The Survival Action Plan to Follow if your Best Stylist Leaves
Follow Liz McKeon’s essential steps to ensure your salon business will continue to thrive even if your best stylist leaves your salon business.
When your busiest stylist tells you they are leaving, it’s natural to take it personally. Remember you have a business to run and clients to keep so stay positive and focus on your salon. Here are the five steps you need to take to ensure it doesn’t affect your business, clients or salon staff:
1. Contact all of your stylist’s clients before your best stylist leaves
It is preferable your salon’s clients hear the news directly from you and it gives you a chance to book them in with another stylist. If you cannot contact them by phone, a letter or email is another good way to get in touch. A text is short and impersonal so it may look like you don’t want to secure their custom.
2. Consider what to say
Stay positive and keep the message simple. Remember your ex-stylist’s clients are your salon’s clients. The client doesn’t need to know the details, just that you will continue to look after them at your salon. Acknowledge that you are sad to see the person leave but you wish them all the very best. Then bring the conversation back to them and their next appointment.
3. Manage the gossip
Do not let your team gossip to clients. Give them instructions about what to say. If necessary give your team, including your reception staff, a script to follow so they have a rehearsed response ready. Some clients may feel a little let down so it is important to manage the situation.
4. Track your social accounts
Keep an eye on your social media accounts, just in case clients are being poached via this channel. Now is the perfect time to increase your own marketing and shout about your fantastic salon.
5. Pull out all the stops when your best stylist leaves
Do everything you can to keep your clients but if they follow the stylist don’t give up – continue to market to those clients and make it easy for them to return to your salon.
You are an amazing entrepreneur and this is just a bump in the road. In no time at all your salon will be back on track because everybody is replaceable. If the departing employee agrees to an exit interview, this is an opportunity not to be missed as it will allow you to take on board their suggestions and learn from the experience.
The insider’s guide to an exit interview:
• It provides an opportunity to make peace with the disgruntled employee.
•Existing staff will see it as a positive exercise.
•It provides relevant and useful data for future training.
•The process could give you the chance to retain your busiest stylist.
•Receiving and handling feedback is a powerful development process for you as a salon manager.
• It is a unique chance to survey and analyse the opinions of departing employees who will be more forthcoming, constructive and objective than existing staff members.
Liz McKeon is a business coach who specialises in the hair industry. For details about business seminars and industry workshops go to lizmckeon.com.