Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 53. Co-hosted by Killian Vigna and Zoé Bélisle-Springer, this show is 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 you can join. Phorest FM is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off.

Phorest FM Episode 53

The mercury has dropped to nearly zero degrees, the Christmas lights are up… November has come to an end and the busiest period of the year for salons is about to kick off (if it hasn’t already)! This week’s Phorest FM episode is short and sweet, covering topics such as client notes (the do’s and don’ts), salon interview techniques to make sure you really hire the dream team, marketing ideas and more! If you haven’t had the time to read the Phorest Blog this month, you won’t want to miss this episode!



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Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast episode 53. I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer.

Killian Vigna: This week’s episode is our monthly round-up of the most popular posts in November from the Phorest Salon Software blog.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We’ll share our ’24 Key Client Notes for Delivering Memorable Customer Service’, we’ll summarize ‘The 7 Concrete Interview Techniques to Ensure You Hire The Best-of-The-Best’, and we’ll even give you the ‘Ultimate Bundle Full Of Christmas Salon Marketing Ideas‘. As always, we top off the show with our upcoming Phorest Academy webinars.

Killian Vigna: This podcast is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off. Now, let’s get into the show.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Welcome back Killian!

Killian Vigna: Good morning Zoe, how are things? Miss me while I’m gone?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I did, I did, yes. So, how was New York? Did you enjoy it?

Killian Vigna: Yeah it was great. Jeez, it really is a city that just does not sleep. Like our hotel was on Times Square, you walk out there at 11 o’clock in the evening, and it’s just so bright, so bright like.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And you come back to Ireland at 4 P.M and it’s already dark.

Killian Vigna: Yeah exactly. It’s one of those cities where it’s all go, so I just feel wrecked. Five days and you are non-stop, but yeah, definitely highly recommend it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, last week on the show we had David Barnett from the High Performing Stylist.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, it was brilliant. He went through his three-stage approach, so it was kind of like talking about the products you use and leave the products in front of the client while they’re getting their hair done because he was a hair stylist, particularly. Then even bring up the products until, and as simple as, “Here’s the products I used, would you like to take-“

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Did you need anything for home.

Killian Vigna: “…did you need anything to bring home.” Yeah. So, very simple. Definitely worth checking out that podcast and it was just a nice bit of, kind of like conversational flow, to get to know his background as well.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Actually, he even offered a 30-minute consultation over the phone for anyone who was listening to the podcast and needed, kind of felt stuck in their business, or even if- in their career, if they’re stylists of therapists. So, if you haven’t listened to that episode, I’d recommend you do, and then at the bottom in the footnotes, you can enter your availabilities.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. I mean, it’s like a free 30-minute chat so why wouldn’t you avail it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: So, this week Zoe we’re doing the round-up, November. Oh man, nearly Christmas already.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I know, in less than a month.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, what three, four weeks?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yep. So, we’ve had quite a few popular blogs this month. Now, one of the most popular ones was the Black Friday tried and tested salon campaigns. So, based on campaigns that were used in the last year, so 2016, and how you could replicate them this year. Obviously, Black Friday was last Friday, actually.

Killian Vigna: I was there for it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so Cyber Monday today but sure, that was one of the most popular ones. Obviously, because it’s passed we’re not going to chat about it much, but we still have it on the blog there. So, if we start with the first one then, ’24 Key Client Notes For Delivering Memorable Customer Service’. It’s quite a simple one; essentially it’s just how to… You know, give you ideas on how to take notes on clients when they come in because the thing is, we’ve seen it happen before where therapists, stylists, or even receptionists take notes on clients, and it’s just not professional at all.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, because a client can actually request to see those notes can’t they?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes, absolutely.

Killian Vigna: Because they might have, like if they move to a new salon, they might have patch test history, any reactions, anything like that. So, they can request that information or that data to transfer over.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly and you don’t want to be stuck in a sticky situation because of that. So, there’s essentially 24 ideas there of what you can write down in those client notes. The important bit is, is just to stay formal and to stay factual. So, write down, you know, what are their preferences in terms of tea, coffee, do they have kids, how many, what are their names. That’s the kind of easy-

Killian Vigna: The standard enough ones, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: The standard ones, right. But then the other type of client notes, client hair type, colour formulas, colour history, what are their preferred retail products, any allergies.

Killian Vigna: There’s loads of them there, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Even water temperature, or friends and relations who also come to the salon, sometimes it’s handy to have that on record-

Killian Vigna: It’s good for anyone that has a referral scheme for tracking, so they can see if the referral scheme is working and just how popular it is, because we’ve heard where your quietest customer could be your biggest referral or your biggest money maker. So, it’s things like that.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Absolutely. Then at the end of the blog, we go through how to take client notes with Phorest Salon Software and how many of these notes can be automatically generated by the system. So, if you aren’t a Phorest Salons Software client, or if you are and you haven’t really availed this, then there’s great information there. If you aren’t a Phorest client and you’re looking into something that generates a lot of these things automatically, maybe it’s something to look into for yourself.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, and like you said, it’s all automated too, so you don’t even have to, it takes all the manual work out.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly.

Killian Vigna: So, the next one then is the salon interview techniques, seven of them.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes, so this was written by Chris Brennan, and we’ve updated it for 2017, it was actually published in 2016 originally, but essentially the seven must do’s that he wrote down. And the first one would be-

Killian Vigna: I find this one funny because we’ve actually gone through this.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes, yes.

Killian Vigna: This is how we were interviewed, or how we were hired.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I think when he wrote it down, I think it was really based on how things were being done here, as well.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, exactly, which works.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It works absolutely.

Killian Vigna: We’re still here.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, the first one, a quick phone interview. Simple enough, I suppose. Second one, always do two rounds of interviews minimum. I mean, I’ve been through… I think four I want to say?

Killian Vigna: Yep.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Four or five, something like that. Then three, ask about references, and we’ve chatted about this one where if you ask for references, don’t just call the reference, get the reference to call you.

Killian Vigna: Yeah that’s a really big one, I found that one odd but it actually stands for you as well.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It does, absolutely.

Killian Vigna: Because how many times have you gone to a job and you’ve had to give your references and, I suppose the interviewee would be trying to chase up those, and anyone who answers the phone goes, “Oh yeah, good reference, blah, blah, blah.” But if it’s a really good reference, they’ll be happy to call your potential employer up.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Oh yeah, absolutely. Then the fourth one, he discusses a series of questions. So, who did you report to daily, and this is for every job that they have on their CV, so who did you report to daily, what was their name, and what will they tell me about your strengths and weaknesses if we get to the reference stage? So, that I suppose prepares you for the reference stage initially, and then you can have a better idea of who you want them to contact, for the reference to call you. That was a real tongue twister one.

Killian Vigna: But you get it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Then, move the venue. You could conduct the first round say in the salon, then the second round in a café or something like that, just to see how they react to different environments, see if they tense up or if they loosen up maybe. Six, giving them a practical task to do on the day, I don’t know what your-

Killian Vigna: Yeah this is an interesting one, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: What was your task actually when you were hired here?

Killian Vigna: Well when I was hired it was for marketing, so I actually had to do up an email campaign, but I know from working in education that for our online trainers or our in-house trainers, they actually had to do a presentation on anything, anything they wanted.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Oh, that’s interesting.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. So, we had one girl here who did a presentation on travelling, because at the end of the day you’re going to be a trainer, you have to present the product, how to use the product. So, she did it, she was taken on there about two months ago, and her presentation was just her trip to Thailand.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Amazing.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, simple, she knew it inside out, and it really stood for her, because that’s where you really got to see, especially if they’re really passionate about a job, it’ll really come across in a presentation like that.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: 100% yeah. Like for myself, for instance, I remember having to write… I needed to come up with three or four subjects and the titles for blog posts on the day.

Killian Vigna: Yeah? I’ve never actually asked you if you had to do-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And then before coming in, that was the task on the day straight up and I didn’t know about it. Before that, I actually had to write two blog posts to send off with my video presentation of myself.

Killian Vigna: At the end of the day, you’re going to be hired to do a job, so you can talk about this, that, and everything… A lot of people can easily bluff in an interview to say how great they are at doing something, and then you hire them, and within a month you realise, “Hm, hang on.” Bear in mind, every person takes a couple of, two or three months to kind of settle into a job; it’s new.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Oh yeah, of course.

Killian Vigna: But yeah, sometimes you just know. So, it’s always good to-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It makes the filtering process way easier.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. Try, especially if it’s a practical role, get them to show you. Actually do, don’t just talk about it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I mean, that comes back to the whole recruitment crisis thing that we were chatting about with Sam Pearce where she was saying the beauty therapists coming out of colleges right now, they know a lot in terms of theory.

Killian Vigna: The theory.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: But, when it comes to practical skills, it’s so hard to get someone who knows what they’re doing.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, so it’s most kind of like exams and assignments and stuff like that where it’s, here’s how you do it, but there’s no actual hands on. So, it’s going to sound weird whatever way I say it, but your job is actually to touch and feel the clients skin and their hair. If you don’t have that experience, how can you trust to hire someone and be straight off-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Represent the brand.

Killian Vigna: Exactly, represent the brand that you’ve spent years building up. That’s what Sam Pearce was saying, The Potting Shed, that is her salon, and her staff need to be able to carry that tradition I suppose. So she hires girls, almost on apprentice levels, and that’s what a lot of salon owners are doing. We had Anthony from The Rainbow Room doing the very same thing.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah they all have, the kind of academies are popping up, like academies of the salons that have these amazing reputations that they just want to keep that reputation level.

Killian Vigna: But you’re going to find your staff are actually going to be more committed to staying with you because that’s where they’ve got all their training.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Definitely.

Killian Vigna: They haven’t just gone to an academy or a school for a couple of months, and now they’re just jumping from job to job to try and get quick experience. You’re investing in that.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. So, if we go back to the article then, number seven was getting the references to ring you. So, essentially that’s when the candidate has gone through all these things, you’re at the last stage, you just want to verify everything they’ve said to you and everything they’ve shown you, so you get the references to ring you. Ask can you describe your relationship with the candidate, what are their strengths, weaknesses, would you hire this candidate again if …

Killian Vigna: Yeah, cool. That brings us onto our final one, which is the one everyone loves to see.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes. For the past years we’ve been doing a lot of bundles of Christmas ideas, Christmas competitions, there’s loads, and loads, and loads of articles around that on Phorest blog. So, I figured this year what I would do was bring them all together in one spot where you can access all of these articles that we’ve been publishing for years, and then also give you a fresh new batch of Christmas graphics dedicated to this year.

Killian Vigna: Yeah because you usually do a downloadable folder.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes. So there is a downloadable folder there anyways, so that one is full of graphics specifically, but then within the blog itself, you get access to different articles that we’ve published there and you can read more about them. So, they’re basically just snippets of the articles and then you can click the link to read more. In those articles that are linked, they usually have toolkits as well that you can download from the past years.

Killian Vigna: Yeah and you have plans here like salon marketing ideas to avoid the January slump.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah and that one had a downloadable toolkit in there as well.

Killian Vigna: Yeah?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yep.

Killian Vigna: Cool. So there’s a couple of SMS templates and you even had, the one I liked was the playlist, the Christmas playlist.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah there’s a Spotify playlist, yeah.

Killian Vigna: That’s two, three hours long and you can just have that on link.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly.

Killian Vigna: Now with something like that you do need the Spotify business account isn’t it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, well I mean a lot of businesses will still play Spotify playlists regardless. Now, technically you need a license to play music in public so it’s not something… it is to your own risk, I will always say that disclaimer, but yeah, otherwise the Spotify for business works perfectly and then you’re covered.

Killian Vigna: Yeah so if you’re worried about something like that, it’s worth just kind of looking into, it’s only a couple of minutes long, you’ll find it easy enough. Just to be wary of. And then yeah, even creating moments of magic.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, decoration ideas, social media competitions ideas as well, specifically for Christmas, to get people to engage with your brand online. I mean, there’s loads there, so if you still haven’t got a strategy together for Christmas, I strongly recommend you even just have a look through that article just to get one piece of it done at least. I mean, Christmas is coming up in three or four weeks now.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, it’s close. 25th of December, we’re on the 27th now.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Of November, yeah.

Killian Vigna: Yeah get on that. We’ve been talking about this for the last three weeks because we always say kind of seven weeks is a good time to have a plan. We understand a lot of people are busy so this is a nice crash course blog that will just kind of get everything in one area for you.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, before we move on to the webinar section, I do have a new contest to announce.

Killian Vigna: This is a pretty cool one actually.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so I was not expecting the huge demand on this one. What happened was that we put up a Polaroid digital camera for the prize for this month, so usually we have our monthly contest and we had a limited entry giveaway this time, limited to 250 entries, and within the three days of announcing the contest we had reached 250 entries already. So what we’re going to do, due to the popular demand, is that we’re going to offer a second digital camera to win. So there’s going to be two of them, two Polaroids to win, but we’re also going to increase the entries to 500 in total. Your odds won’t change, we’re just increasing the number of entries and we’re giving a second camera.

Killian Vigna: And anyone that’s already entered can’t enter again right?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, exactly, obviously. It’s not a different competition, we’re just increasing the number of entries available, so if you already have entered, your odds won’t change, that’s not a problem, we’re just doubling the entries and also doubling the prize. There’s now two cameras to win.

Killian Vigna: Cool, it’s a really nice camera too.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah it’s the little Polaroid ones where you print your photo after you take it.

Killian Vigna: Instant, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, it’s really nice.

Killian Vigna: Yeah I remember working at a barbers and they called it their wall of fame, and I got on the wall of fame. Basically just take a photo of your customers and put them up on the wall, that instant like, it’s a really nice touch when you walk in and you see this wall of fame sort of thing. They have that vintage style about them as well.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s something you do, even like, you remember when we had David Barnett on the show and he was saying the wheel of fortune that he had?

Killian Vigna: Yep.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: You could have that, obviously, but you could also have a little photo booth for Christmas, you know, where you could have, people get their hair done or get a treatment done and hop into the booth after and you take a photo with that and give it as a present, a nice memory.

Killian Vigna: Simple ideas.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Sometimes they’re the ones that work best.

Killian Vigna: Exactly, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That wraps up pretty much our blogs and brings us on to the Phorest Academy webinars, which to be honest in December, it’s going to be quite quiet.

Killian Vigna: It is going to be quiet because you’re going to be busy.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: The next Instagram masterclass is only in January, so I won’t even talk about that, but it is on Facebook if you want to register for it already. There’s another one from Valerie Delforge as well coming up in January, that is also on our Facebook page in the events section but we’ll chat about that later I suppose as well, coming up in the next few weeks. 

Killian Vigna: Yeah and then the only one on the Phorest Salon Software clients end of it is the Salon Growth Series. This is the final one of the final series and it’s boosting your online presence and attracting new business. What that one’s about, that’s going to be with Niamh Greaney from Online Reputation, and it’s your whole, like I said it’s online presence. It’s how to get found better on Google, what’s better, word of mouth or online reviews. So, little things like that and how to increase your reviews and get more five-star reviews. I keep saying reviews but that is essentially what it comes down to.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, if you are interested in that, that’s taking place on November 28th from 3 P.M to 4 P.M UK Ireland time, 10 A.M to 11 A.M US Eastern time. And the way you sign up for this is…

Killian Vigna: Yeah if you contact letsgrow@phorest.com, if you contact info@phorest.com, or if you just ring up and look for Niamh Greaney. Pretty much anyone in our Grow department will be able to sort you out there. Just say you’re looking for the Salon Growth Series or the online reputation webinar. And yeah, like Zoe said, that’s tomorrow at 3 P.M GMT or 10 A.M EST.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So that wraps up our month of November, Killian, already. Coming into December next week we’re going to have another guest on the show. So we’ll leave you on that for now and we wish you a wonderful week. We’ll catch you next Monday.

Killian Vigna: All the best.

Thanks for reading!


Catch up on the previous Phorest FM episode, or check out the next Phorest FM episode!

Note: Phorest FM is designed to be heard, not read. We encourage you to listen to the audio, which includes emotion which may not translate itself on the page. Podcast transcription by Rev.com