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Newsletter #1048: The “Lessons from Drybar” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

We were inspired by this conversation between Inc. writer Liz Welch and Alli Webb, founder of Drybar, a mobile salon that only offers wash and blow-dry services. She told Liz that while a lot of competitors are starting to copy her model, staying true to the business has helped Drybar stay ahead.

Here are three lessons to learn from their persistence:

1. Do less, better
2. Think about every detail of the customer experience
3. Train employees to get real feedback
4. Check it out: Gravity points

1. Do less, better

Drybar does one thing: wash and blow-dry services. And it’s inspired a lot of competition to do the same, and it’s put the pressure on them to offer other things to stay ahead. But instead of adding on more beauty services, Drybar just doubles down on doing what they do really well: washing and blowdrying hair in a luxury environment. They chose to stick to their niche instead of becoming just another salon.

The lesson: Doing one thing really well is what makes the idea work. What makes it fail is letting more creep in.

2. Think about every detail of the customer experience

Drybar works hard to make a great environment for their customers. Their salons are made to look like a chic bar, they put iPhone chargers at each station, and fresh flowers are everywhere. In fact, they could fit about ten more chairs in their typical-sized salon, but instead, they choose to leave extra space around their limited stations.

The lesson: Take the money and resources you would spend on expanding your services and invest it in making your existing product the best it can be.

3. Train employees to get real feedback

Alli tells Inc. one of the worst things that can happen is for a client to leave unhappy. So their cashiers ask every customer about their experience. But they don’t stop there. Drybar also trains employees to read customers’ body language and facial expressions to pick up on upset customers who aren’t sharing their disappointment.

The lesson: Not everyone will tell you when they’re unhappy. And while most places don’t even want to know, how much better could you make your business if every unsatisfied customer was heard?

4. Check it out: Gravity points

Click anywhere to add a gravity point and watch as the dots interact and with one another. Open the controls to change the interference and number of particles on the page.

Check it out: Gravity points

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