Psychology of Tattoos: What Your Customers Really Want From a Tattoo Experience 



 Ultimately, the success of tattoo shops comes down to how well they can give customers what they want. If you’re an aspiring artist, ask yourself: do you know what your customers really want? 


It’s a pretty tall order. If we’re being honest, most people don’t know what they really want on any given day. We’ve put together an easy guide to what your customers really want from a tattoo experience. 


A Real Relationship 

Barber chairs.

Great looking barbershop.


Barber shops and tattoo shops don’t seem like they have much in common. However, they share one big quality:

“customers want to feel like they have an actual relationship with employees. “

 That means you shouldn’t focus all of your attention on your sweet tattoo designs. Take the time to talk to the customer. Let the conversation flow naturally, like you just met a cool new person at a party. 


If the customer believes you care, they’ll love the experience. This builds the kind of loyalty that is the foundation for a highly successful shop. 


Meaning Behind the Ink 

Artist as work.

Tattoo artist hard at work.


To your customers, tattoo designs are more than just ink. They are a story: every tattoo has a special meaning to the person wearing it. 


What your customers really want, then, is a tattoo artist that knows the meaning behind the ink. A basic knowledge of everything from Japanese characters to religious symbols will impress the customers as to how much you know about your craft. 


They will come to see you as more than the artist behind some awesome tattoo designs. They will see you as a storyteller who can help bring their story to life more vividly than any other tattoo shops. 


Assurances of Quality 


Have you ever thought about how much commitment a tattoo really is? The customer is trusting you to change their skin in a way that will last their entire lives. 


Before they take the plunge, then, what your customers really want is an assurance of your quality. Make sure that you have pictures of your previous tattoos and artwork prominently displayed in your shop. Also, make sure you have a thorough portfolio of tattoos from satisfied customers, as well as reviews on Yelp and Google. 


When they know you’re the real deal, then customers will choose you over other tattoo shops. 


Clean Shop and Good Vibes 


The last thing that customers really want is also the hardest for you to pull off. Specifically, they want an environment that is simultaneously clean and cool. 


Tattoo Studio

Tattoo Studio at night.

These customers want your shop to look clean so that they don’t have to worry about things like dirty needles. However, your shop shouldn’t look like a sterile downtown office—it should use dark colors and plenty of accessories (from posters to games and toys) that help show off your personality. 


After all, half the fun of getting a tattoo is the mystique of the tattoo shops. And you can easily be clean without losing your “cool”! 


The Bottom Line 


Now you know what your customers really want. But do you know what your next step should be? 


Stay tuned to Tattooing 101 for all the tips you need to take your tattoo designs and tattoo shop to the next level! 


Jay Haussman