Whether you’ve been in the salon and barbershop game for a while or just starting out, chances are there are areas you can focus on that will help build your brand and grow your revenue.
Most service industry businesses have had it rough the past couple of years. Between dealing with a pandemic and the aftermath, the service industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors since 2020.
Some of the challenges have been unique, like the pandemic and inflation, while others are traditional such as;
- Increased competition
- Lack of customer loyalty
- Difficulty attracting new customers and leads
- Changing market trends
- Crowded marketing channels
So if you’re running any type of service industry business, you want to focus on two things; making for a better customer experience and growing your brand recognition due to the first objective.
Making a good impression and enhancing the customer experience is incredibly valuable to building your brand.
Customer Experience Is King
Every business needs customers; that’s a given. So instead of spending a ton on marketing that you may not have available, you want to focus on creating a better customer experience for the customers you already have.
By creating a better customer experience, you’re going to generate a more positive perception of your business. In addition, happy customers like sharing their experiences with friends and family, creating a form of free marketing known as word-of-mouth marketing.
Word-of-mouth marketing is defined as a tactic employed to generate natural discussions about a product or service. Basically, it’s about getting people to talk about your business and services to people they speak with regularly. It’s a form of outside-the-box marketing and provides more organic results.
The reason that word-of-mouth is effective is that when people come across advertisers, they have heightened guardrails.
Still, those defenses are lowered when a person is familiar to you, making messaging and opinions easier to accept and digest.
If you’re in the service industry, the very first thing to put your efforts into is how you will provide your customers with top-notch care. If you are running a restaurant, you’ll want to focus on how you personalize your guest’s visits.
If you’re running a personal fitness business, you’ll want to be flexible in scheduling and catering your exercise programs to the individual client.
In a barbershop or salon, you’ll want to create a dynamic experience for your guests that include;
Decor: A warm, cozy decor is ideal, something that is relaxing and soothing but also appropriate for the type of client you’re focusing on. Having entertainment available, whether in magazines, video games, music, or TV, is another good way to enhance customer experience.
Also, keep a clean, well-lighted place as part of your decor.
Scheduling: Keeping to schedules and making appointment scheduling easy. You can do this manually or utilize barber shop scheduling software that will help set your appointments, send out reminders, and help with billing and payments as well.
A good scheduling app or point-of-sale (POS) system
Hiring and training: Who you hire is essential, but how you train them to represent your customer-centric focus is crucial.
Hiring the right people with personalities that boost your brand and make your customer’s visits enjoyable is essential to leave a good impression on your customers.
Growing Your Brand
Enhancing your customer service is a great way to build a reputation with your customers and their friends, but growing your customers is a whole other thing.
Growing your brand takes finding and nurturing leads and prospects so that you can continue to build your brand recognition organically and increase your revenues.
The most important aspect of growing your brand is consistency and making an excellent first and better second impression.
Nurturing New Leads And Prospects: Finding new leads either through paid advertising or, more importantly, from word-of-mouth referrals is crucial. Developing trust and building a brand name that people equate with quality and with outstanding friendly service is what it will take for your business to grow.
Create Loyalty Programs: A simple, easy way to improve your brand while improving customer experience simultaneously is with a loyalty program. Loyalty programs give your customers a little something in return for continued business.
Loyalty programs can be a cash-back incentive, an exclusive in-house deal, or whatever type of incentive makes sense for your business and your customers.
Repeat Customers: In service businesses, money is made from repeat customers. As we discussed with word-of-mouth marketing, lowering somebody’s defense mechanism by already being familiar with that person is a great way to sell them something.
People have favorite drinks and restaurants because of good products; more importantly, they are familiar to the customer. So it takes less effort to sell to somebody the second or third time and more than the first time.
Growing your brand should start with making a better customer experience and then building on that with repeat and new customers.
Excellent customer experience is central to the service industry, and taking some time to plan strategically will be the difference between your barbershop making it or not.