When low tech businesses don’t support your high tech habits—are you still loyal?sp_mktg

As I sat in the chair at my hair salon the other day, I thought—man, this has GOT to be the lowest tech place that I frequent, yet I return religiously, every two months, and plunk down $150 for my color and trim. They don’t ping my smartphone with appointment reminders, or tweet out promotions but somehow I manage to make each appointment and continue to pay full pop for their various products on offer.

This salon is really old school, technology-wise. Everything runs manually in the business, from a hardcopy appointment book, to no apparent technology onsite, save for their high end hair straighteners. They don’t have any online presence (yet), run any loyalty programs or execute “lead gen” programs. Yet every time I visit, the salon is busy with (mostly) women in the 25-45 demographic and the clientele knows full well to book ahead to ensure their spot.

So as I sat for 45 minutes waiting to emerge once again as a “natural” blonde, I thought—what makes the difference? For this particular business, it boils down to a kickass stylist who gets my color right every time and I can relax, knowing that I’m in good hands. For most women, that is a huge contributor to the loyalty factor. They also offer nice onsite perks, such as lattes, Pellegrino and free product samples. And, after five years, I now feel like I’m going to hang out with friends, rather than just conducting a transaction of services.

Yet, every time I visit, the marketer in me screams…LOST OPPORTUNITIES! I keep thinking about how they could be growing their client base, increasing their repeat visits and cross pollinating their service offering to other stylists and clients via social media, email marketing and loyalty programs. Perhaps they don’t need to grow their business. They appear to be fully booked on a consistent basis and even with the economic downturn last year, they seemed to buzz along at full steam.

Overall, there are some businesses that I expect to fight harder for my loyalty. If they don’t offer email discounts, monthly promos or basic loyalty programs, I am shocked. For the most part, I will go out of my way to support those businesses who do connect with me in my preferred high tech/touch manner.

So is it just me? Just the fact that I work to help businesses build loyalty, extend their reach and build their brand and therefore I expect it?

Or is it you too?

Do you continue to support low tech businesses when they don’t connect with your high “tech-spectations”?