I honestly don’t know if my patience level, as I get older, is getting shorter or if I’m
just tired of the lack of “everything”.
I don’t consider myself to be an angry person, however I have truly been put through the test these past few weeks. Different days, different circumstances all with the same results. A head shake. Wondering how and why people act a certain way, do certain unscrupulous things, going on in life like they are the only ones who exist.
Customer service to me, is just one of those things that you shouldn’t even have to think about. Treating others with respect. Courtesy towards others. Just doing the right thing. I just can’t wrap my brain around people acting any different….yet…..I’m confronted with it all the time. It’s just mind boggling.
It seems the idea of a great customer experience has been thrown out the window. Everyone seems so self absorbed they forget there are actually other beings around them.

My experience flying last week is what sparked this article.  I typically search for flights with Southwest Airlines.  In my experience with flying Southwest always seemed to have the happiest team members.  They are usually always on time and for the most part, their boarding system seems to work just fine.

However, my first flight last week, I found myself with a carryon bag, attempting to place it in the overhead bin.  We all know how annoying it is that we have to wait on people who just can’t seem to stuff their big shark into a sardine can.  I’m aware of this, so I’m trying my hardest to do this quickly and get out of the way.  However, there was a small backpack which I was attempting to stand on it’s side, so I would have room for my bag, and it kept on falling over.  There was plenty of room, I just couldn’t hold the backpack and lift my bag at the same time.

The stewardess was RIGHT there and did nothing.  I turned to look at her for assistance and she just smiled and did the shoulder shrug.  WHAAAAT?????  It was a nice little ole gentleman that got up front his seat to assist.  I was blown away.

Southwest Airlines also gives you the option for automatic check in.  $25.00.  What it does, is pretty much guarantee an early spot in line which then guarantees you’ll get a seat at the front of the plane.  Since I mostly travel for Business I like this.  I can get off the plane in a quick manner, not having to wait for all the slow pokes.

I did this upgrade on my way back home last week.  When I got on the plane, 2 people were saving 10 seats for their “friends” and/or “family”.  I was blown away.  NOT cool!  Sadly, the stewardess again, did nothing about this.  How is this fair?  1 person pays the upgrade and everyone benefits.  NOT!!!!!

So, as I’m sitting in my seat (in the middle of the plane) fuming, I’m thinking about the faces of a Business really do make a difference.  Southwest always had friendly staff…..this trip everyone seemed like they were on their grumpy pills.  Southwest always managed seat saving.  This trip they turned their heads.  These simple changes, completely changed my customer experience.  It made me mad, it pissed me off…to be quite honest.  Sure, we may only “pay” for a plane ticket, but that ticket should come with a good experience.

Have you thought about this in your own Business.  Are your faces of your Business reflective of what you want your client’s experiences to be?

Yellow Red Faces Playful Kids Group T-Shirt

Also in this past week, I’m managing some affairs for my parents and needed to seek out other options for their cable/phone/internet service.  One of the carriers in their area is Comcast.  I worked all over their website, and could not find a phone # to call.  It was so frustrating.  I didn’t want to answer their “on line” questions.  I didn’t want to give them details of my interest….I just wanted to speak to someone.  I actually had to go into the chat section and request a physical phone #.  It was a grueling, time consuming process.  Do they not think about these things?

Again, what are you telling your clients?

This reminds me of a commercial for a phone system called Grasshopper.  Their commercial is about a client attempting to reach someone and the message they hear is something to the affect “text me, message me, find me on SM, email me and if I remember to check all these places, you may get a call back from me”.  It sounds so stupid, but it was dead on with the message.  You have got to make it easy for your clients to reach out to you.

Again, what are your processes telling  your clients?

Is your website client friendly.  I know first hand how difficult it is to satisfy every mentality out there. Not everyones brain works the same. What might be easy to someone, can be challenging to others.  However….although we know we can’t make everyone happy…..do you have contact information easily available for your clients or potential clients to reach you?

Is it easy to locate you?  I’ve traveled all over and it’s frustrating.  You go into a Salon Suite and there is no one to send you in the direction you need to go.  I end up walking around in circles because either the information I was given or it was outdated on their website offered no instruction.  The same goes for a free standing Salon.  How about a landmark?  Something really visible for your clients “ease of access”

What about your front desk team?  Do they acknowledge your clients when they enter your building.  I’ve gotten warmer greetings from Chipotle than many of the Salons I’ve visited.  Not a warm and fuzzy experience.

I can remember visiting a local restaurant near our home.  It was a beautiful day, we wanted to eat outside, so we sat at a table visible to the inside.  A waitress never came out until a group of 4 people sat at the table next to us.  When she did come out, she obviously knew them and greeted them with hugs.  NEVER saying a word to us.  It was shocking.  So much so, we ended up leaving.   For months we never went back.  That’s lost revenue for that Business.  Client experience is everything.

As we come into the Holiday season, many tend to get stressed out.  Both clients and us.  However, we have to maintain the higher ground and remember….our clients support us.

I suggest you do a lot of review and do it now

  • Is your reception a really good reception?
  • Is your website user friendly…..can someone find you if they wanted to
  • Is your team informed

Our Holiday business in our Salons dictate what the following year will bring.  It’s your opportunity to maintain all the Business you get from new clients.  Will they want to come back?  Will they remember you “for the good”?  Will they give you a raving review?

It’s time to evaluate before it too late.

CJ Murray, President

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