Salon Gift Certificate Template: Does this happen in YOUR salon???
Yesterday, I did some free research for you, ‘mystery shopping’ a local salon business touted as one of my town’s most up-market, stylish salons.
And the news is:
It failed my report card.
I won’t name the salon, but if its owner is reading this, she’ll recognize herself. This salon is one of three owned by a young entrepreneur who’s done a lot of things right, but still lets money fall through the cracks through lack of attention to detail. And there is magic in the detail.
I wandered in late yesterday afternoon, a Monday, to get a haircut. The layout is impressive – 20 chairs line the walls, with a massive raised catwalk down the middle for the fashion shows the salon has become known for.
That’s a tick for laterally thinking about how to create a ‘buzz’ that spills over into attracting new clients, an ‘involvement device’ to acknowledge that as the majority of customers are women, they’re interested in all things fashion and style, not just getting their hair done.
I was greeted at reception by a pleasant young lady (one of five staff on duty, only one of whom was actually cutting hair, being a Monday) who informed me that my haircut would cost an eye-watering $71. This for the privilege of having the services of the company’s ‘art director’, an innovative way of describing their most talented stylist.
When I visibly gulped at this – in a town where an average male haircut might stretch to $35 – she offered me instead, one of their ‘artists’ – another inventive term for what ordinary salons would call a ‘senior’ – for only $62. And if this was too much, I could have one of their ‘designers’ – their version of a mere apprentice, for a few dollars less.
Another massive tick from me for innovation. This salon owner is doing what I’m constantly nagging our Members to do – to re-think what it is they’re selling, to re-invent the business in such a way that it differentiates itself from the competition, simply by re-branding the common and thus making it un-common. Out of thin air, creating more perceived value. “Ordinary salons have seniors and apprentices. We have ‘artists’ and ‘designers’.”
Here’s what’s instructive: using differential pricing, you can elevate the perceived value of your own services. Example – clients insisting they only want the owner pay more for that privilege.
Next, I was asked to complete a client details form – name, all my phone numbers, email address – and crucially, tick-boxes for how I found out about the salon. A database-building system most salons are too lazy to implement, too ignorant to recognize its value.
I was introduced to my ‘artist’ who led me to her chair.
Unfortunately, that’s about when the shine started to come off an impressive start.
I was handed a selection of magazines. They were dog-eared, months old. As she washed my hair, my ‘artist’ cheerfully asked me the standard questions – ‘had a busy day so far?’ Yes, thanks. … ‘Got a big weekend planned?’ Mmmm…couple of social functions, that’s all. ‘What line of work are you in?’
I knew she was going to ask this, so I threw in a truthful answer, specifically to check her pulse.
‘Er, I show salons how to market themselves more effectively, more efficiently, how to increase the per-visit ticket price, and get customers coming back more often…’
“Really….and do you live locally?”
She might have been thinking, but it wasn’t about what I was saying. Nice enough girl, no pulse.
But the wheels really fell off back at the reception desk. Here I was, a brand new customer just walked in off the street, happily paying my $62 buzz-cut bill. I stood there idly chatting with the receptionist, my ‘artist’ attentively nearby.
Sigh. No attempt to sell me product, despite earlier telling my ‘artist’ I always use gel in my hair.
No request for feedback (i.e. testimonial) about my experience in their business.
Not even the slightest effort to re-book me next month.
I walked out the door, the sound of staff chattering to each other about their Christmas plans fading in my ears.
What a crying shame that it’s like this in almost ALL businesses. Attention to detail is its own economic stimulus package.