COVID-19 & Your Shop:
How to Keep Your Client Connections Alive Virtually
COVID-19 has unraveled all of our lives in a lot of obvious ways—financially, physically, emotionally, etc. But this pandemic—and the subsequent shutdowns, isolation, and quarantining—has also thrown another unique curveball at us that not all of us could have initially assumed—client connection.
We don’t often think about this challenge because usually, it’s not much of one. Our clients are comfortable with us. They can walk in and out of our shops at whim and communicate with us. And, of course, we can openly communicate with them in these ways, too.
But now, with either restricted rules on when and how we can work our barbering magic with our clients or limitations on whether we can work with our clients at all, we’re stuck trying to figure out the best way to keep the connections with our clients alive.
So, how do we do this? How exactly do we maintain those relationships we’ve taken great care to develop? How do we ensure that these bonds don’t unravel now that we’re unable to communicate with our clients in person?
The answer: virtually.
Technology is such a unique blessing. While it won’t ever hold a candle to being able to physically interact face-to-face with someone, we can use it foster those bonds we’ve built and even create new ones—all without ever being in the same room.
Not sure how to start this process? Keep reading—we’ve got some seriously great starter tips to get your virtual connections going!
Whether you want to go totally old school and send a letter in the mail or you want to send a virtual newsletter (or honestly, why not both?), this is a great way to stay connected with your clients.
Regular newsletters are a great, creative way to stay in touch with your clients, keep them abreast of your situation, and of course, make them feel valued and like you’re providing a service even if you still can’t technically provide a service.
Make your newsletters creative, enticing, and exciting! Make sure your brand is on-point and that clients feel like they’re sitting in your chair. But most importantly, make sure if you’re developing a newsletter, you commit to a regular schedule.
People won’t feel like you’re actually communicating with them if you send a newsletter every so often (you know, when you’re not too busy or you haven’t forgotten all about it). If you’re going to send a weekly newsletter (wow, that’s ambitious!), you better make sure it’s weekly. If you’re shooting for a monthly, it needs to be regular, too. No matter what you decide, make sure it’s consistent, entertaining, and transparent. That’s what your shop clients are missing most of all.
Make Communication (Of Every Kind) Your Priority
You might not be able to focus all of your efforts on delivering actual barbering services to your clients right now, but that doesn’t’ mean you’re off the hustle hook. No way!
Now, more than ever, is the time to focus all your attention on your communication. Dedicate all your efforts to this cause. We don’t mean just be on top of calling, sending newsletters, emails, and more—we mean take this time to really focus on your current forms of communication and reevaluate it.
Is there a way you could communicate with your clients better right now and once this is all over? Is your current communication style out of date and ineffective? Think about what you’re doing wrong, examine what others are doing right, and don’t be afraid to totally revamp your communication
Host Skype or Zoom Happy Hours
Grab a beer, sit in the shop, and chew the fat with your fave clients—virtually. Host regular Skype or Zoom happy hours to have regular catchups with the gang. Obviously, your clients aren’t just missing your barbering services—they miss you, too. Barbers have such a unique opportunity to truly bond with their clients. Take that away and it’s only natural both you and your client might feel like something’s missing.
No, this isn’t the ultimate solution to all of your communication issues and it won’t feel just like being there in person. But it’s a definite start and a great way to try to stay in touch with the clients who mean most to you. We can bet you they miss you more than you think and would jump at the chance to chat.
Invest in Social Media Engagement
Social media is always an important platform for engaging with your clients—but it’s especially crucial right now. Whether you know it or not, your clients are on social media, and they’re looking for ways to connect with you.
Take this time to really focus on your social media presence. Look at your current strategies and ask, “is the way I’m using my social media an efficient way to communicate with my clients?”
Truthfully, there’s always work you can do to improve this—even if your social media is on-point—so why not use this time now to improve it?
Create quality content, post videos, engage with those who comment on your social media and those who don’t, send DMs, check-in with your regulars, host Q&A sessions, go live—the options are endless!
Have a few more ideas for how you can totally tackle this communication gap with your clients? Have a prime example of how you’ve stayed connected with your clientele during this coronavirus chaos?
Good! Tell us! We’ve got a comment section on this blog for a reason, folks, so leave us your insight. The team at NAOB and your entire barbering community will thank you!
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