Saturday, February 21, 2009

Little things at retail add up

I went to my local SuperCuts this morning. I bagged up to fight back the greying tide. This allowed me an hour or so of time to look/listen to the banter in the shop. Actually wandered the back rooms a bit reading sales goals on the walls. Clearly the push from management was 'cross-selling': a cut, a color, an upgraded shampoo, a wax, and at the end of the process purchase of 'products'.

There were three employees at the store. One of the three attempted to 'upsell' the purchase consistently. Neither of the other two did. They all were good at greeting customers as they walked through the door, but almost to the detriment of the customer in the chair. Meaning, 'who's next' was clearly more important than who is was already sitting in the chair. And when the phone rang, well, it was a mad dash of stylists to the phones. Again, current customers took second seat to 'who''s next'. In fact, as the waiting room filled, the speed of each hair cut seemingly increased to allow for 'who's next' to get into the chair that much faster.

Point of sale materials did nothing to improve the experience. They didn't cross-sell effectively. They didn't tell a story about the brand, about the people in the store, or set expectations for the experience. When the 'cross-selling' stylist attempted to sell product at the end of a purchase ... the discussion went "Would you like to purchase some products?" "No thank you."
"Well, ok, but we have this Biolage on sale this week." "Goodbye."

Let's relook at how management likely wishes that it had gone.

"Thanks for giving me the chance to work with you today." ... stylist

"I like what you did with my hair." ... customer

"You have such great hair. We have these Biolage products that are well formulated for your particular hair type. Should keep your hair looking like it does now for the next 6 weeks. "... stylist

"Really, never used them before." ... customer

"I think once you've tried them, you won't go back. Let me do something special for you on the price today. You'll love it, and I can save you a few dollars." ... stylist

In this scenario, the stylist shows interest in the customer and personalized the sale. She also presented the product at the proper time ... before the customer had completed the purchase.

Customer loyalty, repeat purchase, upselling ... each critical to the long term success of the salon, and in this case, each fumbled away ... not because of any major blunder ... but because of a lack of attention to detail by all parties involved.

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