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? 

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