Great Clips…SportClips? A haircut’s a haircut, right? I say yes. But there are some other factors that go into retaining my business. Maybe not just a haircut…
I just got my haircut at Great Clips, stepping out of my usual routine of going to SportClips, which I’ve got to probably 6 out of the last 7 times, not counting the times Shea cut my hair at OrangeSoda (Company subsidized haircuts baby!). I don’t go to SportClips because I’m a sporty guy. Those that know me will attest to this. I go there because I have a great experience, they reward me right for refering friends, and they have pretty darn good coupons. Oh! And the MVP is great! This time I needed something a little closer to the office — and Great Clips is just up the street.
I was pleased that no one was there in this no appointment franchise, which SportClips is too. That means I could use the rest of my lunch hour for this post. Since I’ve never been I jumped through the hoops of giving my information and they had a new hire, so the person helping me was running her through that as well.
We had a surprising discussion (because most companies won’t bother to ask) about why I was coming here. I told her that usually go to SportClips, since she knew I’d not been to Great Clips before. She jokingly laughed saying “They don’t know what their doing”, to which I just smiled knowingly. I let her know I almost didn’t come here because I really don’t like their TV commercials and that it was purely a matter of location. She acknowledged they were cheesy and as she’s saying this I’m noticing that their decor fits very much into their commercials, kind of cheesy…and generic. But with a name like “Great Clips”, how much more generic can you get?
I told her what I wanted: ’2 on the bottom, 3 on the sides, 1 1/2″ on top, blended and textured.’ Jana at SportClips helped me with that one. We had a generic discussion about this and that and I’m not much of a chit-chatty person but participated as much as social decency demanded. The whole time I was looking at the decor — sailboat sails separating the stations, advertisments for PBS Kids Sprout, and an “updated 80′s” feel is the best overall vibe I can succintly explain. At the end there were people lined up waiting for a haircut and I felt like she may have rushed a bit. I pointed out just a couple places to fix (I really not that picky). Then she asked, “Have we converted you?”… While I was sizing up my experience during the cut I hadn’t necessarily thought about that, so it caught me off-guard. I just smiled and said “We’ll see.” It was just easier than explaining to this new employee, whom I discovered through the course of our conversation obviously loves Great Clips, that I’d be going to SportClips next time.
On my cold and windy scooter ride back to the office I thought about this some more. I would guess that the training of hair stylists (or barbers, or salonists, or hair school girls, or whatever you call them) is very similar. And while I’m not sure what kind of company training Great Clips or SportClips does with it’s employees to ensure a consistent experience I am fairly convinced therein lies the difference.
Why I like SportClips better:
- They will style my hair with a recommended product. I don’t use a lot on my hair because I don’t want to buy something and not like it, so this is appreciated
- Refer-a-Friend! Both you and your friend get a free MVP! Why don’t more places do that?
- Convenient locations, unless you’re at work… Fiona can shop and whatever because their usually in fairly populated strip mall/big box areas from what I can tell.
- Conditioner instead of water to wet the hair. Same result, but moisturizes hair and I don’t have to be sprayed in the face.
- TVs while you get your hair cut, what’s not to like about that?
- The MVP…sometimes it’s just worth the extra money…
Great Clips and SportClips are both quickly growing franchises. Great Clips has over 1000 locations (since 1982), SportClips has over 500 (since 1993).
Overall Great Clips Verdict:
How does it look? Pretty good/like a haircut.
How does it feel? Could be better.