"With InSocial we can gain insights in our customers' experiences! Our brand became much stronger and we are proud of that!"
- Ellis van der Slikke, Digital Marketing Manager at Wave International
Note: Subtitles of this video are available in English
Innovation based on feedback with revenue as result
Minimum input, maximum outcome. That is possible! This client case about WAVE International, the mother company of the well-known hairdresser brands in the Netherlands: Cosmo’s and Team Kappers, explains how you can implement the right innovations by using smart customer satisfaction surveys with the bonus of increased SEO.
In 2012, WAVE faced a financial challenge; the frequency of visits declined and the average amount a customer spent was low. The hairdressing market was also becoming overcrowded and customers were switching from hairdresser all the time.
WAVE’ uses a franchise formula. The customer-to-CEO line is significantly longer with franchises than with smaller chains. In a small company you, as the owner, are much closer to the customer. You see them, talk to them, and watch the expressions on their faces. You can analyse their behaviour and you will have knowledge of what is going on. With franchises, with bigger distance between you and customers, it can be more challenging to respond directly to the wishes of the customer.
1. Making the promoters a marketing machine, with digital media as the channel
2. Converting detractors to ambassadors through win-back actions in the retention flow
3. A management model focused on optimizing and improving to determine what’s on the agenda for innovation.
From the floor to the CEO
Nowadays we are always online, which makes it possible for top management to hear what customers are saying about their company. What does your customer think is important? Is it the way the appointment with a hairdresser is made? Is it being able to park in front of the door? The quality of cutting or colouring? The coffee? Everything can be asked, measured, and sent to real-time dashboards to analyse.
But where does the experience of the customer begin? In the case of WAVE, it is in the salon. Here the brand is built up or demolished. It is a cliché, but your brand is as strong as the weakest link. With the existence of digital and social media, this customer experience can be enhanced. In a negative way, but also in a positive way.
1, A loyal customer is a powerful marketing machine
Measuring and steering is a two-part process: on the one hand you want to hear what the customer says so that you can innovate or optimize based on this data, on the other hand you want the word-of-mouth advertising to gain a much broader reach than just to the customer’s neighbour or aunt.
WAVE was looking for a customer experience software that can be implemented in more complex organisations. For WAVE the following aspects were of much value when considering a customer experience software:
- Data ownership (WAVE wants to remain in possession of their own data, which is not the case with every customer experience software).
- Having the possibility to send out surveys and publish reviews in the style of their own brand.
- Google optimized
- Working with a slightly smaller software company, compared to the more established ones, has the advantage of working agile.
Inviting customers for feedback
The first step is to send out an e-mail which invites customers to fill in a short NPS survey. NPS measures to what extent a customer would recommend your product or service. In WAVE’s case, they also asked for the main reason behind the given score (the drivers). Customers could choose from: the result, the stylist, the service, the convenience. This happens immediately after the visit to the salon, when the experience is still fresh. Of course, it is important that all communication to the customer is as inviting as possible, but that first email is extremely important.
Based on the data WAVE received with the survey, they could very quickly gain insights into when customers are satisfied or dissatisfied and what the focus points are.
A boost for your online reputation
In addition to the innovation side of this type of research, you can use these reviews directly for your online reputation management. Reviews are considered ‘user generated content’ and increases website traffic and in the end also increases the online bookings.
This is where the importance of Google’s optimised software comes in. You want these reviews to be included in the results of Google search engines, AdWords (the well-known yellow stars) and directly include them in your company information.
2, Turn detractors into ambassadors
You will also receive negative reviews, which is not bad as this makes your review marketing credible. In order to prevent that you get too many negative reviews online, you can choose to send the reviews of dissatisfied customers directly to your customer care department.
By responding directly to a complaint, you get the golden opportunity to turn this detractor into an ambassador. WAVE calls this the WINBACK proposal (see infographic).
3, Define the agenda for innovation
The reviews that WAVE has collected are presented in the InSights dashboard of InSocial. This provides a clear view of data for the franchisee, as well as for the stylists and the WAVE headquarters.
Initially, the NPS is measured and linked to the customer consumption (purchase of products and services). This is crucial for regional management.
WAVE also has a training department. Every week, 900 stylists are trained in the salon. This can now also be done in a much more targeted way because WAVE can gather points of improvement per employee, based on the feedback of customers.
For each salon, WAVE can see which employee is performing at the top of their game or which employee is underperforming. This means that a franchisee has the access to a personnel management tool (another advantage).
But most importantly, WAVE can use these reviews to drive improvements throughout their organisation. The customer reviews form the basis of their improvement plans. The innovations resulting from the reviews can be applicable to different areas within the organisation, especially considering product innovation, customer experience and transparent prices.
The great thing is that these consumers also show recognisable behaviour. For example; a customer who dyed their hair comes to dye their roots after 5 weeks, a customer with long hair often comes for a cut after 2 months. With this knowledge, you can adjust the customer contact cycle accordingly.
As a consumer of WAVE, you don’t just choose a colouring or style. You choose a look. WAVE adjusted their prices based on this. Choose your look, we do the rest and a nice bonus is that the consultation with the stylist is also much better. All stylists have tablets in store with a Pinterest board and according to style preferences, the stylist chooses a colour and a style.
Here are the 7 most important innovations that WAVE introduced based on the feedback of their customers.
- Lack of parking spots.
- Only open during office hours.
- Not having the time to go to the hairdresser.
- Cosmo Express, stylists that give you a haircut at the office.
- With customers like: Accenture, Google, Booking, Travelbird.
- The ‘on demand’ service culture is provided here.
- A frequently mentioned wish by customers: Delightful moment for myself.
- The hairdresser talks too much, I prefer to rest.
- Cosmo Silent Chair: The customer can choose a chair with which the stylist does not talk unnecessarily. This can already be specified when booking online.
- Outdated look & feel of the salon.
- Missing a touch of hospitality.
- A new shopfit designed by Nicemakers (designers who are particularly strong in hotels and restaurants).
- Interior design was an important point in the customer feedback. Cosmo has now opened four flagship stores. ‘Team Kappers’ three. And these also have a totally different look.
- Cosmo is about high service, a moment for yourself, and luxury. ‘Team Kappers’ is all about fast, cosy, coffee and feeling at home.
- Waiting times at ‘Team Kappers’
- At ‘Team Kappers’ you can get a haircut without an appointment. However, at waiting times longer than 20 minutes the customer will receive a SMS (on request) 10 minutes before the appointment.
- Frequently mentioned complaints:
- Need for affordable and clear prices
- Not satisfied with the result after haircolouring
Simple (digital) price lists;
- The price list is differentiated according to hair length
- No difficult names, or ‘what it may be’, but a price list linked to an inspiring model book, with a reference to Pinterest.
- Coffee doesn’t taste very good
- Good quality coffee
- The customer is given the opportunity to take coffee with him in a Cosmo cup. This way, the customer promotes the brand on the street.
- When making an online appointment you can also choose what you would like to drink and your coffee is ready with a name tag. This small gesture is greatly appreciated by the customer.
- Frequently mentioned comments:
- ‘Can I also reserve styling only?’
- ‘I don’t have time’
- ‘I think hairdressers are expensive, and I do not switch to a different one very quickly’
- Cosmo touch-ups:
- A service which offers the customer the opportunity to choose from 6 looks
- Emphasis on the visual character
- Clear price and time
- Affordable and accessible to experience Cosmo and possibly change hairdressers.
All these innovations led to an amazing result in 2016. The marketing, improvements based on feedback, improved training sessions and service in the salon have led to an increased number of new customers, an increased turnover through the sale of several products (especially the colour percentage went up) and there is a cultural change among the franchisees.
The value for WAVE as a franchisor has also increased. WAVE has to relieve the franchisees and hairdressers of the burden of taking care of the marketing, training, operations and the formula.