Many consumers have the misconception that a high price will normally guarantee a matching level of service. Personally, I believe that the quality is based entirely on how much somebody loves what they do. The exorbitant cost can be misleading, and is absolutely no indication of whether or not what is being provided is of a high standard.
As Co-founder and CEO of Hakema, I believe that a high service level is an absolute requirement. Hakema is an online beauty and wellness marketplace. We provide the opportunity for customers to locate beauty salons and spas in their area. They can compare offers and even book appointments through our website.
Since Hakema’s Marketplace launch we have featured service providers who charge a range of prices, anywhere between €10 and €40, for a male haircut in Finland. I set out on a mission to determine if it was possible to get an excellent haircut for a low price. Naturally, I planned to use one of our featured providers, without initially making them aware of my identity☺.
I logged on to our Marketplace website, www.hakema.net, and entered ‘miesten’(men in Finnish) into the search box. A list of several options appeared and I then narrowed my search area to Helsinki. I chose to search by lowest price first, since this visit was especially geared towards finding one. Voila! Two choices instantly came up for only €10. This was actually even more reasonable than I had anticipated, with Groupon offers being no less than €12.
I decided to go with Monalizan Salonki, shown on the map below, which was located very close to one of my meetings that day. The salon had absolutely no reviews and I had wondered if was pushing my luck.
I chose one of the available slots that fit well into my schedule, and clicked the confirm button. As simply as that I had an appointment. Immediately I received an email which stated that my request had been acknowledged and my booking would soon be confirmed. I realised that this service provider, like many others, manually approve their appointments. I hoped that this wouldn’t be a problem, but after only about 15 minutes I got both a SMS and an email confirming the date and time of my haircut. Everything had been set up, and I was ready to go in a few days.
The day before my appointment, I received a SMS reminder. I found this really helpful because, like most people I know, I tend to forget these things.
I arrived at the salon before my scheduled time and was warmly greeted by the stylist, a lovely Kurdish woman. She politely asked me to wait a few minutes while she finished her previous client, who was in the final stages of getting her hair coloured. When it was my turn in the chair, she covered me with an apron and asked what my style preference was. ‘Medium cut with a clean back,’ I requested.
While she was working, I relaxed and initiated a conversation. She willingly gave me some background information on both herself and the salon. She had migrated to Finland about 15 years earlier and, with several diplomas in her field, had decided to start the business. Her husband was responsible for marketing, while she ran operations. She confirmed that the field was very competitive and it was hard to maintain a strong customer base without including regular offers.
After about 25 minutes my haircut was finished. I gave the stylist a bit of information on myself and Hakema, and confirmed that I would write about my experience. This would help give Monalizan Salonki some extra publicity. Before leaving I took a few pictures to add to the listing on my website.
I received the option of paying by either cash or card. This proved that, even though the salon was providing services at a discounted rate, they were not avoiding tax payments by accepting cash only. The day after my visit I received a thank you email, which also requested feedback. I gave the establishment a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars (as a Finn, it is unheard of for me to give a 5!)
In conclusion, good quality €10 haircuts do exist. The next time you think a deal is too good to be true, give it a second thought. My experience shows that even at a rock bottom price, there are friendly providers who give exceptional service.