A mere few weeks ago, our lives were turned upside down. Our current circumstances were previously unimaginable, and many are still trying to grasp our new reality. Our industry was one of many that was immediately put to a halt, leaving countless people across the world asking “what do I do now?”
According to one article, “Berkley and others estimate that it will take 12 to 18 months to develop a proven vaccine, and then longer still to make it, ship it and inject it into people’s arms.”1
What this means for our industry is that our immediate future in unknown. As such, we must adapt quickly. Agility is of the utmost important in both our immediate and distant future. It is our job as practitioners to anticipate the needs of our customers, and currently, that need is to be able to maintain their own services at home.
Managing a Crisis
By now, many of us have learned how we manage crisis. Whether or not you are a flight or flight person, there's no better time than now to practice your critical thinking skills in combination with physical, emotional and intellectual mobility.
This is not a time to do nothing. It is during times of great adversity that some of the most creative and profound ideas have come to fruition. In the history of our world great inventions and initiatives have been born from the need to innovate. In an effort to assist in the lives of those who are at a loss, I would like to share some of the steps I have taken over the last few weeks:
Ordering supplies. One of the first steps I took was ordering ample disinfection supplies that would ensure the safety of my customers when we are able to get back into servicing our customers.
Checking in. At the same time, I started to reach out directly to my customers to check in on their well-being and the well-being of their loved ones. I performed this task both in email and by telephone, depending on what I felt was best for each individual I was reaching out to. I also offered my time to listen to them if they are in a place of fear or turmoil. I let them know that I am here as a friend. I shared some of my personal struggles from the last recession and offered my time if they wanted to express themselves to someone who has been through some of what they may be fearing or experiencing right now.
Being informative. While checking in with my customers, I was able to inform them that I have been taking actionable steps to ensure their safety when we are able to come together again face-to-face.
Offering services. I offered to give anyone a complimentary service in the future if they have or will be affected financially as a result of COVID-19. After offering to give a complimentary service to anyone in need first, I made mention that if anyone has ample resources and would like to help support me being out of work for the time being, they could purchase an advanced service or a package of three sessions with me for the service they are currently a patron for.
Our beauty industry is an industry that has historically relied on human to human interaction. As such, it is difficult to imagine how our profession can bring in any revenue when people are being asked to stay at home. This leaves many beauty industry professional worried about how they can put food on the table and pay their monthly expenses. There will be many ideas that will come about in upcoming weeks, months and years out of necessity.
How you transition in this current situation from a people-to-people business into an online business is critical. Virtual lessons are just a start. Create a customized eyebrow shaping session for your eyebrow customers and a virtual skin care consultation as an alternate to skin care services (more on how to set this up in Part 2 of this series). Start by calling or emailing your customers that are most likely to initiate such a service. Work your way through your entire client list offering a virtual lessons to get them through the time frame where they won’t be able to see you. As a professional our job is to take care of their beauty needs, even anticipate their needs before they do. Currently virtual business is just the way to do that.
Depending on the demographic of your clientele my recommendation is to charge two to three times what you typically charge for a brow shaping, because providing a virtual lesson will take two to three times the amount of your typical eyebrow shaping appointment time. There are ample ways to connect through video. Facetime, Zoom and Skype are just a few of the options available to us.
For those of you wondering if you are giving away your beauty secrets and as a result could lose customers, this is where trust and confidence comes in. I can’t emphasize enough how much your customers will value your services when you have done everything possible to perform your job for them through all circumstances. The loyalty this creates and the way you will be able to bond with your customers on an entirely new level will solidify your relationships for years to come.
Connection with your customers is a way to stay in touch and have fun together. Engagement is important at this time. By staying connected personally and professionally, tools like this will give you a sense of purpose, which is exactly what we all need right now.
As humans, we have so much power inside of us to navigate any climate and come through and above our circumstances. Our history has shown this and our ancestors have done it before. We are no different. We will survive this. Let me be the first to say how much I look forward to seeing what simple and profound ways in which each of you rises above during this pivotal time in history.
Continue Reading: Quarantine Connections Part 2: Providing Virtual Lessons