*This article was repurposed with permission from Zenoti.
As with any beauty salon, guests’ expectations of the barbershop experience are evolving – as is the type of guest looking for an appointment. Once considered a relatively conventional, male‐focused business, barbershops are now visited by all genders, with a growing demand for an easier, more convenient experience.
To help you meet – and even exceed – these expectations can make your barbershop the brand of choice time after time, we’ve assembled tips from salon and barbershop owners using the Zenoti platform at their businesses.
Remove the wait times
In the traditional barbershop model, the guest arrives, checks in at a front desk, takes a seat, and waits until a barber is available. For most people, the wait time is a waste of time, especially with busy lives and families at home. You can eliminate this step, and see more guests immediately upon arrival, using a variety of tools: online booking with appointment times, live wait times on your website, and a mobile app that alerts you when the guest has arrived.
Guests at the barbershop brand, Ruffians, can book an appointment online in advance and select the day and time most convenient for them. CEO, Andrew Cannon, recognized that guests don’t want to wait for their service and identifies a “simple booking process that isn’t clunky” as a key starting point increating an elevated, end‐to‐end experience.
Create a welcoming environment
Relationships are at the core of the barbershop experience. Guests want to feel welcomed, valued, and appreciated. Take the time to understand your target audience and let them know your barbershop is for them.
Creating an inclusive environment is important to achieving this for Jonny.levi studio, whose motto for guests is “Come as you are, and we will welcome you.” Similarly, at Jed’s Barber Shop, the core belief is that everyone is welcome. To honor this, Jed’s doesn’t categorize services as “men’s” or “women’s”. Instead, they list services by hair or beard and offer long or standard cuts. With this approach, Jed's focuses on the experience for every guest, rather than just males. “This has helped us create a more welcoming space and really build a community of people who love visiting us,” explains Dan, Jed’s General Manager.
Offer and encourage digital payment options
Digital payments are now a part of everyday life. Research shows that half of consumers will not choose a brand if it doesn’t offer contactless options.
“Guests want auto‐pay and mobile payments because that’s the new normal for them,” says Cannon. Inviting guests to pay for services via a mobile app is part of an elevated guest experience, with convenience every step of the way. For optimal efficiency, look for a software solution that connects payments with everything else you need to run your business.
Guests at Birds Barbershop have self‐serve convenience at every touchpoint, from booking to payments, all from a single technology solution. The benefit to Birds’ staff and guests has been huge. “We’ve improved the guest experience by eliminating front desk lines,” says owner, Jayson Rapaport. “Our team can focus 100% on taking care of guests in the chair.”
Add a personal touch
When investing in a technology solution, it’s important not to lose sight of the personal nature of hairdressing and barbershops. Remember that the actual haircut is only one reason guests return. Jed’s GM, Dan, sums it up by asking, “If you go to a barbershop and there's no personalization, why would you go back?”
For Jessi Pooni, Franchise Owner of three Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop locations, establishing a personal connection as soon as the guest arrives is critical. “I think not having a receptionist to welcome guests is a huge miss,” he says. This starts the whole experience, helping to build long‐lasting, loyal relationships.”
Technology can help by taking care of administrative needs and freeing up staff to focus on creating a wonderful experience and greeting each guest as a friend. You can go a step further by storing preferences and insights from guests’ previous visits in their profiles. A quick check of this information helps your barbers and stylists provide an added touch of personalization that truly makes your brand stand out.
To create an unforgettable guest experience at your salon or barbershop, get in touch with Zenoti today.
Originally posted on Salon Today