Early this fall, we had the privilege of chatting with Whitney Bradley, area manager at SportClips franchise SBK Enterprises, about how Crew’s mobile communications and scheduling platform helps the multi-location business keep its stylists connected and motivated. Through seamless communications, employee recognition, team-building, and contests, Crew helped the business increase per-stylist product sales by 33%, increase its focus on customer service, and improve employee engagement.
Below are some excerpts from our recent conversation with Whitney:
Crew: What were some of the difficulties SBK faced as you grew from one SportClips location to now seven barbershops?
Whitney: Over the last couple of years, we've found it more challenging to communicate with all the locations, and keep consistent processes in place. With a franchise operation, we want to have the same systems across the board, so our customers get a similar experience at every location. We needed better ways to get mass communication out from myself and from Jack, our owner, to all of our team members at once, so we could eliminate the telephone game of having Jack tell me something, then me tell the manager, and the manager tell the team member.
Crew: What was the process like when you initially implemented Crew?
Whitney: At first, we thought we'd have a harder time getting the girls to download Crew and actively use it, because some in the past had requested to be removed off their managers’ group messages. But that hasn't been a problem at all, which has been really nice. When we were ready to roll out Crew, we got all the managers together and everyone downloaded the app at the same time. Then each manager went through and added on their team members to the invite, and within a day or so, we had everybody on there. The whole team was actually quite excited about it once they started seeing the invites come through.
Crew: What kinds of communications do you use Crew for?
Whitney: Our managers have really adapted Crew and use it for everything from day-to-day chit chatter, staff motivation, getting out policy changes, contests based on production, incentives, and things like that. I'm able to post overall rankings that everybody sees, so managers know where they're at in terms of hitting specific goals to earn a bonus, for example, and that motivates them to be productive. With our stylists, we always want them to improve their take-home product sales per client. Before we started sharing these metrics on Crew, we were averaging $1.21 per person collectively. Once I started promoting these little spiffs and contests, that number went up to $1.61 in just six weeks -- quite a huge increase for so quick.
We're also trying to get better about having individual stores post to social media instead of having Jack or myself post corporate-type ads. We wanted it to be more organic, so we had a contest for all the team members. Every day for a week, each store had to post something specific -- one day was a synchronized dance video, another was a hair transformation photo, etc. I had the stylists then share their posts on Crew to give other team members ideas.
Crew: How has Crew changed the culture of your organization?
Whitney: Crew helps build camaraderie in the shops. I’ve noticed that with the managers who use it frequently, their shops are the ones with the best culture. The teams trust each other, and take an interest in each other's personal life, and have developed more friendships from the constant chatter that goes beyond work-related stuff, with fun videos or birthday party invites. Not a lot of barbershops have this kind of connection amongst the teams, let alone with the owner and area managers, so I think it will help with stylist retention.
We try to keep everything on the Crew app really positive, and our managers use Crew Gold Stars a lot. They’ll say, "Thank you so much for staying late yesterday" or "Thanks for working when you weren't feeling a hundred percent, we appreciate it." If people are hitting their goals, they’ll post, "Gold Star to you for having such great take home” or “Good customer survey!”
Crew: Does this engagement impact your customer service or customer satisfaction?
Whitney: One thing that the managers have been using Crew for, almost daily, is our “Listen 360” customer reviews. Every time someone comes in and receives a haircut, they're sent an email with a survey attached to it, so we get responses in constantly. But there used to be a bit of a disconnect in getting those to team members so they’d know what customers were saying. Now, we get these daily recaps, and the managers will throw it on Crew so all the girls can see their surveys. That's been really helpful.
Thanks again to Whitney for sharing how Crew helps the SBK team motivate productivity, cultivate culture, and better serve their customers. Learn more in their full customer story here.