Competition and Customer Retention Issues
The salon and barber shop business is highly fragmented and very competitive, so you’ll need to constantly keep your services relevant and hip. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and strive to offer your customers new and exciting products and services while keeping customer satisfaction your number one priority.
Salons and barber shops depend on two types of customers: regulars and walk-ins. Your business mostly depends on the regulars—the clients who form a relationship with you or your stylists and come back again and again. But walk-ins are important too, because they offer the opportunity to create a new regular customer—if you treat them right and make a good first impression.
Customer retention is all about customer awareness. Notice your customer’s body language and listen to what they are saying to pick up clues about their experience and level of happiness with your services. If you sense any problems, try to find solutions before the problems grow into a negative experience that may prevent the client from returning.
- Don’t take your regular customers for granted. Consider offering discounts or special offers or some type of loyalty program to reward your return clients. Similarly, promotions aimed at first time customers can get new clients in the door. Make appointment booking simple and foolproof.
- Help your stylists stay up to date on the latest trends by encouraging them to attend conferences and seminars. Consider paying for this continuing education or at least offsetting some of the costs.
- Know what your competitors are offering and what they are charging. You want to remain competitive on services and pricing.
- Consider broadening your retail product offerings. Make sure your employees have talking and sales points and that they understand the products you’re selling. Work with a designer to create an inviting shopping experience using well-thought-out displays with good lighting.
- Use social media to engage with customers. Twitter can be used to broadcast last minute appointment openings, special offers and in-store events and allow clients to post comments about your services. Be proactive in responding to complaints and thank customers who sing your praises. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest give you a place to show photos of your work and interior shots of your salon or barber shop amenities.