As you set into motion new pandemic-related protocols and implement mail-order and drive-up sales strategies to account for the necessary social distance, don’t forget that eventually this will end. That means you’re going to need a plan to reopen your doors in the wake of the coronavirus.
Why not just reopen, business as usual? Because we believe that there will be two questions every client is going to ask:
- I’m in desperate need of treatment after self-quarantine. When will you reopen?
- How will I know whether it’s safe to make an appointment yet?
In this post, we offer five tips to help you answer them while preparing to reopen your spa.
Learn the Current Legal Requirements for Reopening
Visit the CDC website to learn about their current recommendations for businesses. They also have a valuable tool for helping you determine if you should reopen.
The North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners has released detailed information about what is required of you as an aesthetic business owner. If you are outside North Carolina, you should check with a similar organization in your state for guidance.
Read the guidelines from top to bottom. And when you are ready to open your door, double-check it. Now is not the time to take a risk with non-compliance.
You should also bookmark the page. Then set a reminder to check it weekly. Things can change quickly, so you want to make sure you are staying on top of it.
Reassure Your Clients That Safety Is Your First Priority
What tone are your communications taking right now? Maintaining a light and hopeful social media presence is a good idea. But take care not to come across as salesy or too focused on yourself. It could really turn people off, considering what we’re all going through.
In fact, when there is a real fear of falling ill (or worse), the very best step you can take is to address your client base with a serious tone when communicating the efforts you’re making to keep everyone safe.
Reassure them that safety is your first priority as you develop plans and protocols ahead of reopening your doors. And explain to them exactly what you plan to do and what is expected of them.
One of the best places to use this more serious tone is in your emails. They come across as more personal and direct.
As a nice bonus, email marketing tends to have a far better return than most other marketing efforts. If you can come up with the content, it’s actually not a bad idea to double the number of newsletters you send out right now. Not only will this help keep you top-of-mind, people are stuck home and hungry for distractions.
And if you already have clients who have booked appointments or courses, make sure you give them a call to reassure them.
Opt for Two-Way Client Communication
One important way to solidify trust with your clients is by widening the lines of communication. Ask them now about how they’d like to balance their self-care and their fears of stepping back into a routine in the near future.
Make it a Q&A series with a dedicated hashtag. Tell them you want feedback as you reopen. Not only will this build trust and rapport with them, it also allows you insight into what concerns are best addressed in your continued communications.
Want to make it feel really personal? Learn who your top 20 clients are and set up phone calls. Tell them you value their input and want feedback on their experience with you and suggestions for improvements.
Whatever you do, always assure them you are only a click or call away if there is anything particular concerning them.
Image Skincare has also offered email and sign templates you can use to communicate with your clients. Those with an Image Skincare professional account can find the tools by logging into the Image Relay system and searching for the IMAGE Forward Playbook.
Make a Plan and Follow It
Here is a shortlist of the plans you should have fully developed and in place:
- Sterilization and cleaning protocol updates aligned with CDC and local guidelines — at minimum
- Procedures for clients to follow before and after appointments
- Changes to location, hours, availability, and most importantly cancel/reschedule policies
- How you intend to communicate this and all other reopening information to clients
Provide Flexibility with Booking Appointments
As you detail your new safety protocols and reopening plans through client communication channels, include invitations to book as well as thorough information on schedule changes and cancellations.
One way to remind people about booking post-coronavirus without being pushy? Continue sending client birthday greetings out with free “gifts” — but mention that the “gift” can be taken when they feel ready to come out. This will provide an incentive for them to reach out to you!
Also, we recommend a focus on relaxation treatment bookings. You could also let them know what you’ve been up to during the break, such as what continuing education you’ve completed and any new services you’ve added to the menu.
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