A good friend of mine and a great writer, had a great customer experience and wanted to share it with the Bomber following. Thanks for writing Caron.

The Ten Spot: How to differentiate your business – both online and offline – in a crowded, price-driven mani-pedi marketplace

 These days, there seems to be a nail/beauty bar every couple blocks in downtown Toronto. Many are popping up in the retail space of new condo developments. With this kind of competition, many nail bars are competing on price. You can get a manicure and pedicure for as low as $35 without tax if you pay cash at some establishments. 

 Then there is The Ten Spot, a beauty/nail bar that charges more than its local competitors but offers an excellent customer experience. A customer experience that’s so great…I’m willing to pay a little extra for it – $30 for a manicure, $50 for a pedicure. 

The best part of The Ten Spot is the staff – they are fantastic! They make an effort to look you in the eye and engage you in conversation, which is unfortunately rare for many nail/beauty bars. I was surprised during a February visit when one of the staff members remembered to ask me about a trip I took the previous fall. Impressive!

 

 

 I consider myself to be a social media/social business enthusiast, so I appreciate The Ten Spot’s social media/technology savvy. The Ten Spot offers iPads for customers to use while they are getting their pedicures. When I tweeted about The Ten Spot’s iPad offer, one of my social media contacts Judi Samuels, Director of Marketing for the Fairmont Royal York, retweeted and referred to it as a “purple goldfish” – a reference to Stan Phelp’s book “What’s Your Purple Goldfish: How to Win Customers and Influence Word of Mouth.” 

 Stan’s concept of a “purple goldfish” is “any time a business goes above and beyond to provide a ‘little something extra.’ It’s that unexpected surprise that’s thrown in for good measure. It’s also giving your customers something to talk, tweet, blog and post to Facebook about.” 

 Another example of a “purple goldfish” offered by The Ten Spot is the wrapping of your feet in Vaseline and plastic wrap after a pedicure. This “something extra” ensures your pedicure isn’t ruined once you put your shoes back on for the trip home. 

 The Leslieville location – in a neighbourhood known for its proliferation of moms, babies and strollers – also offers complimentary baby minding service for clients on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a great way to draw in customers during non-peak hours while offering a value-added service to busy stay-at-home moms or those on maternity leave, who often don’t have the time or a babysitter to be able to attend beauty appointments.

 The Ten Spot is also very active on Twitter. I often tweet about my experiences there, and they are quick to retweet and reply to my tweets. Last summer, I was invited via Twitter to receive a free mani/pedi from one of their trainees. This is a good way to reward your Twitter followers and loyal customers, while providing necessary experience for your new employees.

 The Ten Spot is a great example of a business that can charge a higher price for its services because it differentiates its business from its local competitors based on offering clients a great customer experience.

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