An excerpt from our packet on “People Skills:”
WHY CUSTOMERS QUIT
3% MOVE AWAY
5% OTHER FRIENDSHIPS
9% COMPETITIVE REASONS
14% PRODUCT DISSATISFACTION
68% QUIT BECAUSE OF ATTITUDE OF INDIFFERENCE TOWARD CUSTOMER BY SOME EMPLOYEE.
REMEMBER, YOU REPRESENT THE COMPANY. YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. KEEP A GOOD ATTITUDE, SO WE CAN KEEP OUR GOOD CUSTOMERS.
I mean, no pressure or anything.
That being said, I’ll admit that I’ve moved on from hair stylists when I felt like I’d lost their attention a bit, and figuring out how to tame my wavy hair was no longer their reason to get out of bed in the morning. Simon Scott says it’s a common problem: Stylists and estheticians give amazing service the first time they see a customer, meaning you walk out feeling like they’ve changed your life. The second time around, they do more or less exactly what made you so happy before — but you’re disappointed because you didn’t get that epiphany moment of “oh my God, why have I been straightening my hair all these years?” And by the third visit, you start to think you’re in a rut and it’s time to move on.
That scenario rings pretty true for me, and it’s making me wonder why we want our salon workers to treat our acne, our split ends, our callused feet like these admittedly mundane problems move them on some kind of spiritual level. On the one hand, it should elevate our respect for their work — these people are trained professionals, artists, heroes even, capable of working strange and powerful magic on your appearance that you could never hope to replicate on your own. Miss Jenny tells us all the time how great she feels when a client won’t shut up about how amazing his or her skin looks, post-treatment.
On the other hand, you’re asking a near-stranger to obsess over the clogged pores and hard-to-grow-out bangs that might keep you up at night, but the rest of us barely notice.
Also from the packet:
THE CUSTOMER IS…
… THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE SHOP. WITHOUT THEM, THERE WOULD BE NO NEED FOR THE SALON.
… NOT A COLD STATISTIC, BUT A FLESH AND BLOOD HUMAN BEING WITH FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS LIKE OUR OWN.
… NOT SOMEONE TO BE TOLERATED SO THAT WE CAN DO OUR THING, THEY ARE OUR THING.
… NOT DEPENDENT ON US, RATHER, WE ARE DEPENDENT ON THEM.
… NOT AN INTERRUPTION OF OUR WORK; THEY ARE THE PURPOSE OF IT. WE ARE NOT DOING THEM A FAVOR BY SERVING THEM; THEY ARE DOING US A FAVOR BY GIVING US THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO.
I get that this is a business and we’re in the service industry. I’m just wondering when customer service turned into the customer cult.
Thoughts, please: What do you expect in terms of service when you go to a salon? What makes you leave a hair stylist or esthetician and take your business somewhere else? Do you think our expectations about salon pampering have crossed the line? (Leading the witness there, I know — feel very free to argue the other side.)