Hair dressing down- service that was not a cut above
Those of you who follow my blog know how important delivering fantastic Customer Service is to me. I talk a lot during my training about how the experience is more than a single event and there is often a huge emotional attachment to the experience. To give you an example, you are in a restaurant and your food is not cooked to your liking, on a normal day this can be a little upsetting. If the day you are in the restaurant happens to be your birthday the situation may feel ten times worse. This is because of the emotional attachment you have at that particular time on that special day.
The highlights of a service
Certain industries have to be ultra sensitive to the needs of their customers. I have recently worked with a body shop repair company writing and implementing their Customer Service Training, every time a customer starts their journey with the company they are likely to have been involved in a road accident. They are dealing with emotional customers and are aware of how to deliver the best possible service. In contrast to this was an experience a network contact of mine had.
Whilst the cat is away…..
My network contact booked a hair appointment at a salon in Batley, she had used several time before, she had the usual trepidation of changing stylist when the owner and senior stylist turned out to be on holiday. She was buoyed by the explanation that she would be in the very capable hands of the second most senior stylist.
Whilst telling the story of her disastrous visit she said “I should have known when the salon was set to Arctic temperatures this was not going to be the relaxing visit I’d hoped for” As the boss was away the little touches were obviously missing, like a towel in the toilet and heat anywhere in the building. Hot water seemed more than a little scarce too. During the colour treatment the senior stylist revealed she was the grand old age of 19…… panic started to set it. What would you have done in that situation?
Feeling a little off colour?
The colour turned out badly and my contact was due to fly South to deliver at a major conference, with what she described as tiger stripes….she addressed the issue there and then. The poor junior stylist was obviously out of her depth and requested a second opinion from another member of staff (My contact assumed this was the lady who should have been doing her hair but was hiding in the back!) The “second opinion” stated she didn’t feel it looked that bad…..and offered to have it done again or book another appointment on another day.
There is nothing worse than being unhappy with an outcome at the hairdressers my contact said, “She just didn’t care, it was obvious empathy was an alien concept!” Luckily for my contact she was able to send an SOS to a hairdresser friend who agreed to fix the problem, she boarded her plane South with minutes to spare, luckily looking less like a tiger. When things threaten our appearance or professional image the stakes are high- we should expect the service provider to bend over backwards to fix things.
Feedback? Is there anyone listening?
She had left the original salon, shocked that they were still expecting payment but stating she would be happy to discuss with the owner of the salon on her return from the Caribbean. No phone call ever came, no attempt at an apology. She even left messages at the salon for the owner to call her back. This never happened. Are your customers telling you things you should know? Is the feedback something you should be hearing? How do you measure your customer feedback? Read our guest blog by Richard Kimber to discover more.
Why ask if you don’t care?
The hairdressers obviously didn’t care about how my contact felt, nor the lost custom, not even the fact that the individual will warn her wide circle of friends never to use the salon. One bad experience can damage the goodwill forever and have larger financial implications than one might first consider. As customers we are getting used to being asked for feedback, we want to ensure that we are heard and that they care enough to listen.
We would love to hear you stories. What has been your best and worst customer service experience?