Standard Operating Procedure
With these examples, it’s a wonder that you’ll ever find health care professionals at your nail table. But you can get—and keep—them as regular clients if you know what types of services to offer. Wendy Pursch, owner of Embellish Nails & Boutique in Austin, Texas, suggests that nail techs help health care workers understand that simple manicures and pedicures are not only safe for them to work with—and in line with the rules and regulations—but it’s also good grooming.
“Regular nail care prevents ingrown nails, ragged, infection-prone cuticles and dry, cracked skin,” says Pursch. “Skin and nails are our first barrier of defense against bacteria, so it’s important to keep skin moisturized, nails clean and neat, and rough, calloused skin exfoliated. Since health care workers use their hands more than others, clients may choose to buff their nails rather than use polish if they find that it chips quickly due to frequent hand-washing and hard use.”
As for enhancements, there is usually an all-or-nothing attitude that goes along with them—but it doesn’t have to be that way. While health care professionals may not be able to wear enhancements on a daily basis, it doesn’t mean that they can’t have them for a special occasion. Soak-off gels, full-coverage tips and glue-and-powder nails can all be worn for a short period of time for a special event and are easily removed.
Besides the actual nail service, there are other ways to retain health care professionals as your clients. It’s important to share your salon’s commitment to sanitation—this is something that these types of clients are aware of at work, and they will appreciate that their nails are cared for in the same way. “Here at Embellish Nails & Boutique, we explain to all of our first-time customers that we do not use traditional whirlpool tubs because they are difficult to sanitize,” Pursch says. “We also make sure our customers understand that we never reuse nail files or buffers, and that our metal nail implements are sanitized with a three-step process, including a dry heat sterilizer.”
Finally, to get new clients into the salon, consider offering special discounts to health care workers in local hospitals or doctors’ offices. Pursch believes that customer loyalty programs or offers for services on special days and at different times are great ways to attract these clients, as they may work irregular schedules and aren’t available to come in during normal salon hours. Also, try marketing spa services that emphasize relaxation—offer them services that act as a retreat from their stressful job.
Though their guidelines may be strict, you shouldn’t completely rule out health care professionals from your client list. Understanding the restrictions placed on them and what services they need is the best way to turn them into regular clients.
Terah Shelton is a freelance writer based in Georgia. Her work has appeared in Women’s Health, Women’s Adventure, Hallmark Magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray and Natural Solutions.