Customer service lay behind Great Clips’s development of its online check-in app, aiming to get customers to the most convenient location, according to Ken Hand, a franchisee in the Phoenix market. The app provides users with a map of Great Clips stores near a zip code entered by the user or determined automatically near the location of the iPhone, Droid or Internet browser logging in to the app, along with wait times at each. Customers have found additional advantages that include checking in at a favored store in spite of a long wait and using that known wait time to accomplish other tasks or errands, Hand says. Another benefit accrues to both stylists and the customers they’re serving — with customers using the app to learn wait times and to check themselves in to the queue, stylists have fewer calls interrupting their service to customers in their chair.
“The primary focus of the company is convenience, so if I have a 40-minute wait at my store and customers can see one with no wait, I would just as soon they go there,” Hand says. But in fact, he’s found the app to be very good for retention. “Customers who use it really like it a lot,” he says. Released in 2011, “it has seen exponential growth once people started using it.” Eight hundred thousand customers per month use the check-in app nationwide, and its ten-millionth customer check-in was recorded in July. Phoenix is among the top of all markets in its use.