Why they’re both critical to your success.

From the comb-over to the quiff,  the five o’clock stubble to a bushranger beard, there is no denying that male grooming is one of the most defining trends the hair industry has seen in years.

No longer just a niche market, Aussie blokes are turning to barbers in the thousands, to help transform their look and redefine their personal style.

Barbershops have successfully bridged the gap between the ten dollar men’s cut and the high-end women’s salon, providing a distinctively masculine environment where men can relax and unwind. Although the vibe varies – from hipster to urban to ultra-modern – they all have one thing in common: they are a shrine to the new wave of barbering.

The new breed of barber has a knack for achieving that elusive air of laid back sophistication, and an inherent understanding of maleness and what makes men tick. They take a highly individualised approach and are enormously proud about what they do. They understand that their success relies on true mastery of their art form.

If this rings a few bells, and sounds a lot like you and your business, you probably think you’ve got things pretty well sorted. But take a little time to think about what might be missing from the experience you provide.

Yes, your clients love you because you’re great at what you do, and you help bring out their uniqueness and individual style, but let’s not forget they come armed with the lofty expectations of a savvy, digital age consumer. They’re used to instant gratification and if you can’t provide it, your business may certainly suffer.

With the price of a men’s cut now comparable to the price of a woman’s, it’s essential to get the balance between craftsmanship and convenience just right.  Your clients are just too valuable to lose over something as easily managed as your wait time or booking process.

Thankfully, there is a range of new technologies available that have been especially designed for barbershops. These will ensure your business model works in your favour, give you a unique edge over your competitors, and will make your interactions with your clients just that little bit smoother.

For the time poor metro male, picking up the phone to book an appointment is often the last thing on their to-do list. Giving them a way to book online saves them from having to stop whatever it is they’re in the middle of, to call you. It gives them exactly what they want, when they want it – which is essential to keeping today’s clients happy.

If you don’t take bookings, offering your clients the ability to check themselves in will mean they don’t have to line up just to get their name on your wait list, and will also save you time at the front desk. Clients can secure their spot on their mobile phone, or on a computer or tablet in your waiting area.

Once they have arrived, nothing is guaranteed to frustrate your clients as much as having to wait around for what seems like hours to have their hair done. You can keep them informed – and relaxed – with a digital display board that is updated in real time, so they can see how long until it’s their turn.

If they want to go grab a coffee or check out their favourite shops while they’re waiting, you can send them a reminder SMS a few minutes before they reach to the top of the wait list. This prevents no-shows, and make sure they don’t get bored and decide to get their hair cut another day.

Once they’ve visited and you’ve got them hooked on their new style, you can entice them back using a range of digital marketing techniques. Email marketing is the perfect way to keep clients wanting more by providing special offers that are too good to refuse. Short and sweet SMSs are also great for last minute deals, as well as appointment reminders.

Equipped with these leading edge tools, it’ll be easy to lift your game and provide your clients with the convenience they crave. Then we might forgive you if you start feeling a bit smug about your success!

Shortcuts is the global leader in innovative software solutions for the hair and beauty industry, setting the worldwide standard for smarter business technology. With cutting-edge features designed to take the stress out of managing a barbershop, Shortcuts can tailor a solution specifically to suit you.

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