Weekly Snip Report, February 21st, 2014

People Are Pissed at Me

I’m starting to have my first experiences of Snip customers being genuinely pissed at me. It’s an interesting and exciting time.

Snip has what’s currently a very rudimentary email reminder system. If a stylist flags a client as wanting email reminders, that client will get two emails prior to his or her appointment. The emails are totally one-way communication; there’s not yet any way for the client to confirm the appointment, so the salon doesn’t know for sure if the client saw the email or even got the email at all.

You can probably see how these one-way reminders might cause confusion. I had an incident recently where, due to a scheduling mixup caused by Snip’s shortcomings, a customer of mine believes to have lost a client. That’s a pretty big deal, and the customer was justifiably upset.

I’ve also gotten at least one report that some clients aren’t getting their reminder emails at all.

It’s a Good Problem to Have, Though

When I originally built Snip’s email reminder system, I wasn’t sure how useful or not it would be to people. I wasn’t totally sure anybody would really care. So I built the simplest thing that would work.

It turns out the email reminder is super useful, at least for certain types of customers. I know how useful it is by how mad people are when it doesn’t work how they want. Since my product can cause big headaches, it can prevent big headaches. So even though it’s not very fun being on the receiving end of an angry phone call, I’m kind of glad in a way these problems are popping up because it shows me my product is valuable, and has the potential to become even more valuable.

Gotta Put Out the Fire

My email reminder feature can be made more dependable in two ways. First, I can provide an indicator to the stylist(s) of whether the client confirmed the appointment. In order to do this I will of course have to have a way for the client to confirm, e.g. a link in the reminder email. Second, I can start keeping a closer eye on my delivery rate (and maybe open rate) since right now I’m not actively tracking that stuff.

Given the “house-on-fire” nature of these problems, I’ve decided to throttle back on sales and marketing work for a time and focus on putting out the fire. I always hate to distract myself from growth activities, but the good news here is that when I’m done the product will be SO much more valuable, and therefore more marketable as well.

It Was Still a Pretty Good Growth Week

On the 17th I got two free trial sign-ups in one day, which is a first for me. I also met with my newest customer for the first time, and they seem to be humming along just fine. For anyone keeping track, I now have 5 customers. I went from 4 to 5, back to 4 and then back to 5 again.

I also made 12 outgoing phone calls early in the week. I found out that the Canadian lash salon that was gonna use Snip is now going to stick with their current product because their vendor gave them a break, and that another prospect also ended up going with a different product because, according to her, her partner required her to use a certain product.

And I almost forgot: my precious book, The Direct Mail Solution, arrived from Amazon yesterday. I’m reading the shit out of that right now and I expect to take the salon world by storm with a direct mail campaign in the coming months. I haven’t talked about that much yet but I’ll definitely be talking about it more.

Talk to You Next Week

Hopefully what I’ll be reporting next week is that the email reminder feature is new and improved, and that I also happened to get 923482359 new customers while I was doing that.

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