How do you REALLY differentiate your salon from the competition? By – Call us Now on 618 9443 9327

How do you REALLY differentiate your salon from the competition? By - Call us Now on 618 9443 9327

How can you miss Sydney’s most famous landmark? By
Call us Now on 618 9443 9327

How do you REALLY differentiate your salon from the competition? By – Call us Now on 618 9443 9327

A dozen years ago one relatively minor incident convinced me never to use ordinary taxis again. And I haven’t.

I was in Sydney, in the middle of the city on a Sunday morning, and needed to get home to North Cremorne, on the other side of Sydney Harbour. I hailed the first available cab, which was no better or worse than any of the hundreds of others available to me. In other words it was dirty, creaking, smelly and apparently only a heartbeat away from collapsing in an asthmatic heap in the gutter.

And the driver seemed cut from the same cloth. Equally smelly and unkempt, he set off along George St, one of the city’s main thoroughfares, and within a few seconds, pulled over to the side of the road

And asked me how to get onto Sydney Harbour Bridge.

For those unfamiliar with Sydney, its famous bridge is not only highly visible from most parts of the city, it’s the most heavily-trafficked carriageway in the whole of Australia. And this alleged taxi driver didn’t even know how to find it, from less than a mile away.

How do you REALLY differentiate your salon from the competition? By - Call us Now on 618 9443 9327From that day on, I’ve invariably used corporate cars. Unlike cabs, corporate cars are clean, modern, well-maintained and spacious. They’re driven by men in suits who are polite, smell fresh, turn up on time (or early!), and don’t bore you witless with inane, un-sought opinions on football, the weather or why Britney Spears should be Prime Minister. In corporate cars the air-conditioning works, it’s quiet, and if you use the same car often enough, the driver will know in advance what music you prefer.

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More often than not, the driver actually owns the car, thus treats it as such. They take bookings and stick to them. (Try getting an accurate arrival time from an ordinary, garden-variety cab company.) They carry your bags for you, meet you at airports with a sign carrying your name, and you never, ever have to stand in a queue.

Plus, they’re only marginally more expensive than an ordinary cab, distance-for-distance.

Let’s say 20% extra. But to me, that extra 20% is completely overwhelmed by the massive extra value I receive in convenience, time savings, avoidance of stress and frustration and actual pleasure.

Only two weeks ago my wife and I attended a private function on the other side of Perth to our home, and less than two hours in Michelle began to feel faint. I called our driver, who had just sat down at home to watch a movie. For no extra charge he immediately turned off the TV and was there to collect us, several hours earlier than planned, within 15 minutes.

It’s…impressive. And it’s what people talk about.

Such impressiveness IS addictive. I now have a corporate car and driver I use for each major city I visit. Whether it be Vivian in Melbourne, Tony in Sydney or Bill in Brisbane, I can call them on their personal cell phones and know they’ll be waiting for me and me alone when I walk off the plane.

The intangible difference between impressive and ordinary is as day is to night, disproportionately greater than the extra cost. It explains why the taxi industry is of such ill-repute, while the corporate car industry is thriving, growing exponentially.

What are you doing to create that difference between Ordinary and Impressive in your hair or beauty salon? Beware of falling into the trap of thinking it’s all about what you do, the treatments you offer, the quality of your technicians, how many awards they’ve won. It’s nothing to do with that at all. It’s about how you make your customers feel. There’s an old bit of dogma that still rings true: people will forget what you said, forget what you did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.

It’s the tiniest thing, almost inconsequential to you, but of massive significance to the customer. The randomly given thank-you gift, the personal phone call to inquire about their experience with you, the promptness of service and the willingness to go ‘extra’…

This is what people pay more for, queue up for, talk to their friends about, re-book for. They do not come to you for a mere hair style, a facial or a massage.

To quote Donald Porter, V.P. British Airways; Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.

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How do you REALLY differentiate your salon from the competition?