Music Revolutionizes Barbers & Beauty Salons after Coronavirus
When was the last time you went to your office and sat at your own desk? Or took the train to meet your best friend? Or the last time you sat down at your favourite cafe, sipping on an iced tea and reading a magazine, or went for barbers & beauty salons after coronavirus hit us?
The answers would be identical, it’s been a few months since we have lived a life that we were used to living. The world has been struggling with a global health crisis, challenging our ideas of normal from the United States to Australia.
It’s been a tough few months for many – especially small business owners such as restaurants, local stores, fitness studios, hairdressers, and grooming salons. With all non-essential services shut down in most parts of the world, their basic source of income was abruptly cut off plunging many in financial duress.
One of the worst-hit industries was the barbers & beauty salons after coronavirus. They were missed, that is for sure. The multitude of photos on social media about home haircuts made us all painfully aware of how much we missed our favourite salons and the heroes who work tirelessly to help us all look so great!
How Does a Salon Look Post-Covid?
If you are a hairdressing or grooming business, you likely lost out on significant income in the last few months. According to CNBC, a salon owner in the USA had to let go of all his employees just so the latter could collect unemployment benefits to survive. If you have been in that position, we know that it must have been a tough spot to navigate.
But with lockdowns lifting in various parts of the world and regulations being eased out, there is a completely different monster that you need to navigate.
How do you make a business that is so intimate and relies on the human touch at its core covid-safe like the barbers & beauty salons after coronavirus?
You, like many salons, must have implemented safety measures at your business. These include proper sanitization after servicing every individual customer as well as allowing only a select number of appointments that restrict the human traffic inside your salon.
Moreover, many places are ensuring that there is a certain amount of distance maintained between each customer as well as the hair or grooming experts. Masks are non-negotiable for anyone entering the salon. For employees, many have also made gloves a mandate.
Sanitizer stations are a great initiative that many salons and barbershops have undertaken. This ensures that anyone stepping in or leaving the salon does so only after properly sanitizing their hands.
What are the Challenges of the Grooming Industry?
However, despite all the safety measures, there is a fundamental problem that is plaguing barbers & beauty salons after coronavirus.
How do you do this extremely intimate task of pampering someone, their hair and their body with all these restrictions and safety measures while also ensuring a good quality of work?
At this point, if you have opened up your doors for your customers and helping them clean up their quarantine looks, it is likely that your job doesn’t look the same as it did before the crisis began. While you are still cutting or styling hair and beards, fixing weaves and braids or giving a foot massage, there are new factors that are likely making your work a little harder.
You used to rely on your customers’ facial expressions to non-verbally communicate with them while working on their hair before the ‘new normal’ set in. Now, with a mask covering almost half of their face, you are probably often left wondering what your customers want.
Trust us, you are not alone. Your customers, A.K.A us, also miss the interaction – verbal or non-verbal. We loved giving you feedback on-the-go as you worked your way through our grooming schedule.
But with our voices muffled and our smiles being hidden by the masks, we have to find new ways of reaching a consensus regarding our preferences with how we can work together. Consultation, before you start with pampering routines for your customers, is a great way to have a common goal before you start work on them.
Moreover, we miss the chatter inside the salon. Talking to your customer as they sit through a long and complicated braiding or hair colouring session was not only a major way to keep filling silences. It was also building relationships that often went beyond professional and fostered a sense of kinship.
Music - The Saviour of Silences
Music, research suggests, can be a great way to fill up the silences in your salon. And not just that, it can actually help you grow your business in this post-pandemic world. A study done by Musicworks showed that 80% of the 2,000 participants said that music played in a salon is an important part of the establishment’s atmosphere.
Beauty and grooming services take significantly longer averaging anything between 15 minutes to 2 hours including wait times. Imagine waiting in silence, while you can hear the sound of scissors, water streaming at a nearby wash station, or the scraping of metal against metal. Yes, you guessed it right! It would not be a very pleasant experience overall.
While quoting the above study, the Hairdressers Journal claimed that music is as important as the decor of the salon for its ideal ambience. In fact, 61% of clients say that they are likely to return to a salon if they find the atmosphere of the salon relaxing and welcoming in nature (Source). And no one would ever say no to returning clients and businesses!
How to Use Music To Your Salon’s Advantage?
Playing the right kind of music suited to your salon’s target audience will keep them entertained while establishing a distinctive characteristic for your business as well. Several factors would determine what should be the playlist for your business.
1. What does your rate card look like?
Since salons are a service business, the price of the services that you offer will play a major role in how you design your playlist. Your rate card will depend on a variety of factors such as the area in which your salon is situated, your target audience, and what is the expertise of the professionals who are providing the services.
With music, you can literally cater to the person you want to be visiting your salon. An upscale luxury salon will need to maintain the feeling of exclusivity and opulence that comes with a $100 haircut by creating an ambience that makes the client feel that the money they are spending is worth it.
If your services cost relatively less, the target audience you are looking at is likely younger with a limited budget and hence, you can experiment with your music and play a bit of Sufjan Stevens while mashing it up with a hint of Dua Lipa.
2. Who is visiting your salon and where?
It is no surprise that who visits your salon plays an important role in the way your salon looks and feels. You cannot have classical instrumental jazz music playing in the background if your primary clients are college students. Similarly, you cannot have Justin Bieber playing in the background if people in their 50s are your main patrons.
Like your rate card, the age of your clients, as well as the neighbourhood in which your salon is located, will play a major role in the kind of music that your playlist will consist of. If you have been at a location for long enough, you will probably know who visits your salon, and based on your interaction with them as well as their reaction to the music, you might be able to find the perfect music to play for your clients.
This might require a bit of trial and error, but it would ultimately be a great way to know your customers as well as create a fun experience for them when they visit your salon. It might be a great idea to start off with a chart-topper playlist to start off with and then, develop your vibe from thereon.
3. What is the nature of your salon?
Music is a part of your salon’s overall ambience. So, the kind of services you provide as well as the decor and build of your salon must be complemented by the music that you play. If you are a vintage salon, you wouldn’t have The Weeknd playing on your speakers, for instance.
Matching the vibe of your salon to music that suits it is not a difficult task. If your vibe is fresh and young, you can go for popular artists like Doja Cat, Selena Gomez, or Ariana Grande. If you are a premium establishment with minimalistic decor, you might want to opt for music that is slower and jazzy.
If your decor and vibe are that of a vintage salon, then it would be very interesting if you go for a classic rock and pop playlist with some country songs thrown in. On the other hand, if a section of your salon works as a spa, you might want to play only low instrumental music that helps your clients relax.
But if you also double up as a tattoo parlour, you can play punk rock and metal to set the mood.
Besides the above 3 factors, your playlist will also change based on the time of the day and week and the flow of customers. Moreover, if your space is huge with different sections offering different services, you might need to have multiple playlists that cater to the mood in each part.
How Do You Get Your Perfect Playlist?
You already have so much on your plate, you probably don’t want to add creating a playlist to your list of things to do. Moreover, it is illegal for you to stream music at a commercial venue like a salon using apps like YouTube or Spotify. You can learn more about the legal aspects of music streaming here.
But you have no reason to worry because Soundsuit can help you create playlists for your audience in no time at all. With our carefully selected music, both through intuitive technology and manual curation you will have playlists that your customers will enjoy during their pamper sesh!
You can read more about how we will make playing music at your business easy here.
While we hope for the whole world to return to safety and wish for a day when we can live our lives as we did before, it is a wise choice to embrace all the changes around us. So, as you manage your appointment books and service your clients at your barbers & beauty salons after coronavirus, do not forget to put on some music to keep them enjoying their time with you.