In the second part of Professional Beauty UK’s Virtual Beauty Week, the line of thought was the impact of Covid-19 on the wellness industry. Here are the highlights of the session on PB Live.
The wellness industry is gearing up with a ‘cope & hope’ strategy to grapple with the effects of social distancing and lockdown.
Professional Beauty UK invited Anna Bjurstam of SVP Wellness Six Senses (Sweden), Becky Woodhouse, CEO, Pure Spa (UK); and Erica Dangelo, Spa Director, Borgo Egnazia (Italy) to present their thoughts and discuss possible solutions at its Virtual Beauty Week. The session was moderated by Mark Moloney, Professional Beauty Group’s managing director, and Jean-Guy de Gabriac, WSWC conference producer and founder of World Wellness Weekend.
Addressing the elephant in the room on how businesses can save costs, Anna suggests holding any purchase or project till the crisis averts. For continued engagement with associates, she cites the example of their digital platform, which encourages them to contribute video tutorials for psychological motivation. Becky enlists the following solutions: look at all costs and contacts suppliers to suspend services or put on the minimum; be hard about what costs you need during shutdown; and look at marketing costs that you can save on/suspend services.
Next question facing establishments is that of staff management. Erica clarifies, “We have already obtained government layoffs. 50% of our salary is paid by the government. Furthermore the Italian law has issued a decrete where no one can be fired as a consequence of Covid-19.” Becky adds, “All our spas are closed so we have furloughed all workers so that they will receive 80% of their salary during the period of shutdown.” Anna explains, “Every spa is different. Where there are government solutions, we work with that and in other locations, we simply have to lay staff off or alternatively agree with them to take unpaid leave or reduce their salaries. At Six Senses and Raison d’Etre all corporate staff have taken pay cuts, for example.”
Erica states that since theirs is a positive organisation, the relationship with the entire supply chain and stakeholders is very supportive and friendly and therefore they have achieved good feedback from everyone. It needs to be handled personally between the purchase manager and the supplier to make sure that whatever can be done to hold payments proceeds without ruining the relationship. Anna suggests negotiating with suppliers on holding off payments, and staying close to both owners and the business.
Staying connected with the clients as well as the staff has become instrumental in the current situation. All the speakers brought forth their unique ideas:
- Casa Egnazia has created a digital platform where all employees are involved to create content for the clients in Pulian style. A package of orecchiette and tomato sauce with our pasta recipe was sent to most of their clients. They are also organising live concerts.
- Pure Spa has created a WhatsApp group for managers to keep in touch, and each spa has their own group. There are weekly Zoom calls, too. Planned social media content is targeted to the clients. There is also a COVID19 FAQ page on the spa’s website to keep customers updated, with an email address which is checked daily and all queries responded to. All vouchers have been extended to 24 months from 12 months.
- #AtHomeWithSixSenses is an initiative that involves daily Facebook Live meditation and other happenings as well as tips on sleep, nutrition, movement and so forth to help our community (both guests as well as staff) to stay healthy and positive. Necessary Covid-19 info and cancellation information is also duly provided.
Social media has emerged as the new hero, and businesses are focussing on it more vociferously than ever before. Here’s what our experts had to say about their social media modus operandi.
Erica confirms, “We’re still publishing our regular editorial plan but avoiding all posts with a call to action connected to visiting us. This only means removing a few as 90% of our posts are planned as tips to cover a wide range to topics: food for wellness, sports, beauty, longevity, happiness.”
Becky elaborates, “We created a new content plan for April so taking off all call to book type posts, kept our posts to gift vouchers, wellness, talking about treatments etc. Actively monitored daily and queries responded to daily.”
“We are posting more than we ever have before as social media behaviour science right now is out of the window, and we are on new grounds, so we are doing a lot of trial and error. Our reach and engagement on social media has been amazing and we are continuing and expanding on the campaign and being very agile in our response to how people interact with us,” adds Anna.
As is evident from the efforts taken by these establishments, every stakeholder in the spa industry is trying to make the most of the situation. To sum it up in Erica’s words – “All that counts now is human relationships and reciprocal understanding of this awful situation.”
To watch these experts give out detailed answers, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-Ul0Qi0BPw&feature=youtu.be