I need a new hair cutter. Oh, the one I’m using now is very good. She gives me the most consistently great cuts I believe I’ve ever had. She doesn’t charge too much, is reasonably available. She has a fun personality.
But I’m kind of looking, just the same.
Why am I dissatisfied?
For the last thirty years I’ve seen the same process every time I get my hair cut. The cutter wraps some spongy paper around my neck, pulls an apron up tight, cuts and trims, unties the apron, removes the paper, then picks up a blower and BLOWS THE LITTLE SHARDS OF HAIR CLIPPINGS DOWN MY SHIRT. I’m pretty much forced at that point to stop my day, go home, and shower just to make the itching stop.
You know, I’ve mentioned to every person who’s picked up a pair of scissors that they should trade in the blower for a shop vac, and remove the hair instead of hiding it inside my shirt where it will itch all the way to the shower.
Every one of them has listened to me complain, nodded in agreement, and then waited for their “complaining customer” to leave the shop so they can say what they really think of him.
“Snort. He expects us to change the way we work, just for him.”
Yes, I do.
And eventually, I’m going to start actively searching for a new cutter.
The cost of change includes risk.
I’ve mentioned before that sometimes people do business with us because it’s too much trouble, or too much expense, to switch suppliers.
In this case, it’s fear. Fear that I’m going to hate the next haircut.
So, I schedule my hair appointments late in the day, and keep going back to a service provider that annoys me with each purchase.
But imagine the ads I could create for anyone willing to change the way she works, just for the customer who asked for the change. Do you think that ad could be compelling enough to induce you to risk one haircut?
Are there customers that you’re annoying with each purchase? With the right promise from a competitor, they’re gone. Listen to them, now.
A customer complaint is valuable. Treat those complaining customers as if your business depends on making them happy. Either that, or be vulnerable to the first competitor who does.
Oh, one more thing: If you know someone who cuts hair anywhere near Huntington, West Virginia, and owns a vacuum cleaner, drop me her (or his) name. I’m going to make that kid a star.