Customer Service

I’m not old, but I’m not that young either. So I remember when a cell phone was not a staple in our every day lives. Now, let’s make this perfectly clear. I’m pretty much attached to my mobile device, and for me, like most of us, it’s more than just a phone.

If you’ve been keeping up with me you know I consider the smart phone an integral part of my marketing, promotion and clientele retention. If you haven’t been keeping up, or need a refresher,  click here, and here, and become more acquainted with my views and ideas related to this topic.

So now you’re aware of the fact that I’m as addicted to my phone as everybody else (maybe more). But just like any other good thing, too much is not a good thing. Actually let’s focus on the wrong time to use it.

Some of these instances are obvious to us all. For example, the “loud talker”.  This guy, or gal, uses the phone in a public place, say a movie, or a barber shop waiting room, and talks so loud, that we all become distracted, or a part of their conversation.  They might be arguing with a significant other, or bloviating over money, women, cars, or something braggadocios that they “inadvertently” want us to know about.  Sometimes they’re just loud, and we all wish they’d step outside!  Is this you?  Well, sorry, but ahh…hey, ya might need to check yourself!

Now, this next issue is very familiar to Barbers. Customers, I know you’re always supposed to be right, but sometimes, like everybody else, your just not. Excessive phone conversations while we’re cutting your hair, “just aint right!”, and it’s bad for both of us. You’re talking can add to the length of the cut, and take away from it’s quality.  Sometimes the slightest movement, especially if you’re one of those animated talkers, can damage the outcome. Texting can be almost as bad. People don’t realize that the attention being given to their device can inadvertently force their head out of the position we need it to be in.

Now if you have to answer an important call, it’s perfectly understandable. I have no problem when a customer answers a business call, or an important personal one, I get it. But if you answer that phone and your conversation is going like: “yeaah son, she had the fat a**, I gotta hit that, you goin out later, man, you know what I,m sayin…”.  In the words of the great Mike Ditka, “STOP IT”.

Funny isn’t it? Barbers, stop laughing! You know, many of us can be the worse culprits. Customers, have you ever gotten your hair cut buy a Barber who is holding the phone with his head and shoulder, got home and your line was crooked as a criminal? How about the constant “phone break” Barber. or the “one hand cutter”.  We all have been guilty at one time or another. A bit of advice for Barbers, invest in a good bluetooth headset. Sometimes we have to take a call, and the hands free device allows you to do so, without messing up the flow. However, don’t let that be an excuse to over talk, and ignore your customers, especially at the beginning  consultation, or the end when you get their feed back.

We all love our phones, lets just practice proper  mobile phone etiquette!

Blog written by Dan Brown The Barber

Exodus Barber Shop is a full service shop that accepts walk ins, so customers come on in! Now for those of you who don’t like to wait, we encourage you to make an appointment, because we know how important your time is. This article however is not directed at you. I’d like to talk to the Barbers.

I encourage Barbers to schedule appointments as it is a good way to build solid clientele and take control of your own time. Making a career out of this profession starts with clientele building, with the key word being career!  As barbers we often get caught up in the hustle of the business. Now don’t get me wrong, you have to have that hustle to establish yourself and those without it often fall behind. However, having hustle and being a hustler are not the same thing, and a  professional Barber is NOT a hustler. As the owner of a shop I choose to only hire full time, dedicated barbers. There are many aspects that qualify an individual to fit into this category but here I’m focusing on clientele building with a focus on appointments.

Many barbers are apprehensive about appointments because they don’t believe their customers will adhere to them. I had the same reservations. I was a stay in the shop all day all night barber who had no control of my own time, and to be honest when I switched over I lost some folks, but that was short term, and we REAL BARBERS are in it for the long haul. How many of us have been ready to leave on a Saturday evening only to get that last minute dude who, once he gets in the chair, you realize he probably was at the mall or smoking weed all day. Yes he’s inconsiderate…because you let him. At a young age I figured out if you let somebody punk you off you will continue to get punked! Stop being a punk ass barber! We understand that reasoning, don’t we?

I’m not advocating a rude awakening type of transition because we are, after all, businessmen and women. Fortunately most of us possess the key to our Barber Freedom…a mobile phone. Even the simplest of phones have contact lists, and you probably have some sort of smart phone. Always exchange contact info with your customers. If they don’t want to do it they probably didn’t like the cut and that’s another lesson. Your phone should have a calendar…use it. Now I generally book half hour appointments, some do an hour , others 45 minutes. Once you establish your clients needs you can schedule according to those needs.

Now comes discipline. If you have a 2pm appointment, don’t take a 1:52 walk in. Over time you’ll realize who the dependable clients are. Trust me the dependable clients will love you for it and will reward you with their loyalty. Now the most important aspect of this equation is your dependability…be on time, and be there for your appointments. Consistency and dependability are as much a part of your success as good haircuts. In order for this concept to work one must exercise patience and stay the course.

This is not for the hustler, it’s for the career barber. Professional career barbers work for clients, and appointments are an important aspect of turning customers into clients. Well that’s it for now. If you have any questions feel free to contact me, my info is on our website http://www.exodusbarbershop.com on the Staff page. I’ll be teaching a class at the 2012 Fall World Natural Hair, Health, and Beauty Show October 6th and 7th, in Atlanta. Visit www.naturalhairshow.org for more info. Of course you can catch me at Exodus Barber Shop whenever your in the Atlanta area.

Blog written by Dan Brown “The Barber”