Part 1 – Introduction to Barbershop Analytics

I am often amazed at how enlightened a business can suddenly become by using the information that it has in their databases. Properly collecting and farming information that can allow a business to understand more about their customers; making the customer’s experience better, and make the business more profitable. Using analytics to improve your business processes doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. It can happen in smaller sizes as well. These changes can vastly improve your business by simply being recognized, tracked and measured.

Let’s think about what analytics means on something as simple as a hair cut, specifically men’s hair cuts. I’ll offer myself up as the subject in our example:

I get my hair cut once every 5 weeks or so – typically when it starts to get a wee bit shaggy, and typically just before a big meeting that I have in the next day or so (this is my trigger). I also use a tub of hair product that lasts about 6 months.

An astute vendor, my barber should immediately recognize three things about me:

1.    Customer Profile: What kind of customer am I?

In a couple of visits, they’d quickly know that I only come in when I’m shaggy and noticing that I’m in need of some upkeep. Being a business person, I typically don’t want to get too disheveled before taking it into the shop, but I’m busy enough that it always happens that I can’t fit it into my schedule.

The domain expert (the barber) will know things about the different types of customers they have. The barber will quickly place me in the bucket of customers who are not particularly interested in the process of the hair cut, but rather consider it a necessary evil.

2.    Buyer Behavior: How often do I use the service?

Second, the frequency which I use the service. My barber should note when I’m coming in and soon realize that it’s about once every 5 weeks. Knowing this information is invaluable for understanding which regular customers may be coming in when, and this one item could give tremendous advantages for a business in a competitive market. More on that in a bit.

3.    Upsell/Cross-sell: What else he can sell me?

Third, the hair product. Products are often the most profitable items in any barbershop, and to neglect them is to reduce one’s profitability. Upselling or cross-selling should be a natural practice in any shop, but in many of the shops I frequent  (barber shops or otherwise), it simply isn’t so.

A solidly run barbershop should know how long a product lasts, when I purchased it last, and most importantly, when I might need more.

In my upcoming posts I’ll discuss this in further detail and show how customer analytics, such as this, can increase a company’s relationship with its customers and how that ultimately translates to a healthier bottom line.