Retaining Your Barbershop Customers

CustomerserviceRetaining your barbershop customers is the lifeblood for your barber business. As exciting as it is to attract and service a new customer it doesn’t mean a lot to your future success unless you keep them happy and coming back to your chair. There are many ways to achieve a high retention rate. There have been many books have been written on this subject but in this blog I am going to touch on just a few ideas that are so simple and easy you can implement them right away.

Retaining Your Barbershop Customers 101:

Smile:  When you greet your customer make sure you are smiling when you say hello. This will put your customer at ease, let them know you are happy to see them, and that you genuinely enjoy what you do.

Keep Your Work Area Clean:  Your barber station is the first thing your customer will be looking at when they sit in your chair. A clean work station will also put them at ease and let them know that you are prepared for them and will be taking care of them with clean tools.

Say Thank You:  When you are finished with the service and walking the customer to the reception area to cash out say “Thank You”. To take it one step further use their name when you say thank you. Everyone wants to feel appreciated and this is how to do it. A simple “Thank You” is so much more respectful than “Take it easy”, “See you next time”, “Have a good one”, etc. These are how you say goodbye to your friends in social situations. Paying customers deserve more.

Always keep in mind that your barbershop customers are paying a portion of your mortgage/rent, car payment, grocery bill, and other personal expenses so it is imperative to treat them with the respect that they deserve.

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Experience – The Professional Barber

Now that we have taken care of every detail from the customer walking in the door, checking in, and relaxing in the waiting area they will be turning their attention to you the barber. As they sit there in the waiting room they are judging every detail and forming an opinion. Keep in mind you have not interacted with them yet and in some case have not even met them if they are a new customer. So what are they judging you on? They are judging you based on your appearance, your technical ability (if they can see you working on another customer), and your communication skills (both verbal and non-verbal). Professional Barber

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Experience – The Professional Barber

I cannot stress enough the point that we are in the personal grooming business. We are selling appearance. Why would someone want to come to us to make them look better if we are not well groomed? Before we dig a little deeper it is important to understand what personal grooming or being well groomed means. A well groomed appearance encompasses your overall appearance from your shoes to your clothes to your haircut. Your haircut is the most important because we are in the business of selling haircuts. How can you sell a haircut if your hair does not look good? I cannot tell you how many requests I used to get in my first walk-in barbershop because I always had a great haircut. It didn’t even matter to people when I told them that I did not cut my own hair. They still wanted to wait for me. But it goes beyond a good haircut. My father who trained me always told me to look the part. Finally I asked him one day what that meant. He told me you are in the barber profession so you need to look like a professional. This was some of the best advice he could have ever given me and I am excited to pass it on to you. Take pride in your dress and overall appearance. Make it a point to always look your best. This is the quickest way to build a level of faith and confidence in your ability in the eyes of your customer. It doesn’t matter how good you are technically if they do not get in your chair. The majority of their perception of you is formed before you pick up the scissors or clippers.

Stay tuned for the next blogs in this series where I explain in more detail what it means to be a well groomed and professional barber….

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Experience – The Check-In Process Part 2

Providing first class customer service is the key to attracting and retaining customers. In this installment of the blog series I am going to cover what should happen when the customer walks in the front door.

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Experience – The Check-in Process Part 2

An organized check-in system is a must for taking care of the customer properly along with running a successful barbershop. When the customer comes into the shop there needs to be an actual system in place for what they are supposed to do, where they are supposed to wait, in what order they will be taken care of, and who will be taking care of them. There are a few ways to go about this depending on the size of the business. You can use a computerized system with industry software, you can use a numbering system, or you can simply use a note pad to keep track of everyone waiting.

There are numerous industry software packages that have thorough check-in procedures. The computer system we use keeps track of all of our clients by the last four digits of their phone number. When they check in they give the receptionist those numbers and their name pops up on the left hand side of the computer screen which indicates the client is present and waiting. Once their barber is ready to take them their name is moved from the left hand side of the screen to the right hand side and a work ticket prints out. The barber grabs the work ticket and it has all of the customer’s information on it so the barber knows who they are and what service they are getting in.

If you work in or own a smaller shop and do not have the budget for computer a simple note pad will work. In my first shop I had four chairs and did not employ a receptionist. It was not a huge issue because we did not book appointments at that time. I would keep a note pad on the desk and when a customer would walk in the door they would sign in. If they wanted to wait for a particular barber they would write down the name of their desired barber next to their name. This was very efficient. Each barber would cash out their customer and call out the next name on the list.

The simplest system you can have is a number system. You can use a ticket counter like at the deli or you can use a roll of tickets like raffle tickets. When you finish with one customer just call out the next number.

What is not a system though is just yelling out “next” in a crowded barbershop. This is asking for trouble. No one is really keeping track and it can be extremely uncomfortable for everyone in the waiting room. Getting a haircut is supposed to be a relaxing experience. If a customer is uncomfortable at any time during their visit to the barbershop they most likely will not come back.

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Experience – The Check-in Process Part 1

Providing first class customer service is the key to attracting and retaining customers. In this installment of the blog series I am going to cover what should happen when the customer walks in the front door.

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Experience – The Check-in Process Part 1

Once the customer walks through the front door they should be greeted immediately. They should feel welcome the second they walk in the front door. They need to know they are definitely in the right place. They also need to know what to do. With the male customer, never assume they know what they should do when they enter the barbershop. Most men need to be directed or told what to do. We usually can’t figure it out on our own. Directing the customer is the job of either the receptionist or one of the barbers.

If you are a larger barbershop you will most likely have a receptionist. The receptionist should always have a smile on his or her face. Greet the customer with a friendly smile and by name if you know it. Politely ask the customer how you can help them. This is very important and something I have worked hard on in my shops. We take both appointments and walk-ins. Our receptionists were getting into a bad habit of asking customers if they are an appointment or just a walk-in. These were the first words out of their mouth. I was very unhappy with this because it puts the customer on the defensive immediately. Right away they are concerned they can’t get a haircut without and appointment. Also, by asking them if they are “just a walk-in” it gives the perception that they are not as important because they did not schedule ahead of time.

Smaller barbershops most likely will not have a receptionist. If this is the case it can be a little tricky. One of the barbers needs to be designated to greet the customer when they walk in the door. My suggestion is that the barber who is in the chair closest to the door is the person to handle the greeting and directing traffic. You don’t want the barber farthest away from the door shouting over 3 or 4 haircuts and conversations. The trick is to be friendly and not make the new customer walking in the door feel like he is being an inconvenience to the business. With that being said you want to make sure you are not leaving your customer in the chair that you are currently working on for too long. You don’t want to make them feel neglected or that the new customer walking in the front door is more important than they are.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I give examples of a few different organized check-in systems….

 

 

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Experience

Before I get into how to provide the ultimate barbershop customer service experience it is extremely important that you have an excellent understanding of what customer service actually means.  Customer service is a series of events that happen throughout the purchase process to enhance the level of customer satisfaction.

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Experience:

The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Experience is providing your customer with first class customer service from the time they walk in the front door of the barbershop until they walk back out of the same door. Everything that happens in between has to be delivered in a memorable way that gives you the best chance to turn the customer into a repeat customer. To get a better understanding of how best to accomplish this difficult task I would like to break the process down into three simple to remember categories: The pre-haircut, the haircut, and the post haircut.

The first 5-6 blogs in The Ultimate Barbershop Customer Service Series will cover what should happen in the pre-haircut portion of your customers visit. By definition the pre-haircut is everything that happens before the customer sits down in your chair. This includes checking in, waiting for a haircut, and being greeted by the barber. It is at this point where a large portion of the customer’s perception of you and your barbershop or the barbershop you work in is being formed.

Stay tuned for Part 1 in this series which covers the Check-In process in great detail……