We want to be completely sustainable by Dec 2021: Vikram Bhatt, Founder, Enrich Salons

Bhatt talks about the brand’s initiatives to build consumer trust and confidence in the wake of the pandemic

e4m by Christina Moniz
Updated: Oct 30, 2020 4:53 PM
bhatt

Vikram Bhatt, Founder, Enrich Salons, talks about the brand’s initiatives to build consumer trust and confidence in the wake of the pandemic. He also tells us why sustainability and hygiene will be the two big focus points for the brand

 

What kind of consumer walk-ins are you seeing since the lifting of the lockdown restrictions on salons?

Initially the consumers were hesitant to visit as the services involve touch, but once they were aware and experienced the safety protocols taken by Enrich, they felt safe to visit. Initially, we had more of men walking in, but now with festivities underway and overall confidence building up, we see a surge in women visitors too. In Sept 20, we closed at 70% of the previous year.

 

You recently rolled out some digital campaigns such as ‘Me to We’ when you re-opened your salons. Tell us about the consumer response to these campaigns.

Keeping the current pandemic in mind, Enrich has changed their tagline from ‘Love Begins from Us| Me to We’. Through this campaign, we are talking about how ‘We’ need to win only then ‘I’ can win. Each one is safe, only if all of us are safe. The campaign was digital-led with videos that conveyed this message beautifully. Likewise, as a company, we ensured it is practised internally too in all possible best ways we could in helping our customers and ensuring their beauty needs as well as safety are well met.

As soon as the lockdown was announced, our team got in touch with our customers to address their beauty queries. Throughout the months, we have been serving them, home delivering products even when e-commerce was allowed but courier services were not fully functional. We started conducting DIY sessions for our customers, webinars and helped them address their queries. At Enrich, we do not really have to make any major changes- since inception, we gave due importance to hygiene. We are the only salon in India to be CIDESCO, Switzerland certified for safety measures. However, to keep up with the changed times, we have to modify/tweak our approach for specific services. For example, we have added some innovative acrylic enclosures, the first of its kind, for facial services which give an added safety benefit.          

We conducted a survey where we reached out to over 4 lakh of our customers to understand their sentiments. One of the findings was that a significant number of people were actually looking forward to salons opening in order to have a day of relaxation and avail services with all necessary precautions. Basis their feedback, we have reviewed each link of the existing SOPs, added new measures, made compliance more stringent and trained our teams to adopt to the new quality and hygiene standards. In addition to newly defined guidelines to keep Covid-19 at bay, we have placed floor stickers to assure a safe distance of at least six feet between customers at our service stations. Other measures include every day self-assessment through AarogyaSetu App, salon hygiene, sensor-based sanitisers, sterilization of mobiles, etc.

What are some of the steps you’re taking to encourage consumers to bring them back to the salon for grooming, self-care and other needs? Tell us about your media outreach for the same.

Well established salons like Enrich have been following strict SOPs for over 10 years. However, some brands that have recently adopted hygiene and safety protocols, will have learning curve issues. Thus, as a company, we do not have any new challenges in terms of adopting to safety and hygiene. Over the last 8-10 years, Enrich has adopted technology and our employees are tech savvy. We are the only salon in India to be CIDESCO (Switzerland) certified for safety. Also, we are following 50% occupancy rule at any point of time to ensure distance is well maintained and service is hassle-free. We are working with 50% manpower to ensure social distancing is practiced inside the salon and have planned to keep the salons open seven days a week. Our appointments are full. The feedback received on the measures adopted are very positive, and clients are quite happy.

While all this helps in building the trust, it’s important to also showcase this effectively to the consumers. Through our social media outreach – influencer tie-ups and consumer testimonials, we have been able to do this consistently. We have also released some interesting narration style videos which showcase the safety protocols and addresses consumer doubts, and those have received a great response as well.

Today companies like Urban Company and others are encouraging consumers to try home salon services for safety reasons. Are you going to focus largely on Belita (your home service offering)?

The home salon service is now a part of the mainstream offerings of the brand, where therapists from Enrich salons in the catchment would render the expert services.  As of now, we are focusing mainly on the digital campaigns to showcase the convenience and safety of services in the comfort of one’s home. We have produced a creative, heart-warming poem which focuses on home service.  Since it is an extension of Enrich which is well established, we expect people to appreciate the detailing and care we take in our services.

Looking ahead, how do you expect the salon/retail business to change? What are some of the big focus areas for you, going forward in this new normal?

Sustainability and hygiene will be the two big focus points for businesses. This lockdown has sensitised people, and hence conscious consumerism has been on the rise. We also plan on taking on sustainability in the big way and want to be completely sustainable by December 2021. An in-house sustainable brand which would cater salon services and retail productions is on the cards. Home salon is another big vertical to focus on since the convenience of it attracts customers. 

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