Beauty Link - Volume 5, Issue 3 - (Page 43)
BY LISA WILKES HERSHMAN
hey say preparation is the mother of victory. It was
four days before my wedding, and like all brides, I
wanted to look stunning. Preparing for scrutiny,
I headed to my favorite salon to have my grays
My stylist was on vacation and I was booked with
someone new. I wasn’t worried—I had a straightforward request
and the stylist could see the notes entered into the database
regarding my previous visits. I expected my light brown hair with
highlights to look polished for the French twist I would don in
a few days. Instead, I was transformed into a flaming redhead.
While on most fair-skinned, blue-eyed women this would look
great, the intensity was such that I looked like Carrot Top. “Wow,
you look awesome!” gushed the stylist. “Fix it!” was all I could
articulate through clenched teeth.
So what happened? Was the stylist talented? Yes. Skilled? Yes.
Sweet? Yes. My scalp didn’t burn, my hair was shiny and soft, and
the style was great. Obviously, there was a disconnect between
what I wanted and what she delivered. How could a top-rated
salon produce a very unhappy customer?
Unfortunately, this happens more often than you might think
in every industry. Iconic names lose their way. They invest in the
business, train their employees, evaluate their competition—and
assume they know enough about the customers.
Much of my business is aimed at helping some of the world’s bestknown brands refocus on the customer. And nowhere is this more
important than in the beauty and beauty education industry. If the
shoes I buy don’t fit, I return them. But a bad haircut can linger far
too long, and a poor educational experience can prevent a potentially brilliant hairstylist from achieving her professional destiny.
A basic tenant of process improvement is efficiently managing
the process. Whether it’s packaging automotive parts, shipping
costumes for Cirque du Soleil, or recruiting beauty school students,
every business needs a process. And while metrics and measurements frequently dominate process discussion, the process always
begins with listening to the customer.
I recently worked with a major auto manufacturer that was
seeking to streamline their design to market process. I asked a
simple question—“Who is your customer?” After an uncomfortable
silence, a team member answered, “The engineering department.”
They were so focused on technology that they had forgotten to
consider if they were providing what the customer wanted and
“In the process of innovation,
the customer must always be the
first and last consideration.”
their sales and reputation were suffering. Both could be saved,
but only by a commitment to listen to customers’ input.
Like this manufacturer, beauty schools must know their competition, industry trends, and their own business’ strengths and
An extensive online catalog on management training is available on the AACS Online Training Center at
www.aacstraining.org/category/management. Members call AACS at 800-831-1086 for your VIP Discount
Code. Visit the following URL to learn more about these courses: http://bit.ly/ManagementCourses.
BE AUT YLIN K | T AK I NG CARE O F BUSI N E S S | 20 1 3 |
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Beauty Link - Volume 5, Issue 3
Message from the AACS President and CEA CO-Chairs
The Workings of Washington
Celebrate the Power of Educators
The Legacy of Madam Walker
Outside the Beauty Box
Part Art, Part Science
Beauty School Malpractice Liability Insurance
Leverage what Makes Your School Diff erent
Help Your Students Shine
Small Business Impacts
Voices from the Classroom
The Best in Business
Step by Step
How to Improve the Process
A Student’s Perspective
With a Little Help from Her Friends
Motivating Your Students
Beauty Changes Lives
2013 Spring Operations Conference
People & Places
New Products & Services
Associate Member Profiles
New School Members
Upcoming 2013-14 Events
Index to Advertisers
Beauty Link - Volume 5, Issue 3
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