Great Clips’ Technological Innovation Gives Them the Upper-Hand in a Competitive Industry
Great Clips’ Technological Innovation Gives Them the Upper-Hand in a Competitive Industry

Game-changing technology has given both franchisees and customers full control over the hair care experience.

Since 1982, Great Clips has been making it easy for customers to get a great haircut without spending a lot of time or money.

Over the past few years, the fast-growing brand has taken that same time-tested tradition of convenience to an entirely different level. Customers and franchisees alike have the power to take full control over the hair care experience—and it’s available at the touch of a button.

Back in 2011, Great Clips unveiled their Online Check-In feature, making them the industry’s first-ever brand to do so. The technology allows customers to remotely log in from a computer or smart phone and view the estimated wait time at surrounding salons. Customers can then click the “check in” icon to add their name to the list at the Great Clips salon of their choice. By the time the arrive, they’re likely next or almost next in line—saving precious time they might have spent waiting in the lobby for their haircut.

“Whether you’re a swamped professional trying to squeeze in a haircut on the drive home, a college student looking to get a quick trim before class or a busy mom trying to get haircuts for the kids, introducing our Online Check-In meant that they no longer had to guess how long their visit to Great Clips will take,” said Beth Caron, Great Clip’s director of franchise development. “We were the first in the hair care space to introduce this game-changing technology. It shows we respect the busy lives of our customers, and we want to make the haircut experience as easy as possible.”

But the brand’s technological innovation didn’t stop there. A few years later, Great Clips introduced Clip Notes, a global customer database that ensures customers get the same quality haircut at all salons in the U.S. Great Clips locations can enter the details of a customer’s haircut in the company’s secure global computer network, and stylists at all Great Clips salons can retrieve the information and give customers the haircut they expect.

“This is another technology innovation we’ve pioneered to help the customer. With Clip Notes, customers have the freedom to visit any of our salons and get a haircut they love without having to explain the details from their last haircut,” Caron said. “We do everything we can to improve the convenience and consistency.”

Great Clips technology was designed to make the lives of its franchisees a little easier, too. The brand boasts an iPad app that displays salon data in real time. A franchisee or general manager can easily pull up the app and see key operational data. This tool is useful because it provides a real-time look into what is happening in the salon; for example, what time the salon opened, who is working, how many customers are in the salon, the average hair cut time and what the product sales are for the day.

According to Caron, this technology is a huge advantage to the brand’s franchisees—it gives them the luxury of being able to connect to and manage their business remotely: they could sit on the beach, for example, and see how many customers came in that day or whether the salon is trending for a record sales week.

“Great Clips has emerged as a high-tech leader in our industry. We want to use technology as a way to increase the comfort and convenience of customers and our franchisees,” Caron said. “Our continual innovation has really become a huge differentiator for us in the industry. And I think as technology continues to advance, more and more, convenience and speediness will become a way of life. We hope to keep evolving along the way to maintain that fierce competitive edge.”