As the COVID-19 crisis continues to keep salons closed and service providers furloughed across the country, SALON TODAY has been reaching out to salon onwers, manufacturers and tech companies to see what they are doing to keep out professional beauty industry strong. In this one-on-one, John Harms, the founder of Millennium Systems International shares his insight:
SALON TODAY: What sort-of questions and concerns have you been hearing your existing partner salons/network/affiliates?
John Harms: Something everyone is concerned about is the unknown. We have heard concerns about keeping their clients and employees feeling safe and secure during this time. Business owners are also concerned about keeping their business afloat whether they are open or closed. Lastly, concerns of how they can generate income without being open.
ST: And how have you responded?
Harms: We try to be as honest and transparent with our clients as we can. We are keeping an open line of communication through multiple channels with our clients to let them know we are here to help. We have our support team fully equipped to assist with anything they need. We also are dedicating customer success representatives for anyone who feels like they need to talk through their business plans. We are also offering assistance and training on setting up eGift, so they can still generate income without being open.
ST: How are you supporting salons through the COVID-19 crisis?
Harms: Although these are uncertain times, it’s important to remind others that it’s something we are all going through together. We want to assure clients that we are still open for business and here to support the needs of all clients. We are creating educational resources such as blogs, FAQ pages, and webinars so clients and anyone in the industry can stay educated as we go through this together. We are constantly communicating on social media platforms and pages with industry leaders and influencers in an effort to help guide clients during this time. We are also doing a webinar featuring Jason Redman, a Navy Seal Purple Heart recipient, where he will be delivering a one hour webinar on how to Overcome and Thrive in these uncertain times with his three rings of excellence - the Overcome Mindset, Structure and Leadership.
ST: What do you think they need most, right now, from you, their trusted partner?
Harms: What clients need most right now is assurance and adaptability. We have always aimed to be more than just a software provider. We are aiming to provide support and assurance that we will be here to assist whether your business is open or closed. As clients have time on their hands, we have had more requests for upgrades, certifications, and add-ons then we ever had. We are here to reassure them and help in every step of the way to get through this. We are also preparing for what is to come afterwards. The beauty industry is going to be at an all time high after COVID-19, so we are dedicating in preparing businesses for that moment.
ST: Has the COVID-19 crisis interrupted plans in progress or products in development? And, if so, how will you pivot?
Harms: Currently, we at Millennium Systems International are all working from home. We have communications, all day everyday, with the entire office on what is happening and what to expect within the upcoming week. There is daily communication within departments to ensure we stay productive and aware of what needs to be done.
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