Luke Dolan of Luke’s Barbershop gives us an insight into customer service and client retention…
During my many hours of social media meandering and nonsense, one post stood out to me. It was a simple grey background with the words, ‘Real barbers don’t just do fades’. This got me thinking, not just about fades and the new breed of barbers that can knock out a skin fade blindfolded but can’t do a 3 back and sides and taper for a guy in a hurry. (That’s not an attack on the new age barbers that’s just an observation.) What it got me thinking about is a fundamental corner stone in both hairdressing and barbering and that’s customer service. We don’t ‘just’ do fades and cuts, we do people. We are their stylist, friend, confidant, therapist, advisor…we are what they need on that day, plus the person who gives them that extra confidence by supplying the best cut possible which makes them walk with their heads a little higher, with an extra spring in their step and a larger smile that they greet their friends and family with. Yes that’s right, think about it, its exactly what we do. We are the modern day unsung heroes, that do all of this for the price of a haircut.
I’ve always worked in the service industry and as much as working with people all day every day has made me dream of retiring to somewhere where there are NO people i.e. the moon, it has taught me that good customer service goes further than the cut/item/goods certainly do. I’m surrounded by coffee shops but I walk to the furthest one away because I’m greeted by smiles, high fives and jokes and it’s an environment that puts me in a good mood. As it happens the coffee is slightly more expensive but I couldn’t care less because I feel on top the world when I leave with my flat white.
Each person you have in your chair is the beginning of a relationship, albeit a small one, it still counts. It’s a relationship that could last years! That first cut will have to be a good one but it’s probably a 70/30 split with service. The next time it’s 50/50, showing a consistent cut but more recognition and ramping up the service. After that the cut is almost irrelevant. They know you are good and you get their needs and what they want. Now they want just to feel comfortable in your presence and that they can TRUST you. Once that magic bridge is built you have a customer for a very long time, unless something big gets in the way i.e. a move, death, relocation OR BAD SERVICE!
It’s the power of three! It’s an actual behavioural study that was carried out by another firm I worked for in a past life. The study was extremely in depth, but in short, it basically means if a customer returns three times, then they are 90% more likely to keep on returning out of habit. So, follow the rule of three people. Want to grow a client base? It’s not just cuts, fades, tattoos, beards, Instagram and other hipster nonsense, it’s treating each possible client with the upmost respect and keeping them returning to you and your shop. I know people that, by their own admission, aren’t the best but they are booked for months on end because they awesome human beings.
Go now and do your people and do them well!