As clients make their ways back into the salons following the COVID-19 shutdown, cleanliness is top-of-mind. For the beauty and wellness industry, this means achieving even higher health and safety standards, and learning to work with PPE and new policies and procedures.
Gene Juarez Salons and Spas, with 10 locations in Seattle, has always maintained high standards of cleanliness for their customers – it has been their commitment and will continue to be their commitment. However, given the new reality, the salon’s leadership also understands the need to implement changes that increase the upscale salon’s health and safety measures.
Gene Juarez embraced the role of technology to create safer experiences for their customers and employees as part of its new efforts. Viewing new challenges as an opportunity to show industry leadership, the salon developed seamless interactions with their brand through the tool customers and employees trust most—their personal mobile devices. While the digital experiences improve safety through the every salon procedure, from booking to after-service review, they also provide an elevated experience for the guests.
Seamless Bookings and Check-Ins
Gene Juarez's online booking allows customers to find appointments across multiple locations, at the time best suited for them, with a service provider they prefer in a simple search through the Gene Juarez mobile app. Upon booking, a client automatically receives a digital intake form she completes at home prior to her appointment. Gene Juarez's digital form system allows clients to avoid contacting commonly touched surfaces and unnecessary interaction with front desk staff at check-in.
“In Washington state, the green light for salons to reopen is coming through county by county, so we initially opened just one of the 10 locations,” says Katie Trent, Gene Juarez chief operating officer. “Before a client’s first appointment back, we ask them to complete a self health screening and sign a hold-harmless waiver through the app. By completing those prior to coming into the salon, we can check them in quicker which helps avoid having too many people at the desk, and guests don’t have to handle pens that others have touched.”
Through geofencing technology powered by Zenoti, the salon’s mobile app allows customers to check-in automatically when they walk through their doors. Once again, customers avoid touching any surfaces or closely interacting with employees. Service providers receive an immediate notification of their appointment's arrival on their mobile devices through Gene Juarez's employee-facing mobile app. This feature reduces dependency on front-desk staff, while also reducing customer wait times in the salon's lounge.
Clients who enable two-way texting capabilities receive an automated text message detailing new check-in options. Upon arrival for appointments, clients may send a cost-free text message alerting staff of their arrival. If they prefer, Gene Juarez customers can wait in their vehicles or outside until they receive a text message letting them know their service provider is ready to start the appointment. This allows customers to maintain social distancing during the check-in process.
Enhanced Service and Touchless Check-outs
Gene Juarez's new digital experiences even expand safety during service. Using their mobile devices, service providers can revise customer invoices to include add-on services or products. Empowering employees to use their mobile devices eliminates the need for shared or common devices, meaning safer experiences for everyone. While chair-side upgrades and add-ons reduce the likelihood of customers changing their minds at the last minute, the feature also helps customers save time and avoid unnecessary additional interactions with front-desk staff at check-out.
“We’re also really discouraging clients from handling products on our retail shelves. Now when a stylist recommends a product and the clients says yes, the stylist can scan the barcode through their app and add it to the client’s ticket,” Trent says. The stylist can hand the client her products and the client knows that scores of clients haven’t touched those bottles.
Gene Juarez customers can pay and tip providers from their trusted mobile devices rather than wait in front-desk lines to adjust invoices and pay. Their service provider will receive an instant payment notification confirmation. The unprecedented convenience of Gene Juarez's uber-like digital experience allows customers to breeze through check-out without contacting frequently touched POS equipment or worrying about maintaining social distancing at the front-desk.
“Right now, about 30% of clients are paying through the autopay system, Seattle is a tech town and we are working on increasing the frequency that,” Trent says. “Not only does this help minimize congestion at the front desk, but it frees up the receptionists to attend to other questions. And, if a guest happens to leave without paying, we can call and have an easy way to pay for the service.”
Elevated After-Care Service
Following payment, Gene Juarez guests receive an automated notification to rate and rebook their service from their trusted mobile device. Gene Juarez's after-service notifications contact customers when they are most likely to respond, rating and rebooking from the convenience and safety of their mobile devices. By empowering the use of personal mobile devices during after-service interactions, Gene Juarez improves safety and increases the likelihood for excellent reviews and returning customers.
“Rating is an important part of our strong focus on the guest experience,” Trent says. “It gives us feedback on the guest experience in almost real-time. Knowing what the client thinks about the new experience has been really important as we reopen. It’s great to share that positive feedback with our team as they are learning to work with the new changes, too. And, the guests are really watching our cleanliness standards right now, and really appreciate that we are taking it so seriously.”
With technology powered by Zenoti, Gene Juarez is meeting post-COVID challenges with innovative solutions. Along with a commitment to the highest cleanliness standards in physical spaces, Gene Juarez is now leveraging the digital space to maximize health and safety measures while also embracing elevated guest experiences. Gene Juarez is proud to provide an example of leadership as the beauty and wellness industry turns to technical innovations to meet new challenges brought on by post-COVID realities.
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