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Expert views on how to cope with the lockdown

In terms of caring for your staff members during this time, Maggy Dunphy, director of Spa & Wellness Operations Americas Hyatt (USA), believes that a spa’s most valuable asset is its people.

“Whatever resources you have available to keep them ‘whole’ is where I would focus,” she says. “Also, reach out to vendors, landlords and utilities and work with them to create payment plans so you can hold onto whatever resources you can.

“I think a good idea is to provide your staff with the same information that you are using in your business for them to use personally, such as mortgage companies, landlords, etc.”

Marina Efraimoglou, founder of Euphoria Retreat (Greece), adds: “Our employees, with the overwhelming majority coming from the local community, are supporting our values and influencing peoples’ minds in their communities They are the torch carriers, especially the therapists.”

As for keeping in touch with clients during the lockdown period, Efraimoglou stresses the importance of replacing physical contact with virtual contact. “However, because there is too much noise on the internet, it is very important not to just jump onto the bandwagon and be everything to everyone. Keep your DNA in all of your communication.

“For us at Euphoria, we have the opportunity to put forward our ‘Methodos’, which places importance not only to the physical aspect, such as strengthening your immune system or practicing yoga, for example, but also on emotional support and the spiritual significance of this coronavirus outbreak. We have launched free webinars of real value without a hidden agenda to turn them into paying ones. These webinars will cover all aspects of Euphoria Methodos – nutrition, exercise, social responsibility and spiritual alignment.”

Efraimoglou also feels that a degree of direct communication with clients is important, especially for repeat guests, or those who have participated in Euphoria’s retreats through direct mail or WhatsApp groups.

Dunphy maintains that it is the small gestures of kindness and empathy that we do today that will make a big difference in our tomorrows. “So, I would suggest all forms of communication – from email to text to phone calls. You know who your most loyal customers are and a phone call, a voice, or some sort of connection, goes a long way. Send inspiring ‘just checking in on you’ emails, with a contact number included so that they can call to say hello.”

Jenya Di Pierro, CEO and founder of Cloud Twelve (UK), agrees that moving your operations online is critical. “We have moved all of our operations online – from yoga and kids classes, to a wellness hotline and newsletters, to live Q&As, etc.”

Jean-Guy de Gabriac, WSWC conference producer and founder of World Wellness Weekend, suggests the following for spa and salon owners / managers: “Now should be a great time for spa and salon owners / managers to dig deeper into what they can do with their software, especially working more on yield management and menu engineering. The latter should specifically focus on dynamic availability and dynamic pricing.”

To hear more of what these experts have to say about how to cope with the lockdown, access their webinar at Professional Beauty UK’s Virtual Spa Week. Click here

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