December 4, 2011

Customer Experience and Your Core Business

Some time ago, I wrote about a haircut experience I had a few years back where I was truly impressed great customer experience . Recently, I tried a hair salon where the customer experience had been thought through to the extreme - or so I thought.

So stop laughing. Even if I’m hair challenged I still need to cut my hair or get the clippers going regularly. I was getting ready for an important meeting and I needed a good beard and head clipping. I was traveling so I couldn’t go to my usual place. I found this hip place - bloody pricy but it was hip and I like to think I’m a hip guy!

The salon d├ęcor was just fantastic and the place looked great. It’s a happening place - kind of a club with a DJ spinning techno music with a good beat. While you wait there is an espresso bar and Lindt chocolate for all guests. It makes the wait easy on people; the chocolate puts you in a happy place. When your turn comes up, someone comes up and introduces himself/herself and is very professional and casual at the same time. Off you go on the chair. Then after they are done, it’s rinse time and sublime head massage. Last but not least you’re escorted to the door and waved goodbye!

As you can see they have thought of everything and they went all out to create a memorable experience. So where is the beef you think? For those who know me, messing up my hair cut is impossible. It’s clipper at 0 and head and beard. I see the tiny whiny clipper coming out and I think this is going to be interesting. Well you see, that clipper was not the right tool and I ended up with a beard that wasn’t clipped equally all around. It was not enough to look bad, but just enough for me to notice too late after I was gone.

The side show going on in this hair salon made a promise that I was in a place where they had the whole process and activity buttoned up. In the end though, the very first thing that made them was not up to par. An experience is total and satisfying if the core service and product are working as promised. You can serve me the best espresso in the world but I’m in a hair salon and all I want really is a good hair cut. My take away – I can put as much money and effort in putting on a great show to create a great experience but if the basic product I sell is not top quality itself it doesn’t matter. It’s something to remember every day in my activities.

1 comment:

Doug Michaelides said...


You are absolutely right. A quality product is essential for an excellent customer experience. But imagine what you would be saying about this salon if they had got all the elements right. Your praise would be "hair raising" and you'd be sending your friends there. That's a goal for any business to strive for!