For several years now, I have religiously taken care of myself by getting a massage 1x per month and a facial 1x per month. It’s easily justifiable as I know the value in both. Both physically and mentally.
In the beginning, I was getting my facial by one girl and my massage by another. My facial girl had to leave town to take care of her Mom. I never heard from her again. Recently I saw her appear back on Facebook which took me by surprise. She never called to let me know she was back in Business.
During this period of time, my Massage therapist went to Esthetics school and although I knew my previous esthetician would be hard to beat, I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. Fast forward a year or two later, I am still a client of hers. Both for Massage and Facials.
She recently informed me she would no longer be working after 5pm. I get it. She has a family and she’s attempting to adjust her schedule for more family time. I don’t blame her at all. However, it was the manner of the way she did it which not only really upset me, it made me feel the value of my Business to her mean’t nothing.
It was cold Turkey. One day I’m in there and was told that my next appointment would be her last evening appointment.
A mutual friend of mine was the one that referred her to me and she also still uses her for her massage. She’s willing to adjust her schedule accordingly. For me, receiving a facial or a massage during the day is not an option. Sure, I could make it work in my schedule…I just don’t want to. I want to relax and go home and chill. Not relax, apply makeup after a facial or wash my hair after a massage and then go to work.
I was sharing with my friend how upset I was. Not because she’s adjusting her schedule. I am upset because she was so “matter of fact” about it. I don’t feel she valued the years of my loyalty nor the $250 – $300month I’ve been paying her. Her attitude was totally aloof.
That really got me thinking about how we should handle our loyal client base when we do have to make adjustments. In short, the word which came through my mind is courtesy. Treat them with the respect they deserve.
I remember when I sold my Salon. I had 130 clients I had been taking care of. Many of them for 20 years or more. I made sure they were weened over to current staff and/or referred to someone locally I trusted. For me, it was a planned action. I didn’t just come in and make a surprise announcement that in two(2) weeks they need to find someone else.
I understand there are circumstances where emergencies happen and we don’t have the privilege of giving much notice. Yet, in my recent case, it was simply a desired change.
If you are considering a change;
- Remember who’s been providing you income to pay your bills for the past few years.
- Clients who receive your services…want those services. It means something to them.
- Put yourself in their shoes
- Give enough notice
- Help them find a new place
- Show some regret (even if you don’t feel it)
Change is inevitable and in most cases change is good. In my case, I was able to seek out a client of mine whom I had never known what her services totally were or how she performed.
I had my first facial from her last week and I am thrilled. I also scheduled my massage with the same person. I’m feeling confident I will be equally as thrilled.
As far as my past two therapist. The first one never called me to let me know she was back in the saddle. Well, this tells me she didn’t need my Business. My most recent has made me feel like I didn’t matter. For those reasons, I would never frequent them again if giving the opportunity nor will I refer them.
Loyalty works both ways. In addition, we never know where we will end up or where life will take us. Both of these Technicians could be in a situation where they are looking for Business. They lost it from me and any future referrals which may have come their way.
Again, you want respect, give it. You want courtesy, give it. Treat unto others as you would like to be treated.
CJ Murray, President