Product discovery

TLDR: Launched new features to improve monthly retention by 25%.
: Cross-team coordination, Head of Product, UX design

: User retention rate, NPS, repeat purchase rate


Trym was designed to offer the most convenient way to find a quality barber and to receive a haircut, but most users weren’t returning for additional appointments.

I had to act fast as the founder and head of product to identify the cause of this churn and to change our product.

My goal was to:
- Increase retention
- Increase repeat purchase rate
- Increase barber’s monthly earnings


I setup meetings with my co-founder, engineers, designers, support reps, and barbers to discuss the problem in detail. It was important to make this a priority and to get insights from all angles. Without strong retention and a profitable earning channel for barbers, we didn’t have a strong product.

Together we discussed the barber’s experience, NPS scores/comments and service reviews.

‍Barber’s feedback: users often asked to text barbers directly which demonstrated a need for a stronger product. The in-home experience wasn’t an issue for most users.

‍Survey data and NPS: The most common concerns were such as “Better online booking and appointment management”, "I was not blown away by the service. I miss my old barber." Our NPS score was 32. This could seem like a decent score, but not with 10% retention.

‍Cohort analysis: We noticed that the cohorts with the strongest retention had the shortest gap in time between appointments (often 1-4 weeks).Taking this data away from the meeting, I decided to conduct interviews to get more qualitative feedback directly from our churned and retained users.

Problems & Solutions

After 200 user interviews I got a better sense of user’s most common problems: scheduling appointments. The secondary concern was the quality of the actual haircut.

Most clients have a busy schedule and coordinating an appointment based on their barber’s availability doesn’t work for them. Monday-Friday they work until 5pm and most barber shops close around 7pm. On weekends, they would prefer not to spend two hours of their valuable family time on haircuts.

Many of our users booked due to a last minute need, but didn’t stick around because they preferred their regular barber. Some that did like their Trym barber were afraid to lose contact with them, so they felt compelled to text them off the platform.

Together with my team, we conducted a sprint to come up with some solutions.

Problem Solution(s)
Scheduling SaaS
Since scheduling is the main concern, it could make a lot of sense to offer a software for barbers to provide an alternative booking option to their clients. In this instance, clients can book an in home haircut anytime they like directly with their favorite barber.

In order to build a quality product for users who have a hard time booking a convenient time, we could offer recurring appointments based on the client’s ideal frequency and time. For example, Joe could get a haircut every other Sunday at 6pm from the same barber.
Quality Training
To better our barber’s work, we could gather the data of which clients didn’t like their haircut and use that to train our team. For example, if most users requesting a fade don’t like their haircut, then he/she can be trained specifically to do fades.

Feedback review
There’s not much we can do if the client is already looking for a one-time service, however we can still use acknowledge their feedback. We can share the feedback directly with barbers and offer them a way to personally reply while understanding where to improve.

To determine which solution was optimal, I hypothesized the impact per solution considering the cost of implementation:

(Impact x Number users impacted) / Cost of implementation

Here are the scores for each:
SaaS: (4 * 4) / 4 = 4
Subscription: (3 * 3) / 3 = 3

Training: (3 * 3) / 5 = 1.8
Weekly feedback review: (2 * 2) / 2 = 2

Iteration & Validation

Of course, the calculations I made and my team's ideas are just the start. It's still not clear if any of these solutions could lead to stronger retention.

To start out we implemented a SaaS solution where barbers could refer new and existing clients. This would make scheduling easier and allow clients to receive a haircut from a barber they already loved.

After three months of implementation, I noticed that barbers weren't referring their own clientele. This business model wouldn’t scale if barbers didn’t offer it to their existing clients.

We decided to pivot from SaaS to the subscription which we had piloted with a few alpha users. We started running a beta program with our core users who booked a haircut every 1-4 weeks.

Following a successful beta program and further iterations on the subscription options, we launched the program and completely pivoted to a subscription first business model.
Based on our company strategy we created the following product strategy:

Accessible and personalized haircuts.

Company Strategy
‍Offer a platform where men can find and book barbers for in-home haircuts.
Product Strategy
SmartCut: a frequency-based subscription that will provide a 12% discount on endless haircuts. This will make re-booking easier for clients while making Trym barber's earnings more predictable.

Product Roadmap
Beta test SmartCut (Q3-Q4 20')
Launch SmartCut (Q1-Q2 21')
Get x barbers in SF on SmartCut (Q3-Q4 21')

Product Goals
- 30% of users subscribe to SmartCut
- 35% of SmartCut users stay subscribed for 6 months
- Increase LTV of users from $158 to $414
- 70% of Trym barbers make $1k+ per month


After three months of implementing subscriptions, I noticed the following results: 
- Increased retention from 10% to 35%
- Increased barber income, providing predictable earnings up to $5k/month
- Increased repeat purchase rate from 1.25 to 5
- Increase NPS from 32 to 73

Product Designs

SaaS barber booking page

Subscription checkout flow (A)

Subscription checkout flow (B)

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