After going to the same barber for more than a decade, I decided to leave. The customer experience went down, and the price went up. For my last several visits, I was the one who was driving the conversations – when I could get a word in edgewise between my barber’s preferred banter with his co-workers. The cuts were becoming less consistent, and his price kept inching up; the last price increase was just for his customers – they weren’t changing the posted pricing or the pricing of the other hair stylists, so that was equally confusing and troubling.
So it’s the 21st Century, right? Therefore, I decided to try one of the more modern shops where you sign-in online. Four times I went to the new shop, I had 4 different stylists with 4 different approaches to how to cut the hair. The experience (other than signing in the same way, going to the same facility, and paying the same way) was different each time. Each stylist had their own style of engagement (or lack of engagement), and the inconsistency in quality and connection was too much. I decided to leave.
Enter Shop #3. On my first visit, they asked me questions about my style preferences and about me in general; they took some notes, described the process of working with them, and did what they said they’d do. The stylist had a great attitude, and overall it was a good experience.
I went back a second time; the notes from the first cut were there – the stylist confirmed the information, and I had an equally good experience and a very similar approach to the cut.
There are several little nuggets to mine from this story. Here are just a few…
Don’t drop the quality and hike the price. Inconsistency leads to customer loss. The process can be the same, but the experience can be totally different. Make the customer feel more important than your co-worker. Don’t make your customer drive the conversation. If the customer tells you something, don’t make them repeat it next time – just confirm whether the circumstances are the same.
Make sure your customer experience is consistently a cut-above!