How Manscape used Timely Consult to help them reopen safely during New Zealand’s Stage 2
Manscape is a hair and body salon for men based in Christchurch, New Zealand. They’re an upmarket barber shop with a focus on relaxation and pampering, giving their clients a unique experience unlike anywhere else. Post lockdown, they shared their tips with us on how they reopened safely and successfully.
How have you found re-opening the salon since lockdown?
It’s been really good. As the weeks go on, it gets easier and better and people are less focused on the COVID-19 situation. Fortunately, now we are able to offer a full service again, which is really great. All of our clients were really understanding while we couldn’t offer some of the things that we had done before, such as our ‘Man Cave’ waiting room which has a playstation that our clients love. It’s just been really nice to be back to normal.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you have been using Timely COVID tracing forms?
Sending Timely’s ‘COVID-19 Health Agreement’ form by SMS was the easiest way to implement contact tracing within the salon. Not everyone is fast at filling out forms, so it can easily eat into your appointment time with your client, which is why we decided to use Timely’s pre-appointment forms since they were launched! It’s easy for the client to do while they are sat in their car waiting, or the night before when they get the text message reminder. It’s just one way we can try and provide as much of a normal experience as possible within the salon.
We knew not everybody would respond to the form, so we still had the paper form here just in case. It’s just really great to have that SMS there as an option.
How many people fill out the form?
Most people, which was awesome! It was nice when they had filled it out because they could just come in and have as normal a treatment as possible.
We are not actively sending the form anymore but it’s still there ready to go. If something did happen, it’s nice knowing we’ve got that as a safety net.
What would you do if someone said they were unwell?
People would contact us to say they had a cold, for example, and we would just ask if we could push their booking out a week so that we could keep our staff healthy. That is very much our norm from before any of this happened. You know what it’s like, if a staff member goes down – it’s such a knock-on effect.
How did you train your team to use forms?
We asked the whole team to come in half an hour early on that first day of using the forms so we could explain protocols. We also looked at it as a chauffeur service when clients arrived. We opened the door for them, sorted the tracing form, then opened the door for them on the way out. That way we had complete security of how a client entered and left.
Whoever was last in the salon the day before would ensure that everybody had a tracing form sent to them. If you could see that someone hadn’t received a form, it was easy to click the send button. We did have our manager pretty much in charge of making sure everybody got those messages, but it was still our responsibility as the person seeing the customer to double-check.
How did you let clients know that you were going to be using the tracing forms?
A lot of the clients that we had to call to rearrange appointments for that were booked in during the lockdown, had it explained to them on the phone. For everyone else we didn’t talk to on the phone, we added new information to the SMS reminder text message that would normally go out. We altered it to say “please wait in your car and we will call you when we’re ready to take you in”. Then the form would be sent after that message. So it should have hopefully been clear and made sense to everybody.
Why did you decide to have clients waiting in their cars?
It was because of the two-metre social distancing as we entered level two. The ‘man cave’ is quite a narrow walkway, and then you come into a big seating area. So for the crossover, we just decided it wasn’t safe, at the beginning of level two, to open that up. If it was a nice day, people were able to social distance outside where there were markers. We also had markers on the main shop floor as well, just so everybody knew a little bit of a boundary was there.
Can you tell us about the grooming side of the business?
The grooming side gains more popularity as we come into the warmer time of year. A lot more clients will have their chest and back waxed for a holiday, get a spray tan or in general be more inclined to have those sorts of treatments. Lately we’ve been having a lot of massage clients through the door, I think because it’s been quite cold and everybody is probably a bit fed up now with the whole COVID situation and they are just wanting a treat! The team do all sorts; facials and pedicures and just nice luxury services.
How do your clients respond to using a booking system rather than the traditional walk-in option?
Nowadays people are more task-orientated and plan more of their time. For a barbershop, it is unique to not be ‘walk-in’ based, but our clients like having an appointment, rather than having to sit and wait an undetermined amount of time for a haircut. The consistency of our experience is what people come back for.
With being a more luxury service, are you able to charge more of a luxury price?
Any time the issue of increasing prices has come up, a lot of research goes into it to ensure that the quality of the service we provide is worth what we are charging. I know about two years ago we put the price up. The manager went out of her way to do a lot of research into other barber shops within the immediate area, just to make sure we weren’t overstepping.
What is your client retention rate like?
Quarterly, our manager will sit down with us and show us our client retention rate and how we are each doing individually. I think we do rebook quite a high percentage of our clients there and then, and for clients who have been here longer, they perhaps have two appointments booked out ahead because they know that they want that time slot.
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