Thursday, May 22, 2014

Better late than never! Part 3-the end

If you have followed my last two posts, you know that I was waiting for a phone call from Steve.  Glad I was not holding my breath.  I did get to take a gasp of air when I got a call from the local salon manager.

I know Steve must have called her because she was aware of the post I wrote on Yelp and acknowledged reading it. I never talked or saw a manager the day I walked out.  With 20/20 hindsight, I probably should have requested to talk to a manager.  From my phone conversation with her, she was not there that day so nothing lost or gained.

She did apologize for the poor service, acknowledged that I was a long time customer and has put on my chart I am to get a free manicure and pedicure.  There is no limitation on the time I chose to use it.

She said they were putting in new rules for staff to follow and that I nor any other customer should receive the treatment I experienced.  I did thank her for calling me and I did rehash some of the visit with her; again she gave me assurances that this would not happen again.

So sometime in the near future I will take advantage of my complimentary mani/pedi.  Meanwhile I went to another salon and got a nice manicure. 

  • Good customer service-have the right staff up front when greeting and directing customers to the person who will be providing the service.
  • Good customer service-train the staff on expectations of how you want the customer to be treated, observe them as they perform to provide tips, corrective feedback and praise.
  • Good customer service-make sure the hair stylist or nail technician or massage therapist is aware there customer is in the salon and if running behind let the customer know.
  •  Good customer service-don't text or play on the phone, be busy in the shop assisting other staff in helpful ways that will allow the customer to have a good experience.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Ignoring a long time customer-Part 2

The following day after the incident reported in the previous post, I researched further about this company hoping to find more information about the owner or general manager.  I found several locations of this salon in Richmond and decided to call one.  I spoke to a very pleasant person and was given the name of the Operations Manager, Steve S.  Of course when I was put through to his office, I got his voice mail.

I left a very pleasant voice mail, stating I had received poor service, telling him how long I have been a customer and I felt strongly that he needed to know about the experience I had.  I also informed him that I left a  review on Yelp about the poor service and found that I was not the only one to do so.

It is now Monday evening and I have no call from Steve.  I am truly disappointed. There is so much that could have been done to salvage this situation.  My loss and theirs.

I have to go to Richmond for business in a couple of weeks, perhaps I will stop into one of their locations and ask for Steve.

More later.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ignoring a long time customer-Part 1

I have been a long term customer with a local salon that is associated with Aveda products.  I don't know if Aveda has criterion for a salon to follow; if so then they may want to follow up with the salon in Roanoke, VA.

This salon was owned by a local business woman; it was her second location as the first was in Salem area.  I had been going to that salon soon after moving to Roanoke, over 10 years ago.  The second location was close to my home and thus I started going there.

The salon  provided quality service at higher price than some other locations.  To me, it was worth the price because the quality and the customer service was triple A.  The owner decided to sell her business because of another business venture she planned.  ( I don't know this first hand, it was told to me by her employees.)  The buyer owned several salons in the Richmond, VA area and as far as I knew they were a good business.

Under the new buyer the services continued to be top notch.  They introduced some new services and provided some service specials regularly.

One of the nice amenities of going to this salon was the welcoming by the receptionists.  They always confirmed the appointment and then asked if I would like something to drink.    If the technician was running behind they told the customer and sometimes the technician would come to tell you personally.

There have been some turnover of salon managers; more frequently in the past two years or so.  Perhaps this was a clue I should have noticed sooner.  When I first started going to the salon there were usually three people providing manicures as well as pedicures.  Then there was just one, with hair stylists or other staff providing these services when there was more work than one person can handle.  This I did notice, there were four nail stations and only one is occupied, sometimes two.

I always scheduled with the full time nail technician for my appointments.  The first one left due to getting married and moving to another state, the second one moved back to her home state.  The salon currently does not have a full time nail technician. 

My appointment last Thursday was with a person who has done my nails before as well as facials and brow waxing.  I arrived a few minutes earlier than my appointment.  The receptionist was busy waiting on another customer and got involved in a somewhat lengthy conversation.  That was somewhat okay, but a more experience person would have acknowledged me and told me they would be with me shortly.  Another customer came in and had to wait also because the conversation continued.

The conversation ended and the customer who came in after me was waited on first.  Okay?? Obviously the receptionist did not realize who came in when because she had been involved in a conversation.  After acknowledging this customer and directed her to have a seat, she then did some "computer work" and I was beginning to feel invisible.  Ah, now she sees me as I am now twirling my umbrella.  She asks my name and then tells me to go to the nail room and N--- will be with me shortly.

My appointment was at 2:00, at 2:05 I am a little concerned.  I look out as I can clearly see the receptionist desk.  There are now two staff there and they are busy texting on their phones, showing each other photos or the like.  One decides to freshen her makeup and I am now wandering around the manicure area.  Another staff person comes in to fill the pedicure bath with water and then asks if I am "so and so".  I tell her no and she then goes to find her customer.   

Not at any time was I offered water or the great tasting Aveda tea, nor did anyone bother to tell me that N---was running late.  For all I know, N---may not have known I was there.  It is now 2:15 and I realize that this is not going well and that because of the appointment now 15 minutes late, I have no choice but to leave as I had only an hour or so before I had to go back to work.

I then walked out and both receptionists were sitting on the back counter behind the desk.  One jumps up as if she thought I was through with my service and ready to pay.  I then tell both ladies that my appointment was at 2:00, it is now 15 minutes later than my scheduled appointment and no one has told me anything nor has the staff person shown up to give me my manicure.  I informed them that I had to leave to get back to work.  One receptionist asks my name and I tell her as I am walking away.  Her response OK!

There is a lot wrong with this picture and I will share more in Part 2.  How would you feel?  Am I being overly sensitive? 

Why did I decide to start a blog about customer service?

Last week, I received very poor customer service from two different businesses.  It got me to thinking about all the conversations I have had with my husband, my co-workers, friends and acquaintances.  We complain about poor service to each other and many times we do follow through with registering our complaint with the company or business that provided bad customer service. Lots of times I have just shrugged it off and perhaps by doing so I have not done my part to let the company know what happened and perhaps they may have done something about it.

I recently had a good customer service experience with a local appliance repair company.   I was so impressed with the service that I made a point to call back and tell them how great their service was.  Their scheduler was the most pleasant person to deal with as was their appliance repair person who came to my home to check out my dryer.

I am still "obsessing" over the poor (bad) customer service I received last week and my attempt to communicate with management for this company via "Yelp" as it was listed on their website to post a review good or bad about their service.  I even called the company and got the name and number of their operations manager.  I left him a message and requested a return call.  This was on Friday.  It is now Sunday and I have not gotten a return call yet.  Maybe Monday, the start of a new work week, will see some results.

I plan to post my experiences good or bad.  My next post will be about the company above. Perhaps writing about it will be cathartic or at least it may generate some notice that customer service is key to any business and the customer truly prefers good service not bad.