Hot topic for all the wrong reasons, Coronavirus is on everyone’s minds right now as outbreaks start to spread in Australia and New Zealand. While fighting over toilet paper isn’t going to get our countries anywhere fast in dealing with the pandemic, there’s a few things that will and businesses all over are putting in measures to cope with the spread of the virus.
We understand that things are starting to feel overwhelming, so we wanted to let you know what we’re doing in light of COVID-19, and what you can do in your business to be proactive for your staff, clients, and yourself.
What action is Shortcuts taking?
At Shortcuts, we are super conscious of the wellbeing of our staff, as well as the health of our communities. Our senior leadership team and HR are keeping a close eye on the developments of COVID-19 via the Australian Government Department of Health and the Ministry of Health Manatu Hauora NZ. We have formed a consolidated approach to managing and minimising the spread and effect of the virus on our staff – because they really are the most important thing to us!
- Staff have been asked to work from home until further notice.
- We have cancelled our upcoming business breakfast, CONVERGE. Health experts say that the best way to control the outbreak is to reduce the number of interactions and non-essential gatherings, and we don’t want to risk the safety of our guests.
- For any staff who have travelled through any other country identified by Health Departments as requiring self-isolation, we have asked that they isolate themselves for 14 days after leaving that country.
- If any staff are unwell, we’re asking them to stay home and seek doctor advice.
- If any staff come into close contact with a proven case of COVID-19 we’re asking them to isolate themselves.
- All business travel is being assessed on a case by case basis.
- Reinforced hygiene policies are in practice.
What should you do if you’re worried?
Salons, spas and barbershops are people businesses – we understand that you see multiple clients all day, every day. With that in mind, there’s still plenty you can do to be proactive about Coronavirus.
For example, any staff that are unwell or have recently travelled from an impacted country should isolate themselves for the required 14 days to minimise the spread of Coronavirus to your clients. Using hand sanitiser frequently, wearing masks, and trying not to greet people with handshakes, hugs, or kisses is another easy way to keep your salon or spa as healthy as possible.
Shortcuts Education Team Leader, Emma, has a few helpful answers to some of your commonly asked questions around managing appointments with the Coronavirus outbreak.
How do I notify my clients if my business is affected by Coronavirus?
If you have any information you would like to update your clients with around COVID-19, like hygiene expectations or if your salons comes into contact with a proven case of COVID-19, there’s a few easy ways you can go about it.
Email and SMS marketing is the quickest and easiest way to get your communication out to specific clients or your whole database. Using Shortcuts Marketing or Mailchimp, you can set up a new campaign, select the clients you’d like the communication to go to and send away.
Within Shortcuts Marketing, there is an appointment acknowledgements template which can be sent when a client makes a booking. This is another great place to include any information around COVID-19 which you would like to communicate with your clients prior to their visit.
Remember to update any of your automated campaigns, including SMS Confirmations, with anything you would like your clients to keep in mind in regards to Coronavirus. You can add a shortened link to your website with more information about your plan on dealing with COVID-19. Here’s a great tool you can use to create a shortened link for your SMS.
If you do experience an outbreak of the virus and need to close your business for the recommended 14 days, don’t forget to post on your social media about the closure. Social is one of the easiest way to notify any guests you may not have in your database, or potential clients who may have been getting ready to book.
How do I reschedule a client if they’re unwell?
You can either drag the appointment in your Appointment Book to a new day and time slot or select a new date for the appointment. This super quick video shows you step by step how you can reschedule your clients in the Appointment Book.
I don’t want to take any Online Bookings for 2 weeks – what do I need to do?
The easiest way to prevent bookings during this period is to remove all employees from being available for online bookings. Your Online Booking page will simply show that no appointments are available until you’re ready to go back online. To remove an employees Online Booking availability, simply visit the employee tab of Shortcuts, and tick or untick the “available for Online Booking” check box under each of your team members.
You can make a note on your Online Booking to alert your clients of your reasons for removing the Online Booking functionality. You can do this via your company settings in the Shortcuts Console.
This could be something like:
“Due to the recent development of COVID-19, we will only be accepting phone bookings. We are still open and unaffected by COVID-19 but would like to do our part to minimise the spread.”
How can I reschedule or cancel an appointment with an upfront payment?
To reschedule an appointment with an upfront payment attached, the easiest thing to do would be to cancel the appointment and charge the upfront payment amount back to the client’s account. That amount can then be used at their new rescheduled time.
If the client would like to cancel their appointment, you can charge the upfront payment as a cancellation fee if you like. However, the best thing to do if the cancellation is related to Coronavirus is to add the amount to the client’s account to use at their next appointment.
How can I disinfect any touch screens or fingerprint scanners?
Disinfecting surfaces that multiple people have contact with, including your touchscreens and fingerprint scanners, is highly recommended. Disinfectants, such as diluted bleach solutions, anti-microbial sprays and wipes, are safe to use on fingerprint readers without harming the sensor window because it is made of glass, however be mindful of the plastic casing around the reader as this can deteriorate over time. For your touch screen electronics, a disinfectant wipe is best to avoid excess moisture. Please double check with your electronics provider as to what cleaning solution is best for your device.
- If the surface is dirty, use a glass cleaner spray or wipe with a tissue, paper towel, or cloth dampened with a cleaning agent.
- Spray or wet the surface with common household disinfectant.
- Let the surface stay wet for as long as is recommended on the label of the disinfectant before wiping off or drying.