Adam Broderick: Adam Broderick Salon & Spa, Ridgefield, CT
Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Adam Broderick, one of the industry’s most respected and innovative figures, lives by those words. He believes that good works start in the local community—he never turns down a local request for auction donations or other support from the salon and spa team. His generous spirit doesn’t end there. As a highly sought-after motivational speaker, Broderick is always looking for ways to help salons prosper, and he never rests on his laurels. Recently, his flagship salon in Ridgefield, CT, underwent a massive renovation, but while Broderick was working on the redesign, he also seized the opportunity to look objectively at the way he’d been doing business to see if things could be improved. “I can make anything pretty, and we did that,” says Broderick, “but I was clear about committing the same amount of resources to upgrading and training my people.”
To that end, he examined the way his staff was interacting with clients. “Real luxury is less formal now,” he says. “People want to be treated well and have a great experience, so we’ve revamped the way we talk to our guests. For example, our vocabulary is very scripted, so when someone walks in, we say, ‘Good morning’ or “Good afternoon.’ It’s never ‘Hi.’ We don’t use the word 'appointments'. It’s 'reservations.'” Broderick also paid a lot of attention to what he calls touch points—the amenities, the environment, even the lighting. “We hired a lighting designer to make sure that we eliminated all shadows,” says Broderick, who also made sure that the salon and spa provided a feeling of privacy. “We tried to create nooks and crannies so people don’t feel so exposed.” His hospitality team has also learned how to read body language. They’re trained to question a client if something seems off. “We call it an orange interception,” he says. “Giving people permission to give you feedback in the moment is so important. I’ve been to a thousand restaurants and tipped well but left thinking, 'I’ll never go back there again.'” Now his front desk staff takes the time to ask each client if everything was to their liking, and that one small change is already making a big difference.