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Preparing for the New Normal – A Salon Owner’s Journey

June 22, 2020

When lockdown started, Wayne Hill and Tracey Turner, brother and sister owners of Broadst, a five-salon group based in the south west of the country began working on keeping their clients and team members engaged and developing their plan for the future.

Wayne realised how important communication with the team and clients would be during lockdown. He realised that his team and clients would be looking to him and Tracey for guidance, support and motivation to get through lockdown. He set up groups on Facebook for his teams and clients, hosted a weekly meeting for his team and each week sent a personal email from him and Tracey along with a letter in the post.

Wayne and Tracey’s team are like their family  (95% of them are home grown) and they treat them as such, sending goody bags to them with personalised bottles of Prosecco and if they have young children a colouring book and pencils to keep them amused.  They have found this regular communication to be a great help in answering any questions the team have in real time rather than letting them drift, which could be the case if they didn’t speak to each other so much.

The salon has a private Facebook page where Wayne regularly posts video messages to the team and where he shows the progress his plans are making.  These videos are also shared with clients, who have loved feeling involved with the renovation of the salon to welcome them back on July 4th. Wayne believes hairdressing has achieved an elevated status with public – “we will never be just a hairdresser ever again.”

When the opening date was announced they set to work to look at the logistics of a client visit in each of his five salons. It was important that the client received a great experience and felt pampered and would be treated like a VIP. Many of the little touches that the salon previously supplied have gone – the refreshment menu and the luxurious waiting areas – would have to be removed for the time being. Their goal was to ensure their appointment was slick and professional – everything they would expect from a Broadst salon.

Wayne spoke with Mike Waldon and Rikki Tronson at iSalon, who helped him set up a centralised booking system, which will be integral to the management of client bookings, especially with a data base of over 26.5k clients. Using the online booking system Wayne is able to take payment for services ensuring less contact and keeping no shows to a minimum.

He’s also working with iSalon Command Centre to ensure he can manage the five salons remotely.  After initially calling all clients to book them in Wayne has elongated every appointment by 15 minutes to ensure there is additional time to complete the service and make sure the area is sanitised before the next client.

Wayne and Tracey have created new groups for the team, putting like-minded people together and giving them responsibilities for looking after certain areas of the client visit and they have been really empowered by this and have risen to the occasion.

They have taken a common sense approach to PPE and is prepared for all eventualities. Wayne has installed hand sanitiser and Barbicide stations along with tissues and a bin at each VIP position, the Wi-Fi code is visible on each mirror and each client has their won plastic cup and bottle of water.

Branded signage has been placed on the floor to show clients the route of their visit along with posters to create a VIP booth for each client to enjoy.  The team at Broadst have all been sent their own kits to ensure they are comfortable with them and they consist of a visor, masks, gloves and a Broadst drawstring bag in which they will place their outdoor clothes and change into work uniform when they arrive in the salon, change back again as they leave placing their uniform in the bag to be taken home and washed each day.

“Communication has been such an important part in keeping everyone informed and up to date of the salons plans for the future. We’ve been able to build fantastic relationships with clients and have been able to discuss everything openly with both clients and the Broad St team. We’ve been proactive in our communication and I believe this open and honest strategy will pay dividends when we do open, “ adds Tracey.

The planning and preparation that Wayne and Tracey has put into re-opening and his attention to detail in creating a safe environment for his clients and team will ensure.