As salons reopened this spring and summer with new safety protocols in place, owners were eager to share their Covid-19 precautions and protocols with existing and potential new clients.
Fred Helou, founder and CEO of Vagaro, a company that offers booking, payment and business management software for salons, saw an opportunity to help owners spread their message.
“The reopening phase is critical to the survival of our industry, and it is our responsibility to ensure that our service professionals can provide a safe and stress-free experience to their clients. We wanted salon clients to feel comfortable booking with the businesses listed on Vagaro, so we came up with the “Covid-Clean” concept,” he says. Vagaro’s Covid-Clean term applies to salons and service providers who implement the following protocols when conducting business:
- Contactless check-in: search and book an appointment with service providers through the Vagaro app or online. When it’s time for the appointment, just check in remotely and avoid crowded waiting areas.
- Contactless checkout: payment is completely contactless through your device. No need to touch screens that were in contact with others.
- Following CDC safety guidelines: Employees must wear masks and adhere to six feet of social distancing to other employees and customers.
Further, safety protocols that salons and professionals follow can be promoted through a Covid-19 highlights section on an online Vagaro business page, and through Vagaro’s Covid-Clean Badge. Businesses who follow CDC guidelines and receive at least five positive client ratings get a Covid-Clean badge on their business page with Vagaro. Last, but not least, Vagaro’s Covid-Clean features include a Covid-19 liability waiver salons can present to clients.
For both clients and providers, these safety steps bring peace of mind as many search for a new salon or return to their beauty service provider post-quarantine.
“Potential clients can immediately see which salons are complying with new safety standards and book an appointment,” Helou says.
Masks and crowds aside, to help ease consumer fear when visiting a salon, owners can utilize Vagaro’s contactless check-in and check-out process to reduce touchpoints. Once a customer checks in for their appointment remotely, the stylist can send a message to let them know they are ready and can come in without having to wait in a traditional waiting area.
“No one wants to use a communal pen or touch a screen when signing for payment these days,” Helou says. Vagaro’s interface with card payments and integration with Apple Pay make it possible for customers to keep their hands to their own devices and credit cards, without touching anything else. With more merchants saying no to cash payments, this is vital to the profitability of a business.
Communication Creates Consumer Confidence
The Covid-Clean badge for a business on Vagaro is just one aspect of a salon’s communication in helping clients feel comfortable getting beauty services. Salons attain a Covid-Clean badge when they receive at least five positive client ratings. Customers can score the salon from 1-5 on Covid safety protocols. “There are 54,000 businesses on Vagaro. We can’t visit them all personally, so we let the customer tell us how these salons are doing,” says Helou.
Vagaro is also encouraging salons to put photos of their Covid-Clean decal on social media with the #covidcleanbusiness hashtag.
As another measure of safety, Vagaro worked with its legal team to create a Covid liability waiver to help owners protect their businesses.
Owners can build a custom waiver or use the template provided by Vagaro, then simply have clients fill out the form for every online booking. If a client books over the phone, the salon sends an email with the liability form. And if a client still shows up without filling out the form, the salon can send a text message as a reminder with a link to fill it out.
“It’s completely contactless and mobile friendly, much like other aspects of our Covid-Clean features” Helou says.
Helou adds, “There is a way to continue your business operations and follow safety protocols. Our mission is to help salons find a way to thrive again after weathering shutdowns and financial burdens, while keeping everyone safe.”
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