I would like to take a break from writing lesson plans and filming videos to share a success story about one of our members. Cheryl Dumont has been a member of our website for almost a year now. She recently sent me an e-mail to tell me about her new barbershop that she will be opening shortly and how we have helped her with the new venture.
Cheryl, who is third generation in the hair business had this to say:
“In barber school and in my apprentice experience I learned the basics. But I don’t want to be a basic barber. I earned the title of Master Barber and I want to live up to that title. My goal is to grow as a barber and continually improve my skills. www.HowToCutHair.tv is a tool that I have been using to help me achieve that goal. What I like best is learning how to cut wide variety of people, hair types, and styles which are necessary for success in the barber industry. Your site has helped me build my confidence because I now have a place to go where I can learn from my mistakes, make adjustment and improve for the next client.”
This is clearly someone who values the importance of continuing her education and is constantly striving to improve. It reminds me of 18 years ago when I opened my first barbershop and one of the senior customers told me, “If you focus on perfecting your craft, success will follow.”
You can see Cheryl’s barbershop here: http://www.chez-moustache.com/ She has a really cool blog that I would encourage everyone to read and leave some comments and words of encouragement. Also, check out the pictures of her shop. I can’t wait to see it next time I am in Providence, R.I. The waiting room looks like a great place to relax and enjoy some quiet time while waiting for what I am sure will be a great haircut.
As an educator there is no better feeling than inspiring and helping other people achieve their dreams.
One of the most important things to understand when learning how to become a barber is the importance of building your clientele. Without clients or customer you have no business. Without clients or customers it doesn’t matter how good you are.
There are many ways to go about building your clientele. Probably the easiest of all is to ask for referrals. I know that sound like sales and not something that has to do with cutting hair but that’s the way it is. We are selling ourselves on a daily basis.
Don’t overcomplicate it. It can be as simple as “Could you please tell your friends about me?” Everyone can say that. Think about it. Customers come back to us because they are getting a good haircut and they like us. You would help out someone you do business with and that you like personally if they asked you.
I am a third generation barber and I have heard my father say this for years. Customers react with a chuckle and an “Of Course!” I have seen this work for years and it doesn’t cost any money. Just smile and ask for help. It’s as easy as that.
I could go on forever writing about barbershop customer service. Creating customer loyalty is the key to long term success in the barber industry. Short haircuts are back in a big way and are here to stay. Classic barber tapered haircuts are also back in a big way and are here to stay. Fortunately for barbers these customers need there haircut every 1-4 weeks to maintain these styles.
The topic for this blog is how to greet your customer. This is more than just asking them how they want their haircut. It starts when they walk in the door.
– Is the barbershop or salon reception/waiting area clean?
– Is the receptionist or the first face the customer sees smiling when they walk in the door?
– Is the customer greeted with a good morning/afternoon/evening?
– Is the next question “How are you doing today?”
If you look at these questions closely you will notice that I haven’t even talked about the customer’s barber greeting them yet. It is so important that the customer walks into a clean environment, is greeted with a welcoming smile, and asked how they are doing. Customers notice everything and are forming an opinion about the barbershop and you long before you pick up a scissor or clipper.
Next is the final part to greeting the customer and making them feel welcome no matter how long you have been cutting their hair. Do this every time you cut their hair. Look them in the eye, shake their hand, and greet them by name with a “How are you doing today?, How have you been?, or It is nice/good/great to see you today.”
Everyone likes to feel important and welcome. Let your customer know you care about them and you will have a customer for life.