Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Business Lessons From The Hair Cuttery

Years ago, I used to get my hair cut at the Hair Cuttery because it was close by and they were cheap. The experience wasn't anything special - I recall getting a decent hair cut, but the only image I can conjure up in my mind is that of total chaos. I certainly never felt valued as a customer. But hey, what did I expect, we're talking a $15.00 hair cut here.

My usual hair cutting place wasn't open this morning (d'oh - they missed a customer!), and my ToDo list called for getting my hair cut done first thing this morning. So, I decided, what the heck, I'll head back to Hair Cuttery.

Going In With Expectations Lowered

Boy, was I surprised with my experience. The woman who greeted me didn't just plop me down at the first chair, but made a show out of picking a particular stylist. My stylist then introduced herself, learned my name and even shook my hand. The place was immaculate (though, to be fair, I was there really early in the morning). The whole image and experience was that of professionalism. I think I even got a scalp massage out of the deal (which, frankly, I could live without. I much prefer the older barber who cuts hair at my usual place who's tools include a straight razor and an ancient vacuum.)

And here's the thing - the price of the hair cut wasn't any different. It was $16.00.

They Get It

Somebody at Hair Cuttery corporate, understands that polished, professional behavior doesn't have to cost more. Image and customer experience can still go a long way, even if the actual service provided isn't any different than it used to be.

It's the whole notion that inexpensive doesn't have to mean cheap.

I also think this is a brilliant strategy to take in rough economic times. Hair Cuttery prices will get folks in who are used to paying more at a fancy salon, and their service will keep them coming back. The result is that Hair Cuttery won't just survive the economic down turn, they'll actually use it build their business.

There's definitely plenty to learn from these guys. Oh, and I got a decent hair cut out of the deal, too.

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