Hair Club has enjoyed success as the leading provider of hair loss solutions in North America, serving more than 600,000+ clients since 1976. But rather than being complacent, the company continues to innovate and seek fresh ideas to improve service levels and ensure success well into the future.
In that spirit, Hair Club went under the microscope and allowed MBA students at Columbia Business School in New York to study various aspects of the company’s sales process. The case studies were part of a course called Building the Sales Machine. Hair Club was the main subject throughout the term.
Hair Club collaborated with Michael Brown, adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, to formulate real world business opportunities into projects for students to work on. Students broke into teams and were given full access to company materials such as sales training manuals and marketing collateral. They scheduled consultations through Hair Club’s National Contact Center (NCC) and even visited their local Hair Club center as prospective clients.
Case study topics included how to destigmatize hair restoration through an updated sales narrative and virtual consultations, as well as how to improve online reviews.
A Possible New Approach to Hair Loss Consultations
“Virtual consultations offer some of the biggest potential,” said Melissa Oakes, Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations at Hair Club. In a virtual consultation, a prospective client at home would be able to talk with an Image Consultant in a Hair Club center through video conferencing.
“Currently, clients must physically come in to a Hair Club center for a complimentary consultation, which includes a detailed hair and scalp analysis,” said Oakes. “But, we have to be more flexible because sometimes people can’t make it to one of our centers.”
Recently, the teams of students delivered their presentations to the Hair Club executive team. Presenters were scored on articulation, their understanding of the subject matter and their ability to propose new, but realistic, solutions.
“The students’ feedback was extremely valuable,” said Revital (Rev) Elder, Sales and Marketing Analyst for Hair Club. “We’re in this business all the time, but they brought an entirely different perspective. Their presentations contained very creative ideas—ideas we should be looking at.”
“We were excited and thankful to partner with Hair Club this semester to give students a real world understanding of how a large revenue organization functions,” said Professor Brown. “Students learned key insights and approaches to the business with a particular focus on the sales process, sales presentations, virtual consultations and the overall reputation of the Hair Club business.”
In the coming weeks, Hair Club will review each presentation in depth for workable ideas, estimate the investment in marketing and sales implementations, then test and evaluate them on a small scale before rolling out to all 118 centers across North America.