How To Communicate With Clients In The Barbershop 2017
Customer Communication 101
As a professional – it is your responsibility to understand your customer’s expectations for their haircut, shave, or beard trim. As you gain experience, you’ll improve at figuring out exactly what a client wants, but initially it can be difficult to decode the language your customers use to describe the haircut they want.
A useful philosophy to keep in mind is that you and your customers are often speaking different languages. The difficulty can easily arise when your client uses subjective language which can be interpreted in a number of different ways. A classic example of this is when a customer asks you for a “regular men’s haircut – you know… short” and you give them a cut with a #3 on the sides, and somewhere around an inch and a half on top.
While your understanding is that a “regular men’s haircut” and being “short” both reference something specific – your client might have intended his description to indicate that he wanted to have his hair shorter on the sides and longer on top, and additionally that he expected the length of his hair to be no shorter than half an inch anywhere on his head.
While you have certainly performed the cutting of a regular men’s haircut (as most men’s cuts are conceptualized as being shorter on the sides and longer on top), your understanding of the word “short” may have been entirely different than his. As an uncomfortable result your client may tell you that his hair is now “too short” and he may be unsatisfied with the service you have provided.
The best preventative strategy to avoid this from happening is to continually clarify and make sure that there is a mutual understanding between you and your client. Don’t make assumptions about what your client wants, especially if it is your first time cutting their hair.
If you are unsure of what your client is trying to describe, ask them more follow up questions until you are certain about their expectations. Remember above all else that this communication with your client is necessary and that it is a part of this occupation. Because of this: it does not work well to become frustrated because it comes across to customers as being unprofessional.
If instead you effectively and regularly clarify with your customers, you will see that great communication is the foundation of great clientele.
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