Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 44. 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 44

Time flies! September coming to an end also means Killian and Zoe dedicate this week’s episode of Phorest FM to a round-up of everything that’s happened during the month. They’ll discuss the four most popular blog topics from the Phorest Blog and of course, announce a few webinars and this time, a competition too!



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Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 44. I am Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I am Zoe Belisle Springer.

Killian Vigna: This week’s episode is our monthly roundup of the most popular blogs in September from the Phorest Salon Software blog. This week we’ll discuss the 7 Wonders Of The Perfect Salon Phone Manner, Top 2017 Design Trends And Inspiration For Your Salon Logo, 15 Spa Quotes To Use In Your Salon Marketing And Displays, and 5 Ways To Get More Comfortable Giving Employee Feedback.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And 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: Can’t believe September is already over.

Killian Vigna: The kids are back to school a month now.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I can’t believe it. Halloween’s right around the corner. I had to write a post about a Christmas checklist already, can you believe that?

Killian Vigna: I know, yeah. It was the same as last week, looking at presentations and it was already the Christmas marketing wishlist, which Conor is going to be talking about soon, is 13 weeks to Christmas come… this week.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. It’s under 100 days ’til Christmas.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. This day in 13 weeks, that’s insane. On the plus side, I’m enjoying the nice, crisp weather though. I love that Autumn weather.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Sure, so, listen. Last week we had Alan Stewart on the show and he’s from Rainbow Room International and he was chatting about the importance of online bookings and how he embraced technology in his salon, and how it really made a powerful impact on his business. It was a really insightful interview.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, anyone that didn’t catch that episode, I’m not just pushing Phorest FM, well I am, but definitely check out that interview, it was very good. He was talking about seizing opportunities, how education and constant learning is a must for any business owner and their staff. You got to adapt with the times, you have to keep moving forward.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Ah yeah, and his business has been established since 1979.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, and he was looking for technology that barely even existed back then.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: So…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And still made it work, so.

Killian Vigna: Exactly, yeah. So, no, for any aspiring salon owners check that out, or even if you’re thinking of going into the world of owning your own salon, definitely check him out, hear his story. So what have we got this week?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So this week… We’ve chatted about this first one here in the last blog episode, and it was the seven wonders of the perfect salon phone manner, and we had a few anecdotes with your training team, as you were sitting down there and tuning into the trainings. So a quick recap, because if you want in detail you can go back to episode 42, I believe.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And so, the seven rules would be, smile and breathe, using the client’s name, being consistent with your face-to-face manners, so being bubbly on the phone but also being the same person when you’re face-to-face with that client. Understanding when clients are angry, where they’re coming from, just don’t take things personally about that. Understanding styles and treatments in the salon, so you can answer basic questions if the therapist isn’t around. Getting the clients’ details, that’s a must, it goes without saying. And finally not taking things personally, really, because if someone’s calling and is angry and trying to get their point across it’s probably not because they’re mad at you.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, don’t get into a shouting argument. I suppose that’s like the first ones up here, take a breath, be calm and just listen, wait for them to calm down. And find that pause. Cool, so the second one then is the top 2017 design trends.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so that came from actually my personal project, and I was just designing a logo and I was like, “I don’t know where to go about this.” So I can imagine how a salon owner would be like, “Okay, I need to get into logo design. Where do I go? Where do I start?”

Killian Vigna: And you use design every day. You use Photoshop every day.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I do, yeah… but I’m not a designer. So I got this logo designed by a graphic designer in Canada and it made me do a lot of research basically, on different trends and things like that. And there’s a lot of trends through design that are very timeless and they’ll go from year to year. So for instance simplicity, minimalism and things like that, they kind of just stay because it is easy to go throughout the years and have that same brand being the same thing.

Killian Vigna: It’s your evergreen stuff.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Exactly. But there are a few trends like that that every year there’s a new one that kind of pops up. And they’re in the blog actually, I’ve put examples. So for instance, there’s a few ones this year that are like text boxes, so it’s basically the brand name, so say your salon name, and it’s just boxed out as an outline. It communicates certain things, so, for instance, technical personality, or clarity, functionality, things like that. It’s really interesting to just see what is trending at the moment, so if you’re setting up your salon you can have a better idea of what to talk about with the designer.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. As opposed to, “Make it sparkle. Make it stand out.”

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, exactly. ‘Cause that really doesn’t mean anything to them, really.

Killian Vigna: No, but as a marketer, we love saying it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. So there’s a few ones this year, so I strongly encourage to go onto the blog because basically the way I did it was put up a few examples and what the trend was, and then explained what that trend communicates. So for instance, if you had broken letters, it could’ve been used to accentuate certain parts of the word. So for instance, ‘o’ if it’s broken, open communication, things like that. So there’s quite a few. I think there was 10 that I listed there. Obviously, the main ones that most people would know is the vintage style, hand-drawn style, and then obviously anything that’s very, very minimalistic or simplified.

Killian Vigna: I’m actually learning a lot myself here, as you’re talking I’m just kind of reading through it because design and font is just not my… Not my strength at all. I usually design something and then send it to a designer and go, “Now, make it sparkle.” Again, like I was saying… So the likes of the simplification, minimalism, simple overlays, broken letters, yeah, this is all news to me.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, it is very new to me as well. I’m not claiming to be the-

Killian Vigna: To know it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, claiming to know it all, you know? I actually got a graphic designer to do my own personal thing. But you’ll find loads of information online about different trends and you’ll have loads of reports as well, it just gives you a better idea of what you can tell your graphic designer when you’re ready to get your salon up and running.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, and you’ve got some good examples here, like actual visual examples, so…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, I wanted ‘in the industry’ kind of examples as well.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, so I know from my experience when I want somebody to do something, I’d usually just take screenshots of stuff, but it’s nice to know that you’ve actually categorized them and named them, so I’m not just sending over screenshots and going, “Can you make it look like these?” I can go, “Can you use some negative space? Can you make some more hand-drawn, vintage?”

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, exactly.

Killian Vigna: Now those are obvious words, but yeah, you get what we mean, or what you mean.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So that’s that one anyways. So the third one that was really popular this month and I keep seeing people download it, the graphics, it’s 15 spa quotes in graphics that you can use in your salon marketing and displays. So you know those little light boxes where you put in letters, and you create a sentence and it just lies there on your reception desk and stuff like that?

Killian Vigna: Oh yeah, we used them for our Facebook Lives, if anyone’s seen our Facebook Lives…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We have one actually coming up, we have one every week now, on Tuesdays, with Chris Brennan so tune in…

Killian Vigna: Nice plug.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Tune in at noon. But no, coming back to the blog, like I said there’s 15 quotes and it’s mainly to get your clients to that feeling of, “Ooh, I want a self-care day. I want to come back to the spa, I’ve missed that feeling.” So-

Killian Vigna: Keep calm and make a self-care plan.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. There you go.

Killian Vigna: It rhymes. There’s even one from Phil Collins, “God is a spa-bath of water, and we’re all individual bubbles.”

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. So there’s loads there, and I’ve seen them around on Instagram already. They’re available for free download, you can just go onto the blog, Phorest Blog, just type in ’15 Spa Quotes’, the blog will pop up right up and you go into the landing page, fill in your details, download it to your computer.

Killian Vigna: Do more of what makes you happy.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. I try to do that every day. Doing more of what makes me happy.

Killian Vigna: Wake up and smile. Right? And then finally…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Our final blog that was very, very popular and she’s always in our top ones, it’s a Valerie Delforge blog. And this one is ‘Five Ways to Get More Comfortable Giving Feedback’. Employee feedback. Whether the feedback is positive or negative. I remember even feeling that way here, say when Conor would be like, “Oh, can I chat to you for two seconds?” I get stressed out, and it’s probably just something positive. But it’s just like…

Killian Vigna: Everyone of us on the team did that. “Oh. Do you mind if I just have a word?” And everyone’s heart would just sink. “Who, me? You? Huh?” And it’s never bad.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, but yeah. So she goes through five key points to learn how to get a little more comfortable just even approaching the situation, and then once you’re in the situation what do you do? Where do you go to chat about things? One of the examples she was giving here in the blog was the environment. She said, and I’m reading this, so… “I once I sat in a coffee place, only to hear a manager talking to an employee and giving her feedback on her lack of teamwork. The poor staff member, I kept thinking. It was quite demeaning for her.” So having a coffee with your staff member’s fine, but consider what type of feedback you need to give. In that case, it would’ve been far better off in the office and not in a public space, where everybody can hear and witness the conversation.

Killian Vigna: Well, yeah. Not only it is unprofessional, but imagine how they feel. This is said publicly, they’re going to be embarrassed or they’re going to become very defensl… defense…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Defensive.

Killian Vigna: Defensive, thank you.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. So the three things she says basically in terms of environment is if you don’t have bad feedback to give you can do it on the shop floor. If you have constructive feedback do it away from the business, maybe in a coffee shop, maybe in a quiet corner, wherever… You can even ask the employee, “Where would you want to talk? I just need five minutes of your time. I just need to have a quick chat with you.” Tricky feedback? Keep it in the office, keep in your… Yeah, in your office, not just the salon itself.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, I suppose the best way to think of this one, if you are going to have to do it, is, “Where would I like to be told this news?”

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Definitely. Put yourself in their shoes.

Killian Vigna: Always.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Then she goes on to talking about body language, so when you’re trying to get more comfortable giving employee feedback, she says that if you assess your surroundings you can have a better understanding or at least a better control on your body. So keep your palms on show, smile is important, making eye contact. All these little things that we know, but we don’t really think about, can really make a massive difference in the whole conversation. And this one I think you’ll like, ‘the hot-dog style of communication’.

Killian Vigna: What?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So basically you’ve got the bread, so thinking of something positive, and then you do the feedback, which is the sausage, and then you’ve got another bread, which is the finishing on a positive note. And it makes sense. You want to be constructive, even if you have negative feedback to give, you don’t want it to be all negative. ‘Cause otherwise you’re just gonna bash into that employee and they’re not gonna have any desire to work or improve on that.

Killian Vigna: Sandwich that bad news.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And then getting them to talk. Communication does go both ways, so you need to try and interact with them. So, “How did it go with the customer yesterday?” Try to put them at ease before getting into the core of the chat that you want to have. It’ll just bring the tension down, really.

Killian Vigna: Before you go into this, ask them how they think a certain situation went, then give your two cents, try your hot-dog approach, and just… Yeah. Mix up that communication. Let them be engaged, let them think they’re… Make them feel like they’re depicting the conversation when really you’re just getting your say in there.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly.

Killian Vigna: Or your feedback in there.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And at the end of the day, and that’s how she ends the blog, is that everything comes down to your business’ needs. So you need to have that in mind. So how does that impact my salon? How does that impact my spa? With that kind of objective in mind you have less of a tendency to go into judgment calls or things like that, you become more neutral in some sort of way, because you have that business objective in mind and not just personal approach.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, it takes too much emotion out of it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Yeah. So that’s the whole gist of the blog, but it’s a really interesting one to read from start to finish. I strongly encourage you to even just have a look at that one if you had a look at one of them this month. So, ‘5 Ways To Get More Comfortable Giving Employee Feedback’ by Valerie Delforge. She actually, now that we’re going onto our webinars, she’s actually going to do a series of six webinars in collaboration with Phorest Salon Software. That will kick off quite soon, I don’t have the exact dates now, so we will keep you posted about that, but it’ll all be about staff management and any topics surrounding that.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, and then for our Phorest Salon Software clients we have the Salon Growth Series, your highest converting strategy. So that’s gonna be held with Luke Doolin, and what he talks about is how to put the right strategies in place to get up to 22 times your marketing investment back. So if you feel like you’ve just been putting a load of effort into the marketing and you’re just getting no return, check out that one and Luke will step you through the best ways, or the best approach.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: If you want to sign up for it, you go on to our Facebook page in the Events section and pick your session. There’s loads of events there, so pick the day that suits you best and then go into ‘Find Your Tickets’. Register online, you’ll get a unique link in your emails to join in on that day.

Killian Vigna: Yep. So that pretty much tops off the show, doesn’t it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Almost. But I do have a competition to announce.

Killian Vigna: Oh.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, as usual, every month we do set up competitions, so they’re giveaways. Last month was the three business books, so we had ‘Get Sh*t Done’. We had…

Killian Vigna: ‘Good to Great’.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: ‘Good to Great’ and ‘The Customer Service Revolution’. This month…

Killian Vigna: Oh. What have we got?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I was looking on Instagram, and this is really what went through my head. So I was looking on Instagram and I was like, “We always have photos of before-and-afters, we always photos of salons, we always have photos of treatments being done. But you never really have product shots.” So I was thinking, it doesn’t cost too much to make a proper product shot, you only really need your cell phone, but you need good lighting.

Killian Vigna: Aha. It’s key. Just like in a beautician’s, the lighting?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, with that in mind, we’re giving away three portable mini studio boxes. So they’re just basically completely foldable, you open them up, you clip them onto the side, it becomes like a box with one open side, and you’ve got a backdrop. You add that backdrop onto the box, put your retail product inside and there’s a little light at the top that you can use a dimmer with, and it’s all powered by USB so you just have a computer plugged in nearby and then you’re good to go.

Killian Vigna: That’s pretty cool.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. And then you just use your cell phone, take a perfect lighted photo of your retail. So it’s a really easy way to get retail out there because a lot of people will be asking questions like, “I can’t sell retail, it’s really hard,” or this, and that. It’s a good way to at least advertise what brands you have, what kind of products you have in your salon, and Instagram is the perfect place to do that, so.

Killian Vigna: That’d be perfect for coming up to Christmas, actually, for pushing any retail product. And even your gift cards, so if you’ve got any specially designed gift cards, throw them in there. That’s pretty sweet. So how many have we got?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So we’ve got 3 to give away, and the contest is up until October 4th, 5:00 PM Irish time. So make sure you go and submit your entry onto the Phorest blog, there’s a blog post there about that contest. So basically the way it works is that you take an Instagram shot, and it’s okay, you don’t have that box yet. But you take an Instagram shot, the goal is to just try and share and get used to taking photos of retail…

Killian Vigna: Get into the practice, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So you tag the photo on Instagram with #salonretail, the hashtag, and then on that form, you upload the photo from Instagram fill in your name, last name, salon name and email, and then basically just enter and then that’s it. Two steps.

Killian Vigna: That sounds pretty sweet, don’t miss out on that one.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So October 4th, the last day to enter that competition.

Killian Vigna: As always, if you’ve got any feedback let us know on iTunes or if you want to hear of anyone else on the show, even if there’s a particular topic, anything, give us a shout.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We wish you a wonderful week and 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