What does a salon receptionist do? (With skills and tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Salon receptionists play a vital role in the beauty industry by acting as the first point of contact for customers who visit a salon. If you wish to pursue a career as a salon receptionist, it's essential to learn what the role entails and the skills required to succeed. Additionally, knowing what salon receptionists do helps you determine whether this is the right career path for you. In this article, we answer 'What does a salon receptionist do?', list the required skills for this role and look at some tips for becoming a salon receptionist.

What does a salon receptionist do?

In answer to 'What does a salon receptionist do?', they're a professional who provides administrative support to a beauty establishment, or salon, to ensure the smooth running of the business's daily operations. They greet and tend to clients who walk into the salon looking for beauty and hair care services. Salon receptionists also perform a wide range of clerical duties, including answering customer questions, sending emails and making phone calls. Moreover, salon receptionists ensure that clients have a pleasant experience by making them feel comfortable and giving them the information they need. Salon receptionists typically perform the following tasks:

  • greeting and welcoming customers in a friendly and professional manner

  • offering beverages and speaking with clients in the reception or waiting area

  • addressing customer complaints and enquiries and tending to customers' needs

  • upselling services and products to clients when appropriate

  • giving clients useful advice regarding beauty products, new services and discounts

  • informing hairdressers and beauticians about customer appointments and requirements

  • managing phone calls, emails, office inventory and deliveries

  • managing appointment schedules and processing bookings and cancellations

  • sending out booking reminder messages to clients

  • ensuring that the reception area is clean and professionally presented

  • processing customer transactions

  • issuing and filing receipts

  • filing and updating client records

It's helpful to note that a salon receptionist's exact duties may vary depending on the employer. Some might only perform clerical tasks for a salon, while others have more responsibilities, including marketing and promoting beauty services by handing out brochures. Moreover, some salon receptionists might even help with logistics by ensuring that all beauty products are available and ordering more when necessary.

Educational requirements for a salon receptionist

Beauty establishments and salons usually require salon receptionists to have at least finished their GCSEs, but some only hire professionals with a bachelor's degree or college diploma in a related field. For instance, some salons may expect candidates for this role to have a beauty and hairdressing diploma or a hospitality degree. Moreover, previous experience in administration, or as a receptionist in another industry, can be highly beneficial for this role.

Required skills for a salon receptionist

Salon receptionists typically require the following skills to succeed in their roles:

IT skills

Salon receptionists use various computer software to perform administrative tasks, such as answering emails and keeping client records. They're proficient in using email clients, word processors and spreadsheet software to carry out their duties and responsibilities. Moreover, they know how to use POS systems to complete customer transactions. Good salon receptionists have also got experience in using office equipment, including printers and photocopiers.

Communication

Salon receptionists constantly interact with customers that walk into the salon. As a result, salon receptionists require strong verbal communication skills so they can listen to customers and meet their needs. Additionally, salon receptionists require excellent written communication skills for writing emails and effectively managing the salon's inventory.

Related: Written communication skills: definition and examples

Customer service

Salon receptionists are responsible for ensuring customers have an excellent experience. To do this, they use their customer service expertise to provide clients with the information they need and address their complaints and requirements quickly and effectively. Effective salon receptionists also interact with customers in a pleasant and friendly way and aim to develop long-term professional relationships with them, which also helps to boost the salon's profits.

Related: Customer care vs customer service differences explained

Product knowledge

Customers rely on salon receptionists for advice and information on various beauty products. Due to this, having good knowledge of hair care and beauty products is essential for succeeding in this role. By having this knowledge, salon receptionists can easily answer questions and provide customers with useful information. This helps customers to make informed decisions regarding their purchases and allows salon receptionists to upsell products and services too. Moreover, salon receptionists typically have a good understanding of the latest beauty trends and the establishment's refund and exchange policies.

Related: How to become a hairdresser (with duties and certifications)

Organisation

Salon receptionists perform a wide range of duties to ensure that the salon runs smoothly. To do this, they utilise good organisational skills so they can carry out multiple tasks at the same time, which helps them to meet both their employer's and customers' needs. Good salon receptionists can also plan and prioritise tasks according to which are the most urgent and manage their time effectively to help maximise the business's sales and profits.

Related: What are organisational skills? (Types and examples)

Problem-solving

Salon receptionists often work in environments that require excellent problem-solving skills. For instance, it may be necessary for them to address customer complaints and problem-solving skills can help professionals in this field to do this before any issues escalate further. Effective salon receptionists can find solutions to customers' issues to ensure they receive a satisfactory experience at the salon while remaining calm and professional at all times.

Related: Problem-solving skills: definitions and examples

Other skills

Employers also expect salon receptionists to have the following skills:

  • teamwork

  • attention to detail

  • ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure

  • interpersonal skills

  • marketing and sales skills

  • professional demeanour

  • record-keeping skills

Related: How to become a cosmetologist (with salary and skills)

Tips for becoming a salon receptionist

Here are some tips to consider when looking to become a salon receptionist:

Gain certification

To become a salon receptionist, consider completing relevant courses and gaining certification. For instance, you can complete a degree or diploma in a relevant subject, such as business and administration, hospitality or beauty and hairdressing. Moreover, you can also complete shorter training courses, such as those aimed at improving your administrative skills. By doing this, you can demonstrate your commitment to this career to prospective employers, alongside your knowledge and skills in this field.

Acquire industry knowledge and experience

Working as a salon receptionist is a specific career path that requires good knowledge of the beauty and hair care industry, in addition to administrative experience. To acquire the necessary industry knowledge and experience, consider finding a mentor who's preferably an expert or industry leader in the beauty and hair care industry, as they can offer you valuable advice and guidance.

Furthermore, read beauty and hair care publications to become familiar with the latest industry trends. By gaining this type of knowledge, you can provide more effective support to a salon, which can help to make you a more attractive candidate for salon receptionist roles.

Complete an apprenticeship

Some employers only hire salon receptionists with at least one year of industry experience. To acquire relevant experience, consider completing an apprenticeship in a salon, or some other environment where you can experience working as a receptionist, to gain the required skills and knowledge to work as a salon receptionist.

You can find out more about these apprenticeships, including how to apply for them, by asking salons and hair care boutiques in your local area whether they offer apprenticeship programmes. While these positions may not pay much, they can give you valuable industry experience, which can allow you to apply for salon receptionist roles at a later date.

Related: How to write a receptionist CV (with template and example)

Get experience in similar roles

If you lack the formal qualifications and experience required to become a salon receptionist, you can gradually work towards the role instead. For instance, you can get part-time work in a customer service position that requires you to regularly interact with clients face-to-face. This can be anything from working in a supermarket as an assistant to working in a hotel or restaurant as a front-of-house team member. Once you gain this experience, you can then improve your chances of finding work as a salon receptionist.

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  • What to include on a hairdresser CV (with written examples)


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