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It’s hard to think about what the world might look like post-COVID-19. While the pandemic will eventually pass, unemployment continues to rise and there are still concerns with the economy. As if that’s not enough, most business owners are left worrying about losing customers and not being able to pay staff. In fact, a recent survey by the National Small Business Association found that 38% of small business owners have lost confidence in the financial security of their business.
Maybe you can relate?
The truth is, every nail salon, hair salon, barbershop, spa, and resort is feeling the same strain. And then there are the inevitable issues surrounding health and safety in the future. That is to say, people will feel more alert after the virus and this is certainly true when it comes to any “hands-on” environment.
But before we take a look at some tips, let’s consider the following:
Madam C.J Walker was the first-ever self-made female millionaire. If we can learn one thing from this remarkable lady, it’s that opportunity doesn’t come knocking and fortune favors the bold. But what might this mean with a potential recession on the horizon?
Well, the words "economic downturn" most often means bad news for a business. However, even the most troubled businesses can thrive in a crisis. Now, that’s not to say anyone wants a recession to hit but rather to explain there is always an opportunity - even in the midst of an economic downturn.
After all, many competitors tend to fall by the wayside during a recession. As a result, well-run businesses can increase market share and even expand their operations. What’s more, certain expenses such as the cost of premises are usually cheaper in a downturn which means the return on investment is higher than normal.
In short, a favorable outcome will only come from taking a proactive approach.
Now, let’s take a look at how to ensure your customers feel safe post-coronavirus:
1. Get Everyone Uber-Focused on Hygiene
In a recent statement, the World Health Organization said that frequent hand-washing is the single most important step to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. What’s more, it was pointed out that awareness is the key to maintaining good hygiene and hand-washing is just one of many steps.
For example, it’s important for staff to cough/sneeze into a sleeve or tissue rather than out in the open. Many experts also recommend the use of face masks which will not only help customers feel safer but also employees who are exposed to the same risks as everyone else. Finally, hand sanitizer can kill germs quickly and significantly reduces the number of microbes on the hands.
But that’s just part of the story for sanitization…
2. Take a Professional Approach to Sanitization
You will find a Professional UV Sanitizer in all of the best nail salons, barbershops and massage therapists in the United States. Featuring two pull-out shelves and a pull-down door, this powerful machine can sterilize a wide range of scissors, combs, glassware and more. When you think about it, this machine is also the best “peace-of-mind” you could ever bring to a customer in the salon. In case you might be asking yourself, these salon sterilizers use a hospital-grade germicidal bulb which makes this device a must for a salon that wants to help their customers feel safe.
3. Offer a Trial Period to Remove Doubt
Too many spas, resorts, and salons fail to recognize the power of a trial period. It’s true if you have faith in your service, there’s no reason to hide beyond a paywall. With a trial period, you can allow customers to sample what you have to offer and allow them to decide if they wish to return. Not only will customers feel comfortable with not having to pay but they should also feel safe in the knowledge that you have so much belief in the service that you provide. The truth is, great service will sell itself and you will receive invaluable customer feedback at the very least. It’s also best to use a limited-time model that will help you manage the costs involved and get customers into your business as soon as possible.
4. Upgrade the Environment and Use Linens and Disposable Covers
We all share a fundamental need to feel safe and it should go without saying that comfortable furnishings will help your customers feel safe. While you might already have top of the range equipment, there is always a way to upgrade the environment.
For instance, a massage bolster is an excellent addition and a quick way to make your massage table even more comfortable. Similarly, fitting table linens to a massage table or using disposable face rest covers can provide an extra layer of sanitation and that little piece of reassurance for the customer. Likewise, opt for disposable liners in your pedicure spas, the ultimate in ease of use and sanitation.
5. Refine the Customer Experience to Re-Instill Confidence
It should go without saying that you simply cannot afford to lose any more customers. For this reason, it will be important to analyze every detail of the customer journey in your spa, salon or resort. That is to say, you can use this time to focus on creating a truly memorable experience that will allow your customers to feel even more comfortable than ever.
Is your reception area welcoming? Are your clients seated near a cold draft? Is the music relaxing and not too loud? You need to put yourself in the shoes of each customer and think about every last detail that affects the experience. Moreover, taking time to establish a seamless experience will encourage customers to talk positively and spread the word about your business.
In troubled times, there is always opportunity but sometimes it really is a case of “only the fittest survive” and taking a proactive approach to your salon is essential at this critical time. With this in mind, it’s true that nobody knows what the world will look like post-corona but one thing is for sure: salons, spas, and resorts will continue to provide an invaluable service long after this virus is gone.