SBK Enterprises, Inc. is a SportClips franchise that operates barbershops throughout the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. With a mission to create a ‘Championship Haircut Experience’ for men and boys in an exciting sports-themed environment, the business has grown from one store to seven over the past ten years. This expansion made it challenging for the owner to stay in touch with his team members and ensure consistent processes and customer experiences across all locations.
Previously, above-store leaders struggled with the ‘telephone game.’ Messages occasionally got lost or altered as they were passed down from the owner, to area managers, individual store managers, and ultimately frontline teams. Staff had to visit the break room to get their schedules, and while some managers had set up group texts to simplify communications, several people asked to be removed for privacy reasons.
“Given the high-turnover nature of our industry, we knew it was imperative to find a more reliable, secure way to connect with and motivate stylists at each location,” shared Whitney Bradley, area manager at SBK. “We adopted the Crew team communications and scheduling solution to help our managers more easily keep everybody on the same page, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised that we haven’t had any pushback from our frontline at all.”
To get started, SBK called a manager meeting and invited a Crew customer success representative to walk them through the app. Everyone downloaded it together, added their team members to each store group, and within a day or so, the entire company was up and running on Crew. Now, they use it constantly for day-to-day conversations, announcements, and motivation—sharing customer feedback, contests, training and team meeting reminders, product promotions, schedules, documents, employee recognition, and more.
“I like using Crew Command Center to broadcast important news or policy changes to the whole organization at once, rather than relying on individual managers to pass along updates from corporate,” said Whitney. “It shows us who’s read our messages and which managers have posted their schedules, and it’s great that we can effortlessly add or remove users as our teams change.”
“Our teams are using Crew ten times more than I expected, and I think that’s due to a combination of it being really easy to use, and our managers always keeping the communications positive. Whenever I see one of our stylists, they tell me how much they love the app, and no one’s complained about it, which is a rarity when implementing something new.”
Whitney Bradley, Area Manager
As SBK grows, Crew gives the company’s leaders greater control over how they share sensitive business changes with the frontline. For instance, when the owner decided to start deducting PTO for missed shifts, he was able to get the message out in his own words to everyone at the same time, and clearly explain why the change was necessary in light of SBK’s upcoming pay and pricing increases. Since he didn’t have to rely on others to relay that message, he was able to avoid any negative undertones and ensure alignment across the organization.
Crew is building a culture of camaraderie and trust, with co-workers swapping happy birthday messages and invitations, or fun memes and inspiring videos. Managers easily connect with their peers at other stores to get help with shift covers or swap ideas. Whitney added, “Even though I can’t be in each location every day, if I want to initiate something like a Halloween costume competition or congratulate the team on doing something well, I can do it in two seconds on Crew. It’s been really helpful to interact with staff that might not work when I’m working, and each stylist and manager now knows they have a direct line to myself or our owner.”
After observing the power of communications via Crew, Whitney instituted new incentives to help motivate managers and boost the productivity of frontline stylists. She noted, “It’s great to be able to post progress towards specific goals and let everybody see where their store stands. Thanks to Crew, we’ve seen an increase in our take-home sales per client.” Whitney also ran a social media marketing contest to get stores to publish more unique content, such as hair transformation photos and synchronized dance videos.
In addition, store managers use Crew to share customer reviews. Every time someone comes in and gets a haircut, they’re sent a survey, but stylists didn’t always see those results before Crew. Now, managers simply post daily survey recaps on Crew, and everyone can see customer feedback directly. Managers use Crew’s ‘Gold Stars’ to recognize high performing employees for receiving great customer surveys, hitting their take-home sales goals, or staying late when needed.
In just a few months, Crew has made a material impact on SBK’s sales, speed of service, and employee retention. During one six-week sales contest, Crew helped the business grow its average product sales per stylist by 33%. As leaders continue to emphasize metrics like haircuts per hour, attach sales, client retention, and walkout percentages, they expect these key performance indicators to improve as well. Unlike most barbershop franchises that tend to feel disconnected, Whitney believes that having an open line of communications at every level of the organization will build employee loyalty and retention over time.