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Marketing a Clean Spa

By: Janet McCormick
Posted: June 1, 2009, from the June 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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“We purchase files in bulk with our logo on them so our technicians can give them to the client or throw them away after each service,” says Cathy Masters, purchasing manager for Kenneth’s Hair Salons & Day Spas, which has multiple locations in Ohio.

When a nail department strongly enforces this policy, every new client is surprised at this gift and asks about the policy. For that reason, when the file is handed to the client at the end of the service, the technician should provide a brief description of the spa’s infection-control principles with the theme being, “We care about you.” This simple activity can be a very valuable marketing tool for your spa. With that in mind, the cost of the files can be put into perspective as a serious marketing technique to elicit positive feelings about the spa.

A strict hand-washing policy. The regulations of every state require technicians and clients to wash their hands before giving and receiving nail services, but this is among the regulations that are most ignored. Again, this is a very visible marketing tool because clients notice and comment on it, and offers an opportunity foryou to discuss it with them in a “We care about you” voice. Train manicure clients how to wash their hands for at least 60 seconds with a gel soap and brush before a treatment. The hands are cleansed, then a brush is used to clean around the nails and their free edges. The technician also washes her hands well. Many are using gel hand cleansers between clients, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that these actually kill more microbes than washing with soap and water, if used properly.

“We have client sinks in the nail rooms now to make this task speedy, and to allow technicians to monitor client hand washing,” says Masters. Let’s face it, many clients cheat because they believe their hands are not dirty, so be sure to state the policy and allow no variation from it.

Clean nail tables. Clear and thoroughly clean every nail table between clients. Also, disinfect them with a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved surface disinfectant. Clean towels must be used for every client, and by having an organized nail table, technicians can establish this habit easily. A clean table supports a client’s feeling of safety.