How can hairstylists, nail techs and estheticians overcome the coronavirus panic?

Have you found yourself overwhelmed, worried or distressed about the coronavirus (COVID-19) these days? March is usually a beautiful month of the year, with spring knocking at our doors. After the winter, with January and February being the slowest months for the beauty salons, business really picks up nicely in March. Because everyone is getting the spring vibes and wants a fresh look. That’s how things used to be… because this year 2020, March apparently thinks of itself as being more special… The COVID-19 pandemic is seriously affecting businesses everywhere. Beauty industry professionals are being hit quite hard, and here at Appointfix we really feel for our clients. We’re all in this together and we’d like to learn from each other. There’s no recipe out there about how to go through a world pandemic. 

So let’s see what some of our clients are doing in order to keep their businesses afloat this season. We’ve tried to put together a little list of ideas that can hopefully help other beauty industry professionals out there. Also, stay tuned as tomorrow we’re posting another article with some more advice for the small business owners from different industries which Appointfix serves, including government measures for financial relief etc.

Transparent communication with your clients

This goes without saying, but we think it’s important to mention it here first. Communication is always very important, but during crazy times like these, it plays an even more fundamental role. Your clients need to know you had to temporarily close your business due to the pandemic. Also be transparent about the specific reasons behind closing (give details about the authorities rules, etc.), and use this opportunity to inform and educate your clients on how to protect themselves too by staying at home. 

Last but not least as you communicate with your clients, let them know if there is a plan in place in order to keep serving them. Now more than ever your clients need to know that you care about them. That is why you also got emails from all the CEOs of the big companies telling you how they stepped up their cleaning and sanitizing game. Then a couple of days later you probably got another email from the big CEOs telling us how sad they are to close their malls and big stores in order to suppress the virus. 

You probably never knew the name of the Bath & Body Works CEO for example, but there he is sending you an email. Same with the malls and grocery stores CEOs. All these big companies understand the important role of communication and are trying to connect emotionally with their clients, at this time when clients really need to be informed, reassured and calmed down. Be real and personal, keeping your clients in the loop.  

Brilliant idea for hairstylists from a fellow hairstylist 

Here is an absolutely brilliant idea that one of our Appointfix clients recommends on her Instagram page. Kellee is a hairstylist in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada. Due to the state of emergency in their province, she had to temporarily close her business Hair by Kellee. That of course was the right and necessary decision in order to be socially responsible, and keep everyone safe. 

Kellee is a very hard working professional though, and a very creative person. So while she had to close the doors to her hair salon due to the pandemic, she didn’t abandon her clients. All the contrary, actually! 

As many other hairstylists, Kellee knows that a lot of her clients have to postpone their hair color because of the coronavirus epidemic. Postponing a hair appointment may not be a big deal for some clients, but for the grey haired clients, postponing the appointment is an absolute catastrophe. So for any of her grey haired clients, who don’t think they can make it until the mandatory salon shut down is lifted, Kellee is providing a custom colors kit for the clients to apply at home. How great and thoughtful is that? 

The offer to her loyal clients is: “curbside pickup available at the salon or doorstep dropoff with detailed instructions for achieving that grey coverage with my personalized color for you. Colors starting at $60.00”. That’s what her Instagram page announces. Kellee is totally respecting the social distance and providing a great service for her clients in difficult times. How brilliant is that idea? That my friends, means going above and beyond for your clients. I bet it made her grey haired clients jump up and down with joy. They all must love her a lot! And she must be quite content as well. Why?

Every stylists knows that if a grey haired client cannot go to the salon, they will find a way to buy a box hair dye at the grocery store. Imagine that the client buys the cheap product of inferior quality from the store. Then for the next couple hair appointments, the stylist needs to keep doing color corrections to repair the disaster the client managed to create when applying the cheap box color. So what better for a stylist, than providing the unique color formula for each client? And doing that with precise instructions on how to apply it on their roots. 

What do you think of it? If you’re a stylist, here’s a great idea to keep your clients happy in these crazy times, while getting some cash coming in too.   

Encourage products pickup or delivery

Related to the above, another thing our creative Appointfix client (hairstylist Kellee) is doing at this time, is offering hair products at discounted prices. For example, check out her creative Sunday-Monday campaign on Instagram: “Sunday March 22nd & Monday March 23rd all in stock shampoo, conditioner and conditioning treatments are 30% off. We can arrange a pick up or I can deliver them to you.” Of course both the pickup as well as the delivery are done  maintaining the social distancing. 

In terms of payment, it’s probably best to opt for online payment, and then dropping off /picking up at the door / on the porch. A text message or quick call is recommended instead of ringing the doorbell. This way there’s no need for touching any door knobs or door bells, and the health recommendations are absolutely respected. 

Mail your products 

Other hairstylists, this time from the UK, are doing the same thing, offering incredible discounts on hair products. They are opting for mailing the products to people. Seeing the situation and realizing the imminent need to temporarily close their hair salon, some stylists looked around their salon and informed their clients on social media about the products they have available to keep their hair great, and the discounts offered. An UK hairstylist also gave a deadline today, saying she’s only planning to do that for the next couple of days as she didn’t have a big stock of products. That raised her clients’ interest, many of them wanting to make sure they have some excellent products to take care of their hair while they cannot go to the salon. 

This hairstylist was very intentional about it, documenting the process by taking pictures of the packages she was sending out to her clients. She’d post those pictures as Instagram stories, showing initiative, hard work and dynamic effort even at these times. By how her product stock seemed to go down due to her trips to the post office, we tend to think the social media posts she was sharing were working quite well for her. 

So that can be another idea if you’re a hairstylist. This is the time to be present online and make social media work for you, guys. Using Instagram and Facebook to inform your clients about products you can offer them, can help your small business thrive during these uncertain times. 

Nail salons deciding to shine!

During these difficult days, the challenge is not to think of yourself as a victim. Don’t think about the help you might need at this time, but look at others less fortunate. There are many vulnerable people out there, and this pandemic is our chance to be kind to others. Among other incredible acts of kindness out there, on Instagram there’s this great initiative of Base Coat Nail Salon. They are calling all the nail salons, nail artists, beauty spas, hair salons, barbershop, medical estheticians, tattoo and piercing artists, anyone working in the beauty industry “to shine”. 

Their call is that if you have unused and unopened supplies ear loop/tie masks, sterile nitrile gloves, isopropyl alcohol biohazard bags, hospital grade disinfectants please reach out to your local hospitals to find out how you can donate these supplies. “Healthcare providers working on the front lines are in short supply. Many of them are reusing masks and personal protective equipment that are normally discarded after one use. Let’s make sure these amazing humans have everything needed to stay healthy so they can keep us, our loved ones and communities safe.” 

Together with this message and call to action, Base Coat Nail Salons will donate all unused and unopened supplies to Denver Health Medical in Denver and White Memorial General Hospital in Boyle Height, California. Please look at your supplies and if you feel you can help as well, know that every little act of kindness counts. You can share it with your clients and contacts, motivating others to get involved as well. 

Sharing the love: “this has been a godsend”

When I saw on Instagram Kellee’s great idea mentioned above, I contacted her to ask if it was ok to include it in an article. She was absolutely happy with it and added these sweet words about Appointfix: “your app has been a godsend, and one of my best business investments. I recommend it to everyone. My clients love it also!! I cannot wait to get back into the salon and get back to normal. I truly hope everything goes well for you also.” 

A few days ago she also posted an Instagram story stating: “Appointfix has made scheduling my clients 100 X easier.” She was just sweet and generous like that, wanting to promote other businesses and raise awareness during these troubled times. Thank you, Kellee! You can check out her Instagram profile Hair by Kellee, and feel free to contact her if you’re in her area. After all, you might need to book a hair appointment when the temporary salon shut down is lifted, right? May that happen really soon is what we all hope and pray for! We’d all love to get back to normal. 

Meanwhile, the idea is to stay strong, be kind and share the love, dear people. These are times when we need each other. If you can give a shout out to someone, please do so. Support other small businesses. Share the love! Be generous and encourage other small business owners to be generous as well. Maybe some of your contacts might need a better tool for planning and sending automated reminders to their clients. As you know, with Appointfix app: scheduling appointments, managing clients and sending automated text message reminders to clients, makes everyone’s timetable and planning process a breeze.

To our clients, with love and respect…

Our most sincere appreciation goes to our dear Appointfix clients this season. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your business and your loyalty! You always have our most sincere appreciation, but these days we feel more honored than ever to serve you and your small businesses. We’re in this together and we will survive any “monster-virus” that comes our way! 

Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram, as we post really interesting stuff up there. If you feel generous, we’d like you to know that during these uncertain times, it helps us if you give a shout out about Appointfix scheduling app. We’d really appreciate if you would be willing to share about our app with your contacts on social media. (Just in case, here’s a link to download Appointfix, or directly from the App Store or Google Play.) Many thanks, dear Appointfixers! These might be hard times, but we’ll all become stronger because of going through them, ok? Please know that you are not in this alone! Praying you stay healthy and strong! 

Emilia is Marketing Director at Appointfix, an app helping professionals and small businesses easily schedule appointments and reduce client no-shows using automated text reminders. Feel free to drop her an email at emilia.pustan@appointfix.com.