Building Trust With Your Clients During COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic had a way of shaking us all to the core—even if it was just ever-so-slight for some of us.
Many of us have been scared, paranoid, nervous, sick, or worried. As stylists, we had so much to be concerned about—not only are lots of us terrified of coming down with a serious illness, but we also have been anxious and scared about our businesses.
When things shut down, most of us were downright horrified—how on earth were we going to make it through this? We waited (breath baited) for the day our salons would open back up. When they did, we were thrilled—but that doesn’t mean we weren’t still scared or nervous.
We’re now stuck learning how to navigate the new normal of our careers in the midst of a global pandemic. From new regulations to learn and abide by to figuring out new, creative ways to fill the gaps in our income, there’s a lot on our plates.
And to add to that list of things to do, many of us need to learn how to build trust with our clients during the era of COVID-19.
As stylists, we’re practiced pros when it comes to creating relationships and forging trust—it’s kind of what we’re awesome at. But this is a totally different, really crazy scenario. How can we possibly create and establish trust during an insane time like this?
Even if a client has known us forever and has been coming to us since our doors opened, they can still end up feeling unsafe, scared, and nervous about our salon in this new era of new normal if we’re not doing something right.
And the toughest part? It can happen in seconds.
And in those seconds, we could accidentally destroy the trust with those clients that we’ve worked so hard to build up over the years.
So, what do we do?
First, take a big, deep breath. Then start reading.
We can’t fix it all in one article, but we can sure as heck teach you a few tried and true ways to establish trust with your clients (new and old) in the era of COVID-19.
Take the Necessary Precautions
Even if you have to do it while rolling your eyes and mentally cursing the regulations you hate, just take the necessary precautions. The reality of the situation is that your clients are, most likely, pretty nervous about this new normal.
Whether you agree with that nervousness and the new normal or not, it’s important to realize that if you want your clients to trust you, feel safe with you, and want to come back to your salon, it’s likely necessary to take the new precautions.
Wear face masks and insist that your clients and employees do, too. Sanitize everything. Get rid of the salon waiting room area. Set an occupancy limit. Whatever regulations you need to set—set them. And then, don’t go back on them!
Make COVID-19 Promises & Keep Them
It’s easy as pie to say things like “our salon has pristine sanitizing procedures” or “your safety is everything to us.”
But at the end of the day, do you really mean it? This is the time to self-reflect. We’re not here to be jerks and call you out, we just want to help you take a look at the promises you’re making and really evaluate whether or not you’re keeping them.
Make sure that you’re taking a good, hard look at every promise you’re making (in-person, on social media, in your newsletters, etc.), and be sure that you’re following through and living your promise.
Otherwise, clients will arrive in your studio or salon ready to meet the highest of safety standards only to realize that you’re slackin’—and then that trust is demolished. And trust us when we tell you, destroyed trust is incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to rebuild.
Be Straight-Up & Direct With Your Clients
This is our sage advice no matter what is going on in the world. Sometimes, it feels like there’s this weird, internal battle to be super professional with your clients and pretend like nothing bad has ever happened vs straight up just weeping to your very fave clients about the horrible things that are going down in the world.
Our advice? Strike a balance.
Your clients are smart people who deserve the honest truth from you. Tell them when you’re struggling, be honest and direct when you explain how you’re dealing with the new regulations, and make sure they know you’re open to hearing from them, too.
An honest, direct, and transparent relationship with your clientele can be a saving grace in these circumstances—plus, it removes a ton of that weird pressure you’re putting on yourself to pretend everything is perfect.
Because spoiler alert—everything isn’t perfect. And your clients already know that! Just be honest and direct, they’ll appreciate it more than you know!
Create a Flawless Procedure for a Safe Experience
It’s one thing to provide a single customer with a safe, quality experience—it’s another game entirely to ensure that every customer who walks through your doors is getting that expert-level, COVID-safe experience every single time.
Now’s the perfect opportunity to refresh your customer service best practices guidelines. Set up a strict, but easy-to-follow customer experience guide with checkpoints that can help you and your staff ensure that every experience is top-notch and safe.
Your team also needs to be able to walk the walk and not just talk the talk—create your expert procedure for customer experience and then make sure you’re training your team thoroughly (and regularly) so every single customer who walks through your door is receiving that undeniably safe and professional treatment.
Feeling a little bit better about establishing trust in the COVID era? We hope so.
If you’ve got some tips, tricks, or insight for building trust during this insane time in all of our lives, we’d sure appreciate it if you’d drop your comment below in our reply section.
Our beauty blog is all about connecting the community—so share your thoughts, drop a comment about your worries, and be upfront.
We’re all in this together and we’re all learning how to navigate this new normal that hardly feels normal at all.