By: Fred Helou
As the holidays are upon us, many want to give the gift of wellness – or visit a spa for some much-needed TLC. While many spas and wellness providers are operating with new safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there are additional ways spas can help clients feel comfortable visiting a spa. Vagaro, a software company that offers booking, payment processing and business management tools for spas, provides an opportunity to help spa owners restore customer trust in these unprecedented times with its COVID-Clean set of features.
Vagaro’s COVID-Clean features debuted in early 2020 to help businesses safely reopen post-shutdown. COVID-Clean by Vagaro includes:
- Contactless check-in: Customers can easily check-in to their appointment with a simple touch of a button and wait in their car until the service provider is ready for them. Clients can notify their service provider of their arrival from the parking lot through the Vagaro app. Service Providers can then let clients know when they’re ready for them by changing the status on the Calendar screen. An automatic notification will be sent to the client letting them know it's safe to enter.
- Contactless checkout: to reduce physical interaction between clients, the checkout process is sent directly to the client’s phone. The client can view the total amount, select a tip, sign, and leave a review straight from their mobile device.
- COVID-Clean Badge: Earned through positive customer ratings on a scale of 1-5, a business must attain at least five positive customer ratings to receive a COVID-Clean Badge. This icon can be proudly displayed physically on a storefront or digitally on a Vagaro business page. It’s up to the customer to decide whether they felt comfortable visiting the spa.
- Agreement to follow CDC safety guidelines: employees must wear masks and adhere to 6 feet of social distancing to other employees and customers.
- Highlights on a Vagaro business page: The safety protocols that spas and wellness professionals follow can also be promoted through a COVID-19 highlights section on an online Vagaro business listing page.
For both clients and providers, these safety steps bring a level of comfort as many search for wellness treatments during the holiday rush.
Reducing Touchpoints Eases Consumer Fear
Masks and crowds aside, the aim of contactless check-in and checkout processes is to help ease consumer fear when visiting a spa. As many spas have closed access to the traditional lounge area, remote check-in allows an aesthetician or massage therapist to let clients know when they are ready and can enter.
The same fear exists around touching screens and pens while paying for treatments. Coupled with the trend of businesses no longer accepting cash payments, Vagaro’s interface with card payments and integration with Apple Pay make it possible for customers to keep their hands to their own devices and credit cards, creating a completely contactless checkout process.
Comfort is Key
While spas might be instilling safety precautions inside their businesses, it’s important to let existing and potential customers know which steps they are taking to keep them safe. The COVID-Clean Badge for businesses on Vagaro helps create peace of mind for customers searching for treatments. Because the badge is attained from customer testimonials, it creates credibility for businesses who are taking safety precautions. Vagaro also encourages spas to put photos of their COVID-Clean Badge on social media with the #covidcleanbusiness hashtag.
Another contactless and mobile friendly feature of COVID-Clean is a COVID-19 liability waiver that can help owners protect their businesses. The waiver template is customizable to suit each business’ needs. Simply have clients fill out the form for every online booking. If a client books over the phone, the spa can send the liability form through email. If a client arrives without filling out the form, the spa can send a link to the waiver directly via text or email.
Vagaro’s mission is to help spas find a way to thrive again after weathering shutdowns and financial burdens, while keeping everyone safe. More importantly, Vagaro’s COVID-Clean features and Badge help build the prerequisite clients need before venturing back to a spa: trust. We provide businesses with the tools needed to create consumer confidence.
Fred Helou is the founder and CEO of Vagaro, a software company that provides booking, scheduling, payment processing and business management tools for spas and salons. Vagaro strives to help small businesses and independent service providers reach their business objectives by providing technology solutions that foster growth.