More than just the front desk: Meet MJ Yana
By definition, a front desk officer is someone who manages the customers and welcomes the guests of an organization.
In a salon setting, where clients are looking for a way to take care of themselves and feel beautiful, her job requires more than just being warm and friendly.
Mary Jeanel Yana—MJ for short, has been with Miss Derm’s ever since the beauty lounge opened their first branch in Makati in August 2020.
Two years as the receptionist and she has proven to be an integral part of Miss Derm’s growth and success. Without a doubt, there’s more to the job than just being “a person at the front desk”.
Because a receptionist is also a manager, that’s why she’s one now.
MJ is Miss Derm’s first employee. “ I came from the food industry. Nu’ng nagka-pandemic, food industry was down so I look for opportunities sa ibang industry naman. I saw Miss Derm’s ad and I tried to apply. Luckily, I got accepted,” MJ narrates, remembering how she started her career and shifted from on I can do this cause I have experience to be a receptionist.” True enough, she’s more than capable.
Since Miss Derm was yet to open then, MJ’s first task was to manage the pre-opening and all necessary clearances for them to operate, she recalls. When they started operations, she felt at ease and proud that everything fell into place. “Naging smooth ‘yung operations. [I felt like] nagawa ko nang tama ‘yung trabaho ko at walang naging problema.” Ever since, she has taken care of the trust that was given to her by the lounge’s owner, Marzen Salazar, who was based abroad.
One thing to know about MJ is that she has an unwavering sense of initiative and discipline. Her typical work day starts with making sure that the clinic is clean and organized before they open, answering inquiries, and managing all the confirmed appointments for the day—and she does this like a breeze with no supervision required.
A receptionist is also a sales and marketing professional.
It takes a good receptionist to welcome clients and accommodate their needs. But it takes a well-trained, knowledgeable receptionist with skills like MJ to ensure that clients have great experience from start to finish.
“When clients come in, usually they will ask about specifics ng procedure nila,” MJ says. To her, this first interaction is a critical part of the client’s journey since your answers to their questions will determine whether or not the client will get your service.
“Everything you will tell your clients, make sure they understand. Dapat ma-explain mo sa kanila nang mabuti at malinaw para hindi sila mahirapan mag-desisyon,” she adds.
The same also applies when she answers inquiries in their social media pages. “Ang goal talaga is to educate the clients, sales will follow.” When she successfully closes a client, “nanghihingi rin kami ng feedback. At the end of the day, ‘yung testimonial ni client ay malaking tulong to grow the business,” she says. If the client has concerns, part of her job is also to assist them immediately, with the help of Miss Derm’s artists, to minimize clients’ concerns.
Lastly, a receptionist is also an artist.
One of the many things that makes MJ an effective receptionist is her first-hand knowledge on the procedures they offer. Being surrounded by skilled SPMU artists in Miss Derm inspired her to expand her skills and knowledge.
“Actually, I always study our basic procedures. Iba rin kasi kapag may dagdag kaalaman at experience ka. Mas alam mo, at mas kaya mong i-explain sa client kung may mga concerns and inquiries man sila about sa process.”
“I started a a receptionist but I learned and enjoyed doing procedures like lash lift, HIFU, and vaginal tightening,” MJ says. Recently, she already started training for semi-permanent make-up (SPMU) but it was postponed because they just moved to a bigger space in Makati.
For someone who used to work in a different industry, everything MJ experienced in Miss Derm is new to her. “Hindi talaga ako mahilig sa beauty or kahit anong procedure bago ako mag-join sa Miss Derm. Kaya thankful ako dahil dito, I learned a lot,” she says.
MJ’s dream for Miss Derm is to see it grow and expand in the years to come. “I'm happy kasi ang dami nang na-achieve na milestones ng Miss Derm. In a span of two years, meron na kaming 3 branches,” she says proudly. “Hopefully, mas lumaki pa para mas marami pa rin kaming matulungang mga tao na naghahanap ngwork sa industry na ‘to. ‘Yung din naman kasi talaga ang naging goal ng Miss Derm since nag-start.”
When asked what makes her stay in Miss Derm, MJ says it’s the lifetime bond she found at Miss Derm that she didn’t find anywhere else. She has experienced being a food server, bartender, barista, kitchen staff, and even a call center agent, but it’s only at Miss Derm that she has found workmates that feel like home. “Napamahal na ‘yung Miss Derm sa’kin. Marami na akong naging experience, may ibang even higher salaries, pero it's not easy find colleagues and boss na kasundong kasundo mo talaga,” she says.
So imagine this: It’s your first time to try semi-permanent make-up. You enter the beauty lounge, greeted warmly and enthusiastically by the person at the front desk. Even though you’ve done your research already, you still have so many questions in your head.
Thankfully, MJ was patient enough to discuss your inquiries and guide you through your desired procedure. You felt very comfortable, and the next thing you know, you’re booking an appointment already.
It's a seemingly simple interaction. But in those few minutes, you felt welcomed, accommodated, encouraged, and convinced. This is how important her job is, and Miss Derm Makati’s Mary Jeanel Yana does this effortlessly.