Survey: Consumers pickier about hairdressers than doctors

ANN ARBOR—Consumers are pickier about pet sitters than they are about babysitters, and pickier about their hairdressers than their doctors, according to a new survey from DaySmart Software, the business software provider to the beauty, pet, and tattoo industries.

In February—prior to the escalation of COVID-19—DaySmart polled 2,000 U.S. consumers who had visited these types of businesses in the last year. The study revealed that consumers place heavy emphasis on small business employees and personalized service when choosing where to spend their money regularly.

As those businesses start to reopen their doors in the coming months, they’ll need to be creative and strategic to reengage their customer bases and foster loyalty among prospects. DaySmart’s study revealed that 62 percent of consumers believe quality of service is the most important trait when identifying their go-to businesses. This is followed by cost (40 percent), convenience (32 percent) and reputation (32 percent). Once the customer starts feeling comfortable at their chosen businesses, more than half (51 percent) say that it takes 10 visits or fewer for them to consider themselves a “regular.”

The survey also found that 67 percent of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a particular employee rather than the overall business. Further, 48 percent say they would follow an employee from a business they were a regular at if they moved to a new business. As employees prove to be a small businesses’ biggest asset, owners will need to emphasize their value by providing them with the resources needed to succeed.

It is no surprise that the stakes are high when it comes to both quality of service and employee-customer interactions. Findings show that 60 percent of consumers would never go to a business again if that business ruined the service they went there for (e.g., haircut, manicure, tattoo). Moreover, 50 percent say they would never go back if an employee was rude to them, and more than three-quarters (77 percent) of consumers are less likely to visit a business again after receiving bad customer service.

The survey found consumers think a lot about who their go-to professional service providers will be—and those choices are not taken lightly. According to the survey findings, consumers are pickier when it comes to finding a hairdresser or barber who they are comfortable with than a doctor. They are also pickier when choosing a pet kennel or daycare than a babysitter or nanny.

When building customer experience, small businesses must consider adopting technology that will help them be as user-friendly and convenient for customers as possible. Seventy-four percent of respondents are more likely to continue visiting a business if online appointment bookings are available—a percentage that jumps to 81 percent for consumers between ages 18-23 and 79 percent for consumers ages 24-39.

“Employees are the heroes of the customer loyalty story – and the keys to unlocking critical benefits such as repeat business, referrals, constructive feedback and more,” said Jeff Dickerson, CEO of DaySmart Software. “This survey supports the importance in investing in business management software to free up employees from repetitive, time-consuming tasks so they can pay more attention to learning employee preferences and building social rapport. By implementing the right tools, small businesses are investing in their two greatest assets: their team and their customer base.”

The survey report is available for download at

DaySmart software is sold under the brand names Salon Iris, Orchid, 123Pet and Inkbook.

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