- TREAT EVERY TIME LIKE THE FIRST
A lot of barbers look at their first time customers as people they need to invest their time with, and it is true, you should invest your time in making sure that the new customers into your barbershop are well taken care of, but on each subsequent visit you should focus on that guest even more than the first time. I call my regular customers by “bread and butter”, they put the food on my table and pay my rent every week. I know a lot of barbers that will put in the work to get that first customer to come back and once they have them in their chair 3-5 times they just stop cutting their hair with the same amount of precision and care. Beware the feeling of comfort, it’ll come back to cut you. Treat your “bread and butter” clients even better than the first timers, they are the reason you are where you are.
When I say focus, always give your regulars a full on consultation, make them feel special each and every time they sit in your chair. Compliment them, and make sure you mention their name and something that you remember from the last go round.
- CONSISTENCY IS KEY
If you can’t cut a consistent haircut then make sure to put in some practice. Consistency is key to client retention. If you killed the haircut the last time, make sure you kill it the next time. Sure, everyone has bad days, but if you build a system around how you cut that works, you’ll never have a bad day. Don’t put out bad haircuts, always make sure that your consultations are thorough, always make sure that you and your guest understand each other before you start cutting. And if you can’t do the cut...don’t do it. Learning techniques on new customers is something you should not tackle unless you have direct supervision. Trying something new on someone who isn’t a friend or family will not make your reputation.
- WORD OF MOUTH
Word of mouth and reputation is everything. Remember you are only as good as your last haircut, if you damage your reputation by rushing through some ‘boring’ haircuts to get to something more interesting, than you don’t deserve to be busy. One bad haircut is one person bad-mouthing you and your barbershop to at least ten people who in turn will tell five who in turn will tell two and so on.
Appearance and attitude are everything. IF you look good, talk a good game and speak a good game, and have some amazing stories to tell...you’ll be busy. Just make sure to back it all up with a good to great haircut. If you can’t deliver that, than none of this makes sense.
Connect with your customers. This is key. If the two of you are having a good time and you are creating great cuts while having a great conversation...customer for life.
- DON’T GET CRUSTY
Don’t get stale. If you and your customer hit a rut, where you are no longer cutting the sickest cut for them...then prepare to get dumped for the barber two chairs away that has the crispest line-ups, or the biggest pompadours. This is why you have the consultation every time...to make sure your regulars are happy. Go so far as to ask, “Is there anything different that you’ve been wanting to try?”
- GET PROPER.
Groom yourself. Be the person that you’d like to get your haircut from. Breath mints, deodorant, great hair, trimmed nails and great clothes will bring people back.
- GET ORGANIZED.
Pig-backing on this, try to be one of the most organized and sanitary barbers in the shop. You may not think that people notice what you are doing with your station and cleanliness, but they do, and they will come back if you are an organized and clean person.
- SMILE AND CHAT UP EVERYONE.
Be friendly with everyone that walks through the door. You never know when that someone might want to switch it up and come sit in your chair. Odds are if a customer does this it won’t be forever (they’re likely seat switchers), but enjoy the extra income and customers if they do come.
- EDUCATE YOURSELF
Know the latest trends and keep your skills on the cutting edge. If you can predict what is going to happen next and deliver it to you customers, they will see you as a valuable asset in their personal style.