Regardless of your stance on masks or vaccines, here is what salon owners need to know. With the covid-19 vaccine available to the public, many cities lifted their mandatory mask policies months ago. As a result, many cities are no longer required to wear a mask during familiar summer activities such as vacationing, wedding celebrations, and taking the kids to get “back to school” haircuts.
It may seem like the mask mandates are a thing of the past for your team members and clients. But don’t toss or stow away your face coverings just yet! In the United States, a few counties are reinstating their mask policies for businesses and public spaces with the hopes of preventing another surge of positive covid-19 cases. Among these are St. Louis and Los Angeles counties. These counties (and possibly others to follow) are acting in accordance with CDC guidelines to wear a mask whether or not you’ve been vaccinated.
The possibility of a revised covid mandate for your business is real, and we must all be ready to tackle the changes with a positive attitude. We must push through this back and forth of health information. Starting the trend of mask-wearing in the beginning, was eventful. But how will your business revert back to a mask requirement if asked? More importantly, how will our salons keep clients and team members walking through our doors during this ever-changing health climate?
Perhaps, your team is still wearing masks while serving clients on a daily basis. If your clients or team members have stopped wearing facial coverings, there is a chance the attitude might turn sour when asked to mask up once more. Salon owners are required to ride the coronavirus rollercoaster to conduct business. At times, it feels like our hands are tied, and we are forced to make calls that don’t appeal to everyone. Although the revised mask mandates may be out of our control, how we respond is entirely controllable. Using “personal matching” salons can better maintain revenue and provide comfort to those we serve. A study on persuasion methods posted in the Journal of Consumer Psychology described personal matching as:
“One of the most reliable and impactful methods for enhancing a persuasive appeal is to match an aspect of the proposal (i.e., its content, source, or the setting in which it is delivered) to an aspect of the consumer receiving it. This personalized matching in persuasion (also called tailoring, targeting, customizing, or personalizing) comprises a robust and growing literature.”
Essentially, we need to know our audience and offer tailored instructions on how to handle the changes. We must prepare our team and clients with a strategic “personally matched” proposal. The proposal to change will be more effective when we focus on these three areas:
- The content message (what/how we’re changing).
- The source (who is offering the information).
- The setting (the context of how the message is delivered).
For the first focus area, we can’t control whether or not our salon will be required to wear a mask. So we can check that off our “to do” and brace ourselves for when/if it should happen. The content message, in this case, is “Wear a mask to the salon.”
The source and the setting are up to us! We can unify our team members with a collective attitude to push through this. If the goal of a mask is to keep everyone safe, then we all need to be clear on how to post this revised safety change.
You may have heard the phrase, “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.” Wearing a facial covering will bother someone, but the way you say it can be the difference between upsetting the majority versus upsetting a select few. I urge you to set aside time for a short meeting to prepare a unified and positive mindset with your team. Meditate on the possibility of rewards from a mandated change instead of the what-if adverse outcomes.
With this change, our salons need to highlight what matters most to them. Are we putting the comfort and welfare of our clients at the top of our list? Are we inviting those who walk through our doors to join in our successes or our frustrations? Even just one team member or client’s negative comments can put a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Are you prepared to “personally match” or tailor your words to be kind to your audience? If your clients need encouragement, offer them that. If your team members need a sense of stability and confidence, let’s put a plan together that provides that security.
We are all playing this game of “red rover red rover send this new standard practice right over.” What is thrown at our businesses is out of our control, but our attitude is a choice. Choose to build up your team with a “can-do” mindset. Raise the standard of comfort and safety within your salons. Give clients a reason to come back home to our salons.