Advice Around Getting Clients Back into Salons an Interview with OPI Educator Lisa Kern
With salons beginning to reopen across the globe, we’ve created a series of blogs to give you gain insider information into what it takes to have a successful reopening and what to expect once the appointments start rolling in. To kick us off, we took the time to check in with our very own Lisa Kern, OPI Educator, and Global Top Artist, of Aquarius Salon Spa out of South Carolina which reopened as of May 14th, to see what advice she has for other nail technicians and salons as they begin to reopen at this time. Be sure to stay tuned as we check in with more salons and deliver even more inside tips for ensuring you have a safe and healthy reopening.
OPI: Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for speaking with us today about the reopening of your salon. We know that nail pros and salon owners out there are looking for insight into what it takes to reopen. When your salon began to reopen, what means of communication did you use to ensure your clients were always up to date on the latest information?
LK: I’ve chosen to communicate our policies primarily through social media. Aside from sharing the very basics of what we’re doing and what we are being required to do, I don’t feel like we want to make a big deal out of everything because that just tends to instill more fear.
OPI: Social media has definitely been very valuable for sharing information and updates these days. What about any changes to booking? What types of services do you allow clients to pre-book (if any), and are there any services you aren’t offering currently?
LK: We are currently pre-booking all services for the salon and spa with the exception of not allowing couples massages or body scrubs. It actually is more advantageous to pre-book everything and require pre-booking because you can plan out time allotment for cleaning and sanitizing in between.
OPI: What was your experience like with trying to determine how much extra time to allow for sanitization with pre-booking in mind?
LK: As far as new procedures go, after a thorough two-day dress rehearsal run-through (working on each other), we pinpointed how much time we need for the extra sanitizing after each client. We have built that into the schedule now.
OPI: What are some of the newer and/or increased sanitation efforts that are in place now that the salon has reopened?
LK: To start, we are using a non-toxic hospital-grade disinfectant that comes in both wipes and a spray; we wipe down all surfaces in the salon and spa between every client. Additionally, all our service providers wear a washable apron that gets changed in between each client, they wear masks all the time, gloves when appropriate, and even face shields when necessary. We’ve installed acrylic dividers both at the front desk and at the manicure stations too. Our salon stations were already about 6 feet apart so fortunately, we didn’t have to change anything per compliance. We are also currently not allowing double booking to allow for even more social distancing. The front desk has an additional list of areas that have to be wiped down several times a day including doorknobs, bathrooms, etc.
We have our sanitation station on the front porch where everyone checks in with a temperature check, a waiver, we offer masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. We’ve also installed a filtration system for all of our HVAC units, this contains a HEPA filter as well as a UV light sanitizer for all air before it enters the building. We're using an additional aerosol disinfectant spray in the air in between clients as much as possible too.
OPI: That’s so incredible to hear all of the precautions you’re taking to help everyone remain safe, and we love the front porch check-in set up! What do you feel is important to share with clients about these increased efforts? Can clients ask questions about the new procedures?
LK: As mentioned before I don’t feel it’s necessary to consistently say everything that we’re doing to everyone but we are certainly more than willing to share all of our steps with anyone who asks to help put them at ease. Sometimes, I think if you share too much it scares people more than it helps. So far we have been very busy upon reopening as our clients know us and trust us to always be a safe and clean environment.
OPI: What are you most excited about when it comes to the reopening of the salon and being able to see clients again?
LK: We just love the way it makes our guests and us feel when they walk through the door and say they’re so glad to be back. Now more than ever our guests really need us as an oasis from the world.
OPI: It’s been so amazing to connect with you Lisa, is there anything else you’d like to share at this time about the reopening of salons?
LK: I feel like one fact that a lot of people don’t realize about salons is that we have always been well trained in sanitizing methods as it’s part of our licensure, and continuing to maintain our license is dependent upon good sanitation methods. We are doing the same sanitation methods (plus a few extras) that we did before the COVID-19 situation, we are just continuing to do those and making sure that our customers feel confident in those procedures.
Stay tuned for more inside tips and advice from nail pros as more salons begin to reopen.
We’re here for you during this time, be sure to check out our Post-COVID-19 Reopening Guide and our in-depth Sanitation Guidelines for Nail Professionals blogs below.