One of our Founders, Andrew Kashian was featured in Authority Magazine to discuss how Solve Clinics creates a WOW customer experience.
Creating a Comfortable, Inviting Space: I didn’t want Solve Clinics to look like most medical buildings — cold, uninviting, bland. I wanted to make patients feel the complete opposite. I did so by creating an approachable, safe and warm environment by adding colors and textures to our medical building. I wanted the patient to feel like they weren’t in a medical office, rather give patients a sanctuary.
As part of our series about the five things a business should do to create a Wow! customer experience, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Kashian.
Andrew Kashian is the founder of Solve Clinics, a leading hair transplant and skin restoration clinic located in Chicago. Kashian’s entrepreneurial background and passion to reinvent the hair loss market was the driving force to create a clinic that provides transparent, personalized and high-quality care at an affordable price. With the motto “live confidently,” Solve Clinics has become one of the highest-rated clinics in the U.S. and is growing rapidly.
Kashian found his passion for entrepreneurism after successfully owning and founding Chess at Three & Story Time Chess, winners of “Toy of the Year Award” & “WEBBY Award.” Kashian remains an owner, and the company has since been developed into several additional brands.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Mybusiness partner and I have been friends since second grade. After college, we both went our seperate ways — I began my career in sales and consulting, and he became a physician’s associate at a leading hair transplant company. While I was finding success and happiness in the entrepreneurial world, he wasn’t happy with his career path. He would come home late at night in physically debilitating pain from simply working his job. He was being taken advantage of, overworked and underpaid. This was our lightbulb moment: we started noticing the pain points of the hair transplant market and realized all aspects of the business needed to be reinvented. We thought: “we could do this, but better.”
Employees needed better working conditions and higher pay; Patients needed higher-quality, personalized care at a reasonable price. We knew if we created a company that addressed these industry pain points, we would have a successful operation. In 2017, we did our first hair transplant surgery on a friend of mine, completely free of charge. The surgery went excellent, producing billboard photo-worthy results. We took no shortcuts, which is often a reality for many clinics.
As a result of our commitment to performing the highest standards of procedures, we continuously produced extraordinary results for our patients. Not only did we take the time to make our patients happy, but we collaborated with local artists and designers to create a welcoming and comfortable space. In less than six months, we outgrew our first clinic and moved into a suite on the top floor of the same building. This year, we’ve expanded into a new 7,500 square foot building in Chicago and have plans for a second location in San Francisco.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
The first name of our business was: The Hair Transplants Experts. It was horrible. An important lesson we learned from this was don’t discredit the value of every single part of running a business, even if it may seem small.
For example, when picking a company name, it’s important to be intentional about the application. Our company name was too long — realistically, no one wants to type in a long name. It also increases the risk for typos in email and typing it into a search engine.
Branding is a huge part of growing and establishing a company. You could do everything right, but if your logo or your brand is wrong, everything could just flop.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My dad is someone I am particularly grateful for; he brings significant value to the team. He had faith in us and gave us the opportunity to test our concept, with an affordable, bootstrap approach. We wouldn’t have been able to build Solve Clinics without him.
Thank you for that. Let’s now pivot to the main focus of our interview. This might be intuitive, but I think it’s helpful to specifically articulate it. In your words, can you share a few reasons why great customer service and a great customer experience is essential for success in business?
Great customer service begins with an employee-first mindset. Similar to the outdated adage, ‘happy wife, happy life,” I live by the mantra, ‘happy employees, happy clients.’ If you are treating your employees well, their level of satisfaction with work will result in great customer experience. Easy as that.
With that said, if you have a great customer experience, you want to tell your friends, family, coworkers, everyone about it. Word of mouth is the best type of marketing you can get. In my experience, great customer service is even more crucial in the hair loss business because of the stigma surrounding hair transplant treatments. Our patients are often unsure of where to begin, what the best choice is — in addition to worrying what others may think.
Creating a space and experience that is comfortable for your customers is crucial for your business and will be the reason for your success.
We have all had times either in a store, or online, when we’ve had a very poor experience as a customer or user. If the importance of a good customer experience is so intuitive, and apparent, where is the disconnect? How is it that so many companies do not make this a priority?
Customer service is a combination of two things, employee satisfaction and humility of the business owner.
Customer experience is based on your employees. If you have under-appreciated, unpaid, overworked employees, they will provide subpar customer service. I guarantee their entire demeanor would flip, if they were treated better, their pay doubled, given full benefits and more PTO.
The second aspect of customer service is the owner’s ego. Solve Clinic’s has a great online reputation because we make a very intentional effort to listen and apply our customer and employee feedback into our daily practice. If a customer gives a negative review, it gets escalated to me immediately, and I will go out of my way to speak with them directly and address the issue. Many business owners don’t do that because they have too much pride and believe they have already done everything they can. That is the easy approach.
Do you think that more competition helps force companies to improve the customer experience they offer? Are there other external pressures that can force a company to improve the customer experience?
The United States is driven by entrepreneurship and industries are built on competition. There is a guarantee that others will move into your space, but it doesn’t scare me — if anything, it motivates me. If I find other companies doing something better than Solve Clinics, instead of ignoring it, I take it to heart and see how I can incorporate that into our business model, but more effectively.
I believe our approach to high-quality patient service has pervaded the industry. If our competitors don’t catch on and adjust accordingly, they will go out of business.
Can you share with us a story from your experience about a customer who was “Wowed” by the experience you provided?
The overall mission and motto of Solve Clinics embodies the “wow” experience. Hair loss can take a mental toll on individuals of all ages. Through Solve Clinics motto, “Live Confidently,” we feel privileged to experience a patient come to us seeking a solution and leaving our clinic feeling more confident than ever.
Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience. Please share a story or an example for each.
- Creating a Comfortable, Inviting Space: I didn’t want Solve Clinics to look like most medical buildings — cold, uninviting, bland. I wanted to make patients feel the complete opposite. I did so by creating an approachable, safe and warm environment by adding colors and textures to our medical building. I wanted the patient to feel like they weren’t in a medical office, rather give patients a sanctuary.
- Employee-First Mindset: It is crucial to put employees first. Employees are the heart of the company, so it is important to foster meaningful relationships and treat them the best. Solve Clinics did this by creating a state-of-the-art breakroom for their employees to relax and decompress in between patient visits.
- Personalized Care: Listen to your patients; it is important to be a good listener rather than a loud talker. We listen to our patients and cater to their wants and needs. Based off this mission, we pride ourselves on personalized care. Every patient that comes in has a specific treatment plan designed just for them.
- Build Relationships with your Customer Base: We are in the relationship-building business. We are in constant contact with our patients at least quarterly or annually. Our work is not a transactional relationship, it’s a partnership between patient and provider.
- Transparency and Honesty: There is a lot of dishonesty in the hair transplant industry between patient and provider. Most companies focus on the compensation rather than the treatment. Solve Clinics knew this from the start, so we made it our mission to be brutally transparent with our customers. It is crucial to approach patients with honesty to instill trust in you and your organization.
Are there a few things that can be done so that when a customer or client has a Wow! experience, they inspire others to reach out to you as well?
My answer is no. If a person feels like they have had a “wow” experience, you don’t have to go above and beyond for them to reach out to others. When you give customers a great experience, they will tell the world.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would start by changing the narrative surrounding hair loss and de-stigmatizing hair transplants and hair loss treatments. Truth be told, at one point in our lives, we are going to lose some or all our hair. It’s important that we normalize this part of our lives and use the accessibility of treatments as a way to inspire people to live confidently, hair loss or not.
As the highest-rated hair transplant company in Chicago, we encourage you to price shop around. We are confident that when the research is finished, the choice will be easy. If you’re ready to get going, you can schedule a free consultation here.
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