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Management Practices

Become a Habit Disruptor

Stacey Soble | May 4, 2015 | 5:35 AM

We’re more than a quarter of the way through 2015, already 15 years into the 21st century, and while little, if any, of the technology promised to us on The Jetsons has been invented yet (hello flying cars!), we’re still hurtling toward the future – bigger, better, faster, smarter than ever before. Yet we still cling to old, comfortable habits, hesitant to even stick our toes in the water and try something new.

This is human nature, of course, partly for self-preservation. However, sometimes habits can become ruts, especially as it applies to your business. Think of yourself as the consumer for a second. How much mental effort do you put into your weekly shopping trips to the grocery store or nearby big-box discount retailer? When selecting items off the shelf, do you look to see what’s new or different, or just gravitate to whatever you bought last time?

Your guests in your salon are doing the same thing – unless you step in to disrupt their habits. So are your potential guests who are currently going to your competitor – unless you step in to disrupt their habits.

Disrupt their habits how?

This is where your marketing plan comes in, and this is where you can put your knowledge of your customers’ habits to good use by analyzing their buying patterns and then staying connected with them with the right message at the right time. You have the data; you just need to make it work for you. Your current customers must be nurtured and protected without feeling like you are creeping on them. Let them know they are appreciated – after all, they can absolutely live without you – but also make sure they are aware of other services you offer that you know they don’t take advantage of.

What about your potential guests?

First you need to find them; then you can figure out how to disrupt their current habits and get them to try your business. Make sure you have a good story to tell and make it worth their time to make a trial switch. Get creative on social media, and use the internet and other tools available. One way to do this is to have a login or registration feature on your website, and allow people to login via a social account – Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc.

According to a recent whitepaper by Elcom, 77% of people prefer social login to traditional registration. Think about how many times you have ever abandoned a website because you couldn’t remember your login information. Problem solved with social login. Plus, 67% of consumers say they would be willing to share some personal information (thanks to a social login) in return for a more personalized experience. Wow – what could that do for your salon?

Research is showing that social login users spend more time on a website, and social sharing is beneficial for businesses because it leads to more word-of-mouth referrals. What makes you different and better than your competitors? Get it out there on social media. Define your message and be consistent when delivering your story. Make yourself irresistible and unforgettable so when it is time for that potential guest to make a buying decision, your business pops in her head and she can’t mindlessly follow her usual routine.

It’s time to get in the habit of disrupting other people’s habits, and you better get started because it’ll be mid-year before you know it.

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