So for those of you who know me (and specifically, have seen me), you’d probably say that getting a haircut is a pretty simple thing. You would be right. There isn’t that much to cut, and the process itself is routine: #5 guard, blend to the top. That’s about it. 10 minutes and I’m out.
It’s everything that goes before that is complicated. When it comes to haircuts, I’m pretty cost-conscious. I could probably find a salon, make an appointment, walk in and be out in 15 minutes at a cost of $35 or $40. But that requires me to schedule the appointment (I don’t schedule things well – I’m a bit more spur of the moment), remember the appointment (without my iPhone, I’m junk at remembering where I’m supposed to be and when), still have time for the appointment (my schedule is pretty fluid), and then pay too high a premium (at $40 for a cut, that’s 53 cents per hair).
Enter Great Clips, and customer service at a new level. Great Clips is a walk-in salon. No appointment necessary. There is one less than a mile from my house. Check. Clean, personable staff. Check. Good mix of men’s and women’s magazines. Check.
My first trip to Great Clips was pretty standard (or so I thought). Walked in. No wait. Good cut. Fair price. But what happened at the end changed the game. “Do you have a smartphone? If you do, you can use it to schedule your appointments. In fact, if you’ll give me your phone number, I’ll put you in our system and you’ll be set.” Done. I’m in.
A few weeks later, I needed another cut. I had not downloaded the app, but I did and was immediately amazed. It’s database driven with locations specifics. It allowed me to use my current location, then gave me all of the Great Clips locations near me. Of course, the one I had gone to was closest, so I clicked on it. It told me there was no wait, and asked me if I wanted to schedule an appointment. I entered my name and phone number, and selected “now” as my time.
I got in my car and drove to the location, and what happened then was absolutely over the top. I walked in, and the woman at the front said, “hello, are you Chuck?” “Yes,” I replied, and she said, “right this way.” I walked to an open chair, sat down and she said something that I never, ever expected her to say.
“#5 guard, blend to the top. Is that still what you want?”
Hook, line and sinker – I’m now 100% in. On my second visit ever to Great Clips I stopped being a customer and became an evangelist. Make it easy (and even a little fun), call me by name, and after one visit, know exactly what I want. It turns out that if I am in Schenectady, NY, need a haircut, schedule through the nearest Great Clip, I’ll walk in and they’ll have that information as well.
You should go to Great Clips, too. At least download the app just to see what it means to care – really care – about a customer.