With the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring COVID-19 as a global pandemic that has affected millions of people worldwide, people are taking proactive measures to prevent infection. Most of the organizations have allowed their employees to work from home to maintain business continuity, but the Beauty industry is struggling to maintain a safe distance from their customers. On the other hand, the customers are eager to visit their grooming professionals, but dread getting infected. To ease business continuity for this industry, the government has established stringent guidelines and safety measures for salons and beauty parlors to follow in order to operate.
With a focus on customers and employee health, the government guidelines for salons are as follows:
- Customers must now book an appointment prior to visiting the salon, unlike before when they could walk-in. This step is taken to reduce human contact and prevent the spread of the pathogen.
- Selective services will be allowed, only. These include haircut, threading, waxing, while close contact services like facials and manicure/pedicure won’t be.
- Masks are compulsory for both customers and staff.
- Disposable napkins or towels are mandatory to be used by customers and staff.
- A protective kit that includes an apron and gloves must be worn by the staff, always.
- Grooming tools like hair-dryers, scissors, and combs must be sterilized. Seating arrangements and the floors must be regularly sanitized.
Social distancing is the new normal, salon and beauty parlors are taking extra measures to make their customers feel safe. So, what should customers expect when they visit their grooming specialist?
Tip #1: Customer’s safety is the top priority for salons
Today, salons are deploying enhanced service protocols for both employees and customers and announcing it in the re-opening campaigns. With the help of a non-contact thermometer, the body temperature of the employees is monitored, daily. This data is uploaded on the Aarogya Setu application that generates confidence among the customers to visit the premises. Similarly, customers are screened for optimal body temperature. Masks and disposal protective gears are used by the staff and customers for each session of the services rendered to reduce the spread of infection.
Tip #2: Rigorous cleaning ritual embedded in daily operations
Beauty products, tools, and consumables are regularly sanitized to mitigate the risk of infection spread. Floors are mopped with disinfectants, and the premises fumigated regularly. Magazines in the waiting lounge or at the workstations are removed. These protocols eliminate the sharing of products, reduce direct personal contact, and hence prevent the spread of pandemic to a large extent. Hence, salons are pledging to cleanliness and keeping their customers and staff safe and healthy.
Tip #3: Seating arrangement rejigged
To make customers feel safe and comfortable, workstations and seating arrangements are well spaced, keeping the social distancing rule of one-foot in mind. Many salons are using the social distancing signage across their premise that encourages confidence among customers. Some have taped their chairs, while others have taped their floors, and put wall signage.
Tip #4: Digitized Payments
To minimize face-to-face interaction, beauty entrepreneurs now prefer contactless payments. Now, they now prefer to accept payments through digital interfaces such as internet banking and payment applications like Google Pay, Paytm, Phone pe, or UPI – instead of debit/credit cards or cash. Thus, customers should make it a habit to pay digitally, if they want to keep their surroundings safe and healthy.
Tip #5: Digitized retail experience
Salons offering exclusive beauty products for their clients are now shifting to a new marketing and sales process. Unlike before, where the products were displayed on the shelves, and customers would physically select and pay for them, the products are now being cataloged on their website. Now customers browse the product cataloge and pre-pay on the salon’s portal. The product is either delivered at the customer’s doorstep or is pre-packed and ready for delivery at the salon when the customer arrives.
With these health and safety protocols, beauty entrepreneurs are instilling confidence among their customers and are successfully returning to their business.