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Should Creative Cuts Rethink their Customer Strategy?

First Haircut
Creative Commons License photo credit: pawpaw67

My experience today at Creative Cuts got me thinking of the importance of delivering stellar customer service in today’s uncertain times. It was really quite simple—my local Creative Cuts outlet posted a sign notifying customers that after March 9, 2009 they would no longer be honoring their card that offers a free hair cut after the ninth paid hair cut. This offer is the reason I use Creative Cuts. I have a large family and it makes sense to me to forgo the fancier salons in order to get this benefit.

So, what is Creative Cuts strategy? I wondered as I sat in the chair why they were making this move. Yes, my hairstylist explained that business was down and many people were waiting longer between cuts. This made sense. But, it still did not make sense why Creative Cuts would take the coupon away. Won’t other customers begin to wonder which of Creative Cuts’ competitors are still offering coupons?

Apparently management did not read the March issue of 1 to 1 Magazine. Elizabeth Glagowski writes in “Retailers Look to Service Experience During Tough Times” :

Shoppers are scarce. But one bright spot is that the current economic situation is forcing many retailers to take action to improve the customer experience. Companies can’t afford to pay lip service to customer service anymore.

Glagowski explains:

It’s not about acquisition anymore. One-time discounts or store layouts won’t build customer loyalty. Companies have to improve both the shopping experience and customer service to keep customers coming back.

How are you ensuring that your customers are receiving the best possible customer experience?