Mystery Shopping

The Problem

Peace, love, and blowoutsthat’s the essence of Drybar, a unique salon, where there are no cuts, no color, just blowouts. Founded in 2008, Drybar has experienced rapid growth over the last 5 – 6 years, expanding to over 130 locations throughout the US and Canada. At the heart of their success has been the number one core belief that “the single most important part of the Drybar experience is the way we make people feel.”

But as the company grew, there began to be a rise in customer complaints regarding inconsistencies in service across the brand. Drybar needed a multifaceted approach that could help them understand customer complaints by measuring the customer experience from check-in to check-out. This required providing a review of their operational performance over time and a mechanism to help them uncover unknown opportunities for improvement.

They also had to convince franchise owners that participating in a mystery shop program would be a value-added benefit and would not only help them reduce customer complaints but ultimately increase their revenue.


The Solution

Drybar partnered with Reality Based Group and they began the task of creating a pilot program using only their corporate-owned locations. They focused on creating a streamlined evaluation that would measure specific customer service and revenue-driving behaviors. It was important that the program served as a way to reinforce Drybar’s core values and demonstrate the value to franchise owners.

As the data began to roll in, Drybar, utilized RBG’s customizable reporting system and was able to drill down from a high level all the way to individual locations in real-time. This gave them a deeper understanding of how the brand was truly doing. They shared these results with franchise owners and the program quickly took off. Within 3 months of their national rollout, Drybar had 100% franchise participation.

The program provided franchise owners with the tools to see how their stores were truly performing while the data gave them a way to connect the dots between employee behaviors and revenue. Eric Shin, Director of Drybar’s Client Services said of the rollout, “ I didn’t really have to do any selling, it was just them understanding the value of having this data at their fingertips and really allowing them to have a super metric approach in seeing where their stores are failing.”


The Results

Since the national rollout, Drybar has seen customer complaints decrease by 15%. The program gave stores the insight into the customer experience, especially when locations were at their busiest. RBG’s system of vetting shoppers along with their quality control measures meant that Drybar and the franchise owners could have confidence that the data was real and unbiased.

Confidence in data integrity allowed the program to grow and ultimately helped Drybar learn how missed steps lead to customer dissatisfaction. The program also helped uncover missed opportunities to increase revenue by not upselling Drybar products and services. Using the data, Drybar began to put a coordinated focus on helping leadership at the location level. Overtime upsells increased 35%which meant more revenue for Drybar, the franchise owner, and employees who earned commission on products sold.

By increasing conversations around products, customers were more likely to purchase and add additional services. Reality Based Group worked collaboratively with Drybar to build a program that could address all the areas they needed. As a result, Drybar has a customized tool they can use for continuous improvement as they grow their brand.

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In 3 Months, Drybar sees 100% Franchise Participation and a 15% decrease in Customer Complaints.

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