Customer Service is So Critical

Customer service is so critical to anyone’s business. Bad customer service is a disservice – to the owner and to the customers.

“No, I’m sorry, I can’t cut your hair today because you were late.” “I’d have to stay late, but I don’t want to do that. I’m not the owner, you see and I don’t care.” (I can only guess that this is what the woman was thinking when she said no to the customer.)

I think – no, I KNOW that the owner would have made it work. Staying late, being accommodating. It is the right thing to do – especially in a service based, loyal, repeat customer place like a hair salon.

“No, I’m sorry, we are closed. We close early in Sundays.” Ok. Darn. But, I see that you are still cleaning up, in other words, not quite closed…and you have no idea what I want. Maybe I just wanted a bag of chips. Maybe I wanted $60 worth of your overpriced* sandwiches. But, “No, I, the employee would have to stay late, and I don’t want to do that, I’ve been here since 11AM!”

Again, not the owner and they don’t care that the difference between something simple (bag of chips) and a 10 minute order worth at least 5 times what the sandwich maker makes per hour. * OK – They are not really over priced, they are made with higher quality ingredients and so their prices are higher, but still, I paid much less at the place that was still open at 4PM – so for a very, VERY similar item, I actually saved nearly half the amount I would have paid if they’d stayed open for me just a few minutes longer.

The real cost of this is… will that woman go back again next week to get her hair cut? Will she tell her friends? Will I go back to the sandwich shop? Maybe not… it just might not be worth setting your hopes up for that messy, delicious roll, meat and cheeses to have them say, nope. Sorry, we are closed.

Small businesses depend on their customers so much more than the larger ones who can make little mistakes and lose one here or there. But still, in general, customer service is a critical component of any great business. Teach your staff that it matters. Tell them why it matters. Help them make good decisions for your business and empower them to offer the right service.

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

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