That’s right; we’re starting to talk about what you’ll be offering when this whole COVID-19 thing is a distant, horrible memory.
Because if you’re ready to go, then your business will have a head-start on everyone else. Let’s not be reactive – planning too much is better than scurrying to put something together at the last minute.
So, let’s ask ourselves some important questions:
What will your clients want?
Human emotions, especially in times of extremes, tend to act like a pendulum. It’s the reason rollercoasters are so popular – terror and euphoria are closely related. With this in mind, consider how your clients are feeling at the moment, and look at the opposite for how they will act when the restrictions are lifted and life can return to normal.
At the moment, they are:
• Uncertain about the future
• Hesitant to spend money
• Feeling restricted in their movements
Once the rules are relaxed, we will see a community of enthusiastic, optimistic people eager to “revenge spend,” and regain their sense of normality.
The details of what your clients want will depend very much on your product and offerings but think about treatments that are entirely inaccessible to them at the moment and luxuries that they have had to put on hold. Consider how you can help them embrace their newfound freedom, and give them an experience that they have been craving for what feels like, far too long.
What will differentiate you in an energetic market?
Our industry is likely to return with a bang, with clients needing treatments for practical and emotional reasons. There will be no shortage of people coming through the doors, but there will also be increased pressure from highly motivated competitors.
How will you differentiate yourself in what is likely to be a very noisy market?
The current crisis is unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetime, and you should consider this when planning your promotional return. Traditional marketing and copycat offers are likely to be drowned out in a sea of activity, so you need to think about what makes you different and what makes you better. Don’t get caught up in the old boring “years of experience,” and “best treatment,” thing that everyone does. Anyone can claim that they are the best, and inevitably most of us have many years in the industry. Think about what makes you unique, and if you can’t think of anything then change your offering, clinic or anything you can to make sure that when you re-open, you do.
What will compel people who have never visited you before, to give you a shot?
Many people – including your clients – have had their regular beauty and aesthetic routine interrupted. We have already mentioned the importance of maintaining engagement with your clients, but this is also a chance to increase market share and encourage new people to visit your clinic. Think about this as two categories –
• Those who currently go to competitors
• Those who do not regularly visit a clinic, but are interested in doing so with the easing of restrictions
The most important thing or both of these categories is the ability to make an appointment quickly and easily, based on an offer that is compelling. People are far more likely to be fluid in their decision-making after COVID-19 is over because their existing patterns of purchase have been broken.
Now we can ask, what offers should we have?
Hopefully, it’s obvious that a single offer will not be enough. To make most of your return, consider a “grand re-opening,” either in the form of a compelling offer or physically in your clinic. (We will discuss the grand re-opening strategy in a future blog, but it’s worth starting to think about now.)
Your offers to existing clients should be with them before you re-open, and they should have had plenty of time to make bookings to ensure your first week is packed before it even starts.
Your secondary offers to potential clients should go out just after your existing client offers, and should also give plenty of time for pre-bookings. Remember to tell the potential client why they should come to you, what the offer is and give them an incredibly simple method of making an appointment; preferably with multiple options such as online, telephone, email etc.
While we have not experienced anything as damaging to our industry in recent history, it also presents us with a unique opportunity. Nobody will have another chance to relaunch as an industry, and this is your chance to rewrite what that looks like.