Customer Service Done Right

I have long maintained that good customer service is not hard. After 15+ years in the hospitality and service industry, it really comes down to some simple measures:

* Enjoy what you do
* Hire people who have energy and enjoy the business.

Ok, sounds easy enough. How we get there is another story. That comes back down to doing your own research, and going out and finding the right people. There’s anothe rblog for that, some day, and I offer classes and coaching on recruiting and interviewing, but that’s really not what this is about.

This week, Tuesday was haircut day. Long overdue haircut day. I put in my calendar to try and get my hair cut every 6 weeks, and I was two weeks late. I resembled Shaggy on Scooby Doo.

For the vast majority of my haircuts, I go to a small place in town called Snips. I don’t know very much about the business, but it appears to be owned and operated by an Asian family. It is not a chain. One reason I like it, is that I can always count on seeing the same faces in there. Another reason I like it, is that I am usually out of there for about $15.

I know, right about now, the ladies are cringing at the thought of spending less than $50 on a haircut, and most guys are thinking, “Hey, I can get out of MegaCuts for $12 on Tuesdays.”

The reason I’m not a huge fan of MegaCuts is that there always seems to be somebody different working there. That, and the turnover seems to be very high, and I am usually taunted or tempted with a $20 bottle of shampoo that will do something magical with my scalp. (Editors experience: To the best of my knowledge and notice, the only thing that was magically affected when I bought the shampoo there was my wallet, sort of like buying a beer at The Game). I do go there sometimes, out of convenience, but I miss Snips. In fact, for my last two cuts (read: at least twelve weeks), I went to MegaCuts, because I was there. Once, right after a dentist appointment, and, at the time, I resembled one of The Beatles.

Here is the amazing thing, this week, about Snips. After at LEAST a twelve week absence (wait, it was two visits, make that 18 weeks), I sat down, and Linda, who is usually my stylist (without having to pay an extra few bucks to request her) asked me how I liked being in business for myself. I commented that I was impressed that she remembered what I did for a living, and she reminded me that she remembered what I did BEFORE I started my own company, which had been about 18 weeks prior.

Now, I’m not buying a BMW, I’m not an Uber-Platinum Guest for Main Street Hotels, where they can track that stuff in the computer. Out of the hundreds of different heads she has cut (and massaged) in the last 18 weeks, she remembered. Because she wanted to. THAT is what makes that inexpensive cut all the better. I’m important.

People that hate their jobs don’t do those things. People that come in off the street because they saw a help wanted sign are not going to have that passion. People that you find trolling at job fairs won’t have that passion. You need to go out, and FIND those people. Always have business cards with you. So, when you go to the Office Supply Store, or out to eat, or just see somebody with a nice smile on their face, and they greet you out of the blue, and are friendly, you can remember them. Stuff like that isn’t taught, it’s inherent. You can teach almost anything else, but you can’t teach passion.