rebooking, well then that’s already your treatment plan paid for, for the next five months. If we’re talking about that halfway through the year, then as a beauty business owner, you’ve got the next six months and half a year planned for, because your therapists are actually bringing clients back in. You don’t have to spend so much money on marketing to new clients. You’re actually just servicing your current clients as they should have been from the start.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Chances are that, if you’re doing an exceptional job and they’re coming back for up to six months to a year, they’re most likely going to recommend you to their friends as well. So again, the marketing budget there goes down even more.

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, that’s exactly right. So many people say to me “Tamara, I don’t have a big marketing budget, I can’t afford billboards and Facebook ads and X, Y, Z.” I say, “Don’t do that then, just service your current clients.” As you said, what’s your word of mouth program? Do you have a referral program? Do you have a loyalty program? All of these types of things, your foundation marketing is what you should be investing in.

Killian Vigna: That word of mouth marketing is probably the most powerful marketing you’re going to get, because first off you’re utilising your client database, so you’re not trying to reach out and get new clients, but also it brings that whole social authority back to it where you’re always going to trust a friend or family members that recommends or reviews. Kind of the online reputation, as opposed to an ad that you’ve seen on Facebook.

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, exactly that’s exactly right.

Killian Vigna: It’s so much cheaper but so much stronger.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It takes a bit of time to put into place, but it’s all worth it.

Killian Vigna: Well, you’ve got to keep that ball rolling, and eventually it’ll gain momentum, and it’ll get bigger and bigger.

The most challenging of all 7 steps of the customer journey [34:08]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. What do you tend to see is the most… like you’ve mentioned the one step that you should not forget. What’s the hardest one? What’s the one that you see people struggling with the most?

Tamara Shaw: Yes. I’m so glad you asked this because like anything, we are creatures of habit, as humans. We always do what we’ve always done; we’re always going to get what we’ve always gotten. Even if our manager said to us, “Okay, your lunch isn’t at 12, it’s now at one,” therapists freak out, and we’re like, “What do you mean? Where did the client would go? Why is it at 12? What am I going to have now?”

It’s just one hour, but we just cannot handle this change. I guess my biggest ask is that people try, and you cannot learn, you cannot grow if you’re not changing. So the hardest step is number four, the diagnosis, because therapists go into that cleansing mode, and they feel like they need to zip and be quiet for the rest of the treatment.

However, the cleanse, that’s not the most relaxing part of the treatment. Not a lot of clients fall asleep and start snoring during that stage. So it’s okay to talk during that time. Something that I am a big advocate for doing, as I mentioned, is showing them the mirror. That means you have to come away from the head of the treatment bed where we’re comfortable and used to sitting, swing our little chair around and face the client. So that for some therapists is just really pushing buttons. But once you do this seven-step consultation, or customer journey rather, you will think, “How did I ever do a treatment beforehand and look at my retail targets, look at my sales, look at my full appointment books for the next six months. What was I actually servicing my clients like beforehand?”

Killian Vigna: It’s a bit of changing processes and habits. Just building new habits, isn’t it?

Tamara Shaw: Yeah, that’s exactly right. We know that it takes 14 days to create a change. So within that 14 days, you’re saying purple monkey dishwasher and all of these crazy things that you may have never ever said before. But on that 15th day, you will call me and go, “Tamara, you’re a legend. That’s amazing — I hit my retail target for the first time in forever.”

Getting in touch with Tamara Shaw [36:30]

Killian Vigna: Well look, Tamara, that’s been brilliant. Thanks so much for going through the seven steps. I suppose identifying the one that salon owners have the biggest issue with, but also highlighting the one that you cannot live without – which is the diagnosis. So before we sign off here, how do I get involved in your online community if I’m based in Australia, or is this open to everyone or is it just Australian-based?

Tamara Shaw: It is .com, so anywhere in the world, you can join our community. We would love to have anyone involved in it. We do have things like events where we do have brunches and conferences where we can have an offline connection, and I would hope that our ten-year goal is to expand that internationally. So definitely anyone can come on through, become a member and drop us a line and say hi.

Killian Vigna: So be that early adopter and be the first international to get involved!

Tamara Shaw: Yes, that’s exactly right.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: For anyone looking to follow you on say Facebook or Instagram, do you have any quick handles to give out?

Tamara Shaw: Yeah. So everything’s just the same. I was lucky; it was an interesting name that no one had taken that already. But it’s just Beaute Industrie, so it’s a little French twist on the word beauty industry. So it’s Beaute, and then Industrie. That’s across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, all of the platforms!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Awesome. So we’ll put those links in the episode’s show notes as well, just in case. Thank you so much for being on the show with us today. This has been fantastic, I loved this conversation!

Tamara Shaw: Oh, thank you so much for having me. It’s been an absolute pleasure!

Killian Vigna: We never got the eighth staff, but I suppose I’ll let you go without it.

Tamara Shaw: Yeah! The eighth step in saying goodbye in a friendly way!

Killian Vigna: Perfect, I’ll take it then. Done! Well listen, thanks so much for joining us Tamara, and have a great one.

Tamara Shaw: Thank you so much, you too.

Inside Phorest: reflections, upcoming events & final words [39:06]

Killian Vigna: So that was Tamara Shaw, taking us through the 7-Step Customer Journey, and now it’s time to move on to the Inside Phorest segment. We’re going to kick it off with Phorest Academy. Phorest Academy is for Phorest clients, and it’s your one-stop education shop. If you don’t already have access to Phorest Academy, you can email to get set up.

What is it? It’s an online learning portal full of fun, interactive and bite-size, self-taught training courses covering every area of your Phorest system. You’ll have access to learn on the go with a downloadable app. You’ll have a library of regularly added and updated courses. You’ll have access to interactive Phorest systems and most importantly of all; you’ll get the Phorest Academy certificate for each course.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: You’ll have heard it in the ad just before the Phorest Academy segment, but the award-winning salon retail event of the year is back after some smashing participant results last year. Salon Retail Week, for those who participated last year, it is back, and it’s going from Monday, August 19th through the 26th. If you didn’t participate last year, the idea is that for seven days straight, you grow your team collaboration and your revenue in retail sales specifically.

How does it work? It’s pretty simple, so you’ll be receiving an email each day of the challenge, and it’ll contain your task for the day. Each task is achievable on the day by you and your team without any advanced preparation. We know how busy you guys are, so all you have to do is sign up on, it’s free to sign up. You don’t need to have software to participate, and you don’t need to be a Phorest client to participate, and hundreds of salons from around the world are taking part in this initiative.

Now, here’s our challenge to you. Last year on average salons who participated increased their retail sales by 78%, can you match that number or perhaps even match one of last year’s salons that peaked at a 95% increase in retail sales in a week. If you’re up for the challenge, sign up today for free with the link in the episode show notes.

We also have a webinar at this time; it’s an Australian salon webinar exclusive. It’s taking place on Monday, August 12th at 11:00 AM Melbourne time, and the hour-long session is going to be with Carl Keeley, Educator and Creative Director of the multi-award-winning Chumba Concepts Hair Salon. It’s all about stock management and budget. Something you don’t want to miss out on; after all, it does tie back into today’s episode. So do get signed up for that! Like I said, it’s taking place on Monday, August 12th at 11:00 AM Melbourne time. It’s an hour-long, and we’re going to be talking stock and budgets.

Now the Salon Owners Summit 2020 and the Salon Owners Summit Roadshow; both those events. The tickets are on sale for the Salon Owners Summit 2020, the flagship event in Dublin. You can request a callback for tickets and also for the add-on event which is called Inside Phorest, where we talk about the future in technology and what we’re developing in the actual Phorest product for the coming year. The Salon Owners Summit in Dublin is a Phorest client exclusive event. The Roadshow, however, is open to both clients and non-clients. The Salon Owners Summit Roadshow, this time around is taking place in Philadelphia, on October 21st. If you want to get your tickets for that, you can go straight to our page, and we’ll have a link in the episodes notes once again so you can go and straight book that in there.

We also have an early bird discount price for the Salon Owners Summit Roadshow tickets, if you buy your ticket before August 31st. There’s also a giveaway going on Instagram if you follow us at Phorest Salon Software, and this is again for the Roadshow.

I’m aware, I’ve given out a ton of information, so if you’re not too sure what’s going on here, just follow the links in the episodes notes, you’ll get all the clarity around that.

Finally, the Salon Mentorship Hub is a place to connect as usual. We’ve mentioned this in pretty much every episode since the start of the year. So if you’re struggling with anything in the salon, or your spa, or your business in general, and you want to have a different perspective on this challenge that you’re having, you can sign up for a free 15 to 30-minute consultation with a consultant or coach that we’ve teamed up with for the Hub. It is free, you don’t need to be a Phorest client, and yeah, our goal is really to help you guys out and create connections within the industry, help you guys see challenges from different perspectives and hopefully help you grow at the end of the day!

And well, that’s all we got for this week guys. As always, if you want to share your thoughts on this episode or have any suggestions, please send us an email at or leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. We genuinely love feedback and are always looking for ways to improve the show.

Otherwise, have a wonderful week, and we’ll catch you next Monday.

Killian Vigna: All the best.

Related links

Beaute Industrie, Australia’s first online support community for the professional beauty industry

Listen to the Beaute Industrie Podcast (new episode weekly)

Sign up for #SalonRetailWeek, a free 7-day challenge to help you boost your retail sales

Request a callback for tickets to the Salon Owners Summit 2020, the Flagship event in Dublin, Ireland

Get your tickets for the Salon Owners Summit Roadshow (October 21st, 2019)

Book a free 15-30 minute consultation on The Salon Mentorship Hub


This episode was edited and mixed by Audio Z: Great music makes great moments. Montreal’s cutting-edge post-production studio for creative minds looking to have their vision professionally produced and mixed. Tune in every Monday for a mix of interviews with industry thought-leaders, roundups of our most recent salon owners marketing tips & tricks, all the latest in and around Phorest and what upcoming webinars or events you can join.

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