Black Women’s Hair and CRM: What I Learned About Tech & Customer Service From A Hair Care Store

Image from http://thirstyroots.com

On Monday, New Year’s eve, I went to a local hair care supply shop. I went on this errand for my wife.

Like many black women (as opposed to white women) with Afrocentric hair*, my wife has a range of products she uses to maintain her hair. Products for conditioning it, for the ends, for the scalp, I can’t even keep up – there at thousands of different products from hundreds of different brands.

So I went our local “ethnic” hair care store to get some creams and things for her hair and the experience was frustrating. Almost as frustrating as shopping for food items that I’m occasional sent to get!

I took with me 3 empty containers of what my wife wanted, to show to the store staff.

At the store, I told the friendly guy that I didn’t have the patience to look through the 8 million aisles of hair care products. These products slightly change name and/or design, so it makes it much harder to find them when you need to stock up again.

He said to me “sir, be patient, your wife needs you….”. He carefully looked through the shelves for what I needed. He did not have one of the products I was looking for. He then took a note pad, wrote down what I was looking for and said he’d get me the product in a few more days. I was amazed.

WHAT LESSON DID I LEARN ABOUT CRM?

This retailer was not using any technology, except for some video cameras to monitor theft and a dinky cash register.

But where the “customer relationship management” (CRM) came into play was the person who helped me. He soothed me and then proceeded to make a solution to my problem. Using a simple pen and paper (not computer) he used “CRM” quite effectively.

Sure, I advocate using TECHNOLOGY to better know your customers and service them, but the BIG LESSON HERE is that you do not need technology to establish good relationships with your customers. You need employees (and yourself) who have a heart  to serve customers and fulfill their needs. You need a mind set to be able to create solutions for your customers, even if you do not have what they need.

This year, resolve to TRAIN your employees to serve customers. Resolve to IMPLEMENT technology to know WHO your customers are and WHAT they want and ensure you have consistent delivery of service to their needs.

If you’re looking for an all in one CRM software, do check out Infusiosnsoft (my employer), an all in one software with email marketing, lead scoring, marketing campaigns and more. Other solutions include Salesforce, Hubspot, BatchBook, SageCRM, Nimble CRM, 37 Signals many products and so many more.

*meaning not straight hair like women with European, Hispanic, Asian or Arabic decent might have

PS – I’m sure you’ll never look at a black women’s hair the same again!

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About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com & Infusionsoft. Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

  • http://www.rodkirby.com/ Rod Kirby

    That’s a good lesson learned, Ramon! I absolutely understand having to go out to a store and get something for your wife you’ve never seen, heard of, or care to use, lol. Great personal (non-techy) CRM is one of the main keys for small business success. It’s what separates us from large enterprises. We have the ability to reach and impact customers on intimate levels. To me, this is what drives small business and what makes us successful!

  • http://twitter.com/LindseyKirchoff Lindsey Kirchoff

    Completely agree with you here. While software can make things easier and less painful to your customers, you don’t need need anything other than a desire to solve customers’ problems to be successful in CRM. Great post!

    • http://Smallbiztechnology.com Ramon Ray

      Glad it was useful