Helping customers spend less builds loyalty


So many businesses talk about giving you the best value or the best deal. But I read a story in The Arizona Republic  about a hair salon that is really doing it.

It was the headline that caught my attention because I wouldn’t normally read something about a hair salon! “Phoenix salon helps customers save cash,” the headline read. It turns out the owners of Mane Attraction Salon noticed their clients were stretching their visits from four weeks to six or eight, or from six weeks to 10 or even 12 weeks.

People’s hair was not looking so good when they came back in!

What Mane Attraction did is so counterintuitive. They decided to tell customers how to do minor maintenance on their hair between longer cycles of having cuts. They also made changes in how they do cuts and colors that would allow the styles to last longer.

Basically, they enabled customers to be OK coming less often. (Remember, this is a business where you want people coming back often.) As the owner told the newspaper, “People said, ‘Well that’s stupid,’ that we’re telling them how you can do it yourself. But we’re doing what’s best for the client, and in the long term, you build that incredible loyalty.”

So often in American business, everybody looks for the short term advantage. I call it the curse of MBAs, where you fail to see the value, in the big picture, of how serving customers works to everyone’s benefit.

In business, instead of figuring out how to con the next dollar from your customers, why not show them you’re helping them stretch every last dollar?

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