September 2012

Jerry Tyler

Blue Highways | by Jerry Tyler


Don't You Just Love Those Upgrades?

When we receive services or purchase a product we have certain expectations of what that product or service will deliver.

This is called the perceived value.

In today's competitive market, the provider of goods or services needs to be mindful of what their target market is expecting and be ready to "deliver the goods."

Having a clear and concise understanding on what the particular demographic we hope to reach requires focus to satisfy their particular demands. Many factors need to be looked at; the best place to start is to identify the target market, in our case, a beauty industry client or salon guest.

Who is she or he? To figure this out, we can pick our ideal client and find out what they seek in goods and services based on their purchasing power and desired expectations.

To do this we look to the future; this is called "trend forecasting." It is important to stay ahead of current trends and be real trendsetters in the marketplace. This pro-active approach allows you to stay out in front and be true industry leaders.

However, to merely satisfy expectations or customer demands is the lowest common level of customer satisfaction. The real leaders in any industry, particularly the service industry, recognize this and also adopt the "go-the-extra-mile" attitude to not only meet the demands, but always look to exceed the expected demands of their guests or clients.

This takes extra effort and resources, but with this extra investment of time, energy and action the assurance of the satisfied guest or customer comes from delivering beyond their expectations. This is exceeding their perceived value.

The reward is continued purchases of goods and services and long-term customer loyalty.

One way to achieve this is to create a culture based on upgrades. Have you ever received an upgrade? How did it make you feel when you are given an unexpected upgrade? Upgrades could be a free dessert from the restaurant manager as a reward for being a regular diner; a room with a beach view instead of a view of the parking lot; a thank you note from your car dealer after your last service of your car.

An upgrade in the salon could be as simple as a 10 percent reduction in the cost of a service if the guest rebooks their next visit; a glass of wine offered to the guest who is receiving services after a long day at the office; a relaxing neck and shoulder massage as part of their shampoo and condition service.

If we just take a moment to reflect being the client we can conjure up all different ways to make the expected become the unexpected and reap many untold rewards through simple and thoughtful upgrades.

While upgrades and client rewards beyond the expected take extra effort, the guarantee of a satisfied and loyal following is well worth the resources invested. After all, don't we all love an upgrade?

Jerry Tyler's column Blue Highways is his "Road Less Traveled" perspective on the solutions and challenges facing the beauty industry. With over 35 years in the salon industry as an industry leader, educator and artist. He is currently "Director of Industry Relations for Carlton Hair , former Board president of the California Board of barbering and Cosmetology and hosts his weekly radio show talking texture, hair and beauty on TEXTURERADIO. Tuesdays and Thursdays 9pm PST