‘The opportunity that the pandemic opened up for us was omni-channel’

As part of a special series ‘Moments Made By Marketing' powered by Salesforce, Sachin Kamat, Director, Enrich, highlights how the salon chain leverages data & technology to serve its clientele

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 15, 2020 9:44 AM
sachin Kamat

exchange4media group is curating a series of interviews called Moments Made By Marketing' powered by Salesforce where we focus on how brands are building connected experiences in a multi-platform environment to reach their consumers. In the first part of our series, Sachin Kamat, Director, Enrich, tells us how the unisex salon chain survived the pandemic by bringing together all stakeholders and ensuring transparent communication. Being a service that relies on physical contact, Kamat highlights how the company reached out to its customers and how, through this engagement, consumers realized the value and experience a salon provides. He adds that the big opportunity that the pandemic opened up for Enrich was omni-channel and how the salon is now geared to serve at the customer’s convenience. He also highlights how Enrich uses its customer data and service history to service the consumer.

 

Edited experts

 

How did you engage with your consumers and create a hyper-personalized experience in the last few months?

In early March, we started implementing all safety protocols in our salons and also started talking and sharing informing with our peers in the industry.  We created posts which were circulated on social media and WhatsApp groups on the precautions we were taking. We also created a customer advisory highlighting 15 key points and circulated this within industry groups encouraging them to use it. In early March, we also started sending our team members a video every evening with information about the action we were taking and did this for close to 150 days. We also conducted a survey among our customers to find out how they were impacted and if there was anything we could do for them. Enrich’s positioning of ‘Love Begins With You’ is to make people look good because when people feel good about themselves, they feel confident.

Our number one objective was to survive the crisis and keep all our stakeholders together – our customers, landlords, product partners and all other partners we work with – and look after all our interests. This was the genesis for our campaign, ‘Me To We,’ and we changed our tagline to ‘Love Begins With Us’ and this has been the cornerstone of all our actions during the lockdown

 We used our customer database and conducted a survey detailing the post-Covid protocol we were working on to reassure our consumers, and 40,000 of our customers responded to this survey.

With multiple stakeholders, how do you ensure your brand messaging is consistent across the channels and platforms?

With our campaign ‘Me To We,’ we constantly addressed all stakeholders. During the lockdown in April, we looked to service our clients and our salon operations team called up our customers and asked them if they needed anything, including personal care products.  We then arranged for the products and got it delivered at the customer’s homes. This was entirely the initiative of the operations team and in April and May, when the salon was closed, we managed to do 35% of our normal product sales. What was important was that customers knew that we were thinking of them and reaching out to provide solutions. Similarly, as we are in a contact business, the survey conveyed to the consumer the new safety norms we were taking and we asked them what else they wanted us to do. We followed this up with another initiative, ‘Call Is Well’ where our entire team called their customers, the people they have served in the past, and enquired about their personal grooming. As the lockdown progressed, people became conscious of how they looked and this initiative helped us give customers tips on the phone, and through video calls, our hairstylists guided customers with haircuts. Over a six-week period, we conducted 1,20,000 calls and customers hugely appreciated this initiative.

On social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, our stylists posted DIY videos educating people about the basic grooming tips that could be done at home. Normally, this could be seen as a counter-productive move as consumers were now doing everything by themselves. However, this proved to be hugely productive. The videos showed consumers the effort taken by our team in making people look good and the service that was being provided to them. This worked to our advantage because people realized what all it takes to put together an experience. Colouring your hair in the comfort of a salon versus doing it at home is a different experience and this is when consumers realized the value and experience a salon provides.

When the lockdown restrictions were eased, there was a pent-up demand. The initial demand was good, with more men coming in than women. Gradually we saw the demand pick up. Till November, our footfalls are 60 % and revenues are 70% year-on-year. This shows that about 40% of consumers who visited our salon last year are yet to visit the salon again. Our first target is to get back to the revenue numbers of last year and only then look beyond that.

How are you utilizing, leveraging automation and technology to optimize your campaign and increase efficiency?

We operate in the service industry where the skillset of the person physically serving the customer is important. But we believe that technology can empower the services businesses hugely. At Enrich, we're ahead of the tech adoption curve when compared to our peers in our industry. However, if we compare ourselves to other industries, maybe we aren't as advanced.

The opportunity that the pandemic opened up for us was omni-channel. In our business, typically 75% of our revenue comes from services and 25% from the aftercare products that we sell. While we are already focused on services, we are now focusing on products as this gets you closer to the customer and also shores up the bottomline. Similarly, as we are an actual physical destination, we are strong offline but we are now looking at all that can be done online. We are upping investments in our customer mobile app, website and on e-commerce. We've had a mobile app since 2015 and recently re-launched it. The customer should be able to interact with us on the phone, on the app, website or physically at the salon, at any point convenient to the customer. 

In addition to the services at the salon, we need to focus on providing services beyond the salon, at home or any other location. With an omni-channel approach, you don’t look at how much a vertical contributes to the overall business. Instead, you look at your existing customer and how you can service this customer. If for whatever reason the customer can't physically come to me, how do we go to them? Wherever our customer needs, we must be there, whether at the salon or at home. Similarly, if a customer wants to order a product online and delivered at home, we should be able to do that. Our home service vertical Belita was a standalone service but post-pandemic is now an integral part of the salon offering and our stylists can now service the customer at their home while following the same safety protocol we operate at the salon.

So how are you leveraging analytics, specifically while you're trying to upsell services to your customer?

The pandemic will create very few new trends, but whatever trends were present earlier, it accentuates them hugely. At Enrich, we've always believed that unless you measure, you cannot manage. As a result, we do a lot of number crunching, record a lot of data and try and look at ways we can extract make value out of it. This has helped us as we can calculate exactly how many people came last year vis-à-vis this year. Or how many people visited between January and March this year but have subsequently come back or not. We look at and calculate frequency, ticket size, cross-sell, upsell and when you have a discipline when measuring; it comes handy in times like these.

Can you tell us more how you extract value from first party data?

Anybody who walks into our salon is a customer and we have their details – such as their names, mobile numbers, the services they opt for, ticket size etc. We recognize the fact that our customers come to us for some R&R –to relax and rejuvenate. We are approached by brands on a regular basis for cross promotions and also to monetize the database. At Enrich, we don't believe in this. Also, we pay a lot of attention and are very careful in how and when we approach a consumer. You will not see indiscriminate messaging or SMS from us. We are mindful of how many times we reach out to the consumer. We also try to deliver value to our customers by not being intrusive and also ensuring that we follow the GDPR levels of data privacy.

Our data and service history gives us the opportunity to service the consumer. For example, if a customer has bought a shampoo, we know when the customer needs to buy it again or when they have coloured their hair, we reach out to tell them that’s it time for their hair colour service. This helps us to plan our revenue. However, this is true in normal times and we currently are not in normal times. Right now the focus is, first on getting back to last year's numbers first.

When we re-opened post the lockdown, we followed strict distancing by keeping the alternate chairs empty and only had 50 % of our staff. The service provider had to change their protective kit for every customer they served and the customer also had to put on a kit. This meant a huge increase in hygiene and sanitization costs when working at half capacity and with half a team. We came up with a safety supplement kit and every customer was charged for this kit at cost price. While we charged for this kit, customers were also credited with reward points which they could use the next time. This year, for the festival promotion, we created a recycling and sustainability program called ‘Greenrich Rewards’ where we reward our customers for every act of sustainability that they do. They can win reward points when they recycle products, play the virtuous cycle (spin the wheel) at the salon or on the app and win reward points. They can also win reward points by posting photos & details of their effort to reduce, reuse & recycle on social media.

Content has become such a big piece of marketing now. How are you targeting your end consumer with data-driven content?

We know what people consume, what their interests are, and this allows us to create segments where we can target the content to our audience. Relevance has a big role to play. It is key that you provide engaging content to the consumer, and provide content that interests them. For example for the ‘Greenrich Rewards’ campaign, we created a video about the virtuous cycle where we sustainability and instances of people recycling was showcased. In the six-weeks since the video was released, we have seen the highest average viewing time ever for any campaign of ours. For a 60-seconds video, the average viewing time when the video first aired was 33-seconds. Now, six weeks later, it is 29 seconds and we are thrilled with the response. Clearly the messaging and content is engaging and resonating with people.

We are also doing two sets of a sustainability quiz where we are targeting two segments - one who have heard about sustainability but don’t practice it and the second, who believe in sustainability and want to do more. This sustainability quiz is present on our website and social media. When someone takes the quiz, we can add them to the targeting list for the ‘Greenrich Rewards’ campaign. So, there are various ways we can use data to drive content in an interesting manner.

Another example is, this year for Diwali, we gifted customers a coconut fiber pot with organic soil and seeds which were put together in the shape of a red heart, which is our symbol. We said this year spread the light by planting the seed instead of crackers and this went with a small card. However, the response was lukewarm as people only paid attention to the card and didn’t see the seeds. We realized the messaging did not go through even though it was simple enough for a child to understand. So, what we did next was on Children’s Day we got some children to do unboxing videos and explain in their own words that they received seeds and pot from Enrich, what had to be done and that they were going to plant it. Now interestingly, this got us very good traction. That was another piece of content. To my mind, there is very interesting ways of doing content but it should be primarily driven by relevance.

This is a partner content article in association with exchange4media.

 

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