Establishing & Maintaining Trust With Your Clients During COVID-19
With the chaos and uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic brought us, we don’t blame you if you’re feeling a little anxious and a whole lot of nervous about this new normal everyone is dealing with.
As barbers—you know, professionals who work hands-on with every one of their clients—it’s important to do our best to navigate this new normal in a cohesive way, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be seamless (or flawless, by any means).
We’ve all got a lot to learn about running a barbershop or being a barber in the middle of a pandemic. Who’d have thought, right?
One of the hardest things we’re having to learn how to do in the midst of a crazy pandemic?
Build and maintain trust with our clients.
Just by the nature of our job, barbers are built to foster and forget trustworthy relationships with clients—but now, with the pandemic rearing its ugly head, we’re forced to learn new ways to build—and maintain—trust with our clients.
But how do you start?
First, we recommend reading this blog. We’re not laying out every strategy or tactic for building trust, but we are dropping a few basic tips and tricks that can help you during the COVID-19 craziness.
Read, take notes, or create your own strategies—whatever you decide, just make sure you’re being a trustworthy, reliable, and dependable barber. Your clients need that now more than ever.
Make COVID-19 Promises & Stick to ‘Em
If you—like so many other barbershops out there—have been communicating with your clients left and right and telling them their safety is the most important or that you’re carefully and stringently abiding by the COVID-19 regulations, then that’s an excellent start to the process.
Now, you just need to stick to those promises.
It’s important that you’re not just throwing around careless or fruitless guarantees. These words can’t be empty if you really want to build trust. Otherwise, clients are going to stroll into your shop thinking they’re walking into an environment dedicated to their safety.
If they arrive and see anything else, they’re going to feel betrayed and let down. That’s a big no-no when it comes to building trust.
Ask yourself—at the end of the day, do I really mean the things I’ve promised my clients?
If that answer is a resounding no, it sounds like you need to re-examine what you’re promising your clients.
Take the Necessary Precautions—Just Trust Us
Even if you don’t love the new rules and regulations being tossed around for your barbershop, it’s crucial to abide by the legal restrictions that are enacted.
Why? Because if you don’t, you don’t just risk legal repercussions, you risk alienating clients you love who trust you. Plus, if you’re actively trying to gain clients during this time, not following along with protocol can be a huge roadblock for getting new clients to hop on your bandwagon.
Wear face masks and encourage your clients and staff to wear them, too. Sanitize properly (this should be a rule no matter what’s going on, but especially during a pandemic). Set an occupancy limit. Whatever you’re required by law to do, do it—that’s one of the key ways to get clients to trust you.
Communicate Directly & Transparently—With Everyone
This one is easier than you might think—just be direct and straight-up with your clients. Newsflash—you don’t have to pretend everything is easy and seamless. Odds are, your clients actually understand that you’re dealing with a new normal, too.
Don’t be afraid to tell your clients that you’re trying to learn, too. Explain that you’re always doing everything you can to create a safe environment but don’t be afraid to tell them that you’re new at this, too.
You’d be surprised how much an open, transparent dialogue can help!
Create a Specific Procedure for a Safe Experience & Train Your Staff to Follow It
Sit down and hash out a step-by-step procedure for creating a safe, pleasant experience for every client who walks through the door. It’s one thing to offer an expert-level, COVID-safe experience for a single client—it’s another to offer that same experience to every person who walks through your barbershop doors.
Set up a best practices guideline for your customers and ensure that you’re training your staff properly.
This is going to help create a top-notch, safe experience for every customer who walks in your shop, and that’s a fabulous start for laying the groundwork or a trustworthy foundation.
See? It’s not impossible to build trust with your clients during this time—sure, it’s definitely harder, but that doesn’t mean a talented barber like you can’t make it happen.
If you’ve found your own, unique ways to help establish trust with your clients during this time, we applaud you—now, would you mind sharing your experience with the rest of us?
We’re all about fostering community at NAOB, which means we’ve got an open forum (our reply section) that’s built for your comments. Leave them below for your fellow barbers and glean some information from your community, too!
Remember, we’re all in this new normal together, even when navigating it doesn’t feel normal at all! Connect with your peers, find new ways to establish trust with your clients, and grow as a barber all by reading our blog regularly.