• It’s a once in a month ritual for me to take my two son’s out for hair dressing. There are couple of decent salons in my immediate neighborhood which I have been a regular. For whatever reasons my son’s don’t prefer them and are very specific to go to a chain salon that’s couple of kilometers away from my home. I have tried to persuade and influence them to go to one of the neighborhood salons as they are at walkable distance, no appointments required and guys there do a decent job to my liking. However, my sons have been insisting on the little far away chain salon and I came to know the reasons later for their liking as good ambiance, no waiting time (i.e as per appointment), cleanliness and the hair dresser is more talkative and kids-friendly.
• While my elder’s son was at the chair and undergoing his hairdressing, I noticed a gentleman in the next chair who appeared to be more interested in his conversation with the hair dresser(let’s call him Appu) than the hair dressing itself. He was very chatty and both of them were discussing about the family, his recent Bombay trip and the just released cinemas. Appu seems to know what the gentleman exactly wanted including the make of the hair-dye, how the mustache should be done etc. I learned that the gentleman Is from Anna Nagar and he has travelled 12kms to this Mylapore salon so that he can have his hair dressing done by Appu.
• I realize the job done by Appu was nothing extra-ordinary but the entire experience he offered to the customer is wholesome and he gained full customer trust. Hair dressing is a commodity business and each street in Indian cities has couple of salons. So, How do you differentiate in a commodity business?. Below are Key lessons from Appu:
- Know your customer
Appu knew his customer requirements and likings very well. He seemed to genuinely care for the customer, went beyond the business and established chord with the customer
- Engage with your customer and offer overall customer experience
It’s not just about the hair cut but about the overall experience and customer intimacy. Customer is willing to pay more for a good experience for a commodity service
I was telling my son’s that the Rs 50 tip that Appu got from the gentleman was an over-tip but my son’s disagreed. So what’s your take on this?