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There is no shortage of competition in the hair-care market from upscale salons such as Regis to single-chair barbershops. But franchisees of Great Clips today get access to a slate of services and products to help them succeed.
The company’s new online check-in system and smartphone app are examples. And they are driving sales. The app, which has been downloaded 2.2 million times through the end of January, maps Great Clips stores near the user and even posts waiting times for a haircut at each store. From the app you can put your name on a waiting list before reaching that salon.
“If you need a haircut,’’ Hockett said, “you still need to put your hand on a door handle and walk in.” The real-time information helps bring in new and old customers alike. “It really opened our eyes to how we use technology and embrace the digital world rather than fear it,” Hockett said.
The online check-in system was developed with Great Clips’ long-term technology partner, Innovative Computer Software of Eden Prairie. Hockett has a goal of getting 3 million to 5 million downloads of the Net Check In app.
In December, 15 percent of Great Clips customers used online check-in, and Hockett hopes to get 25 to 30 percent of business through the technology.
Mark Spriggs, an associate professor at the University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business, teaches a class on franchising. Spriggs says one of the keys to the success of Great Clips is that the company sees itself as partners with their franchisees. Spriggs said their thinking is: “If we make the franchisees successful, we will be successful. Not everyone [franchisers] thinks that way.”
Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926