Customer Service is Bull$hit
This is a long one but an important one.
Sunday Night.. Im sitting here catching up on the Kardashians, listening to my dogs snore and reflecting on the past week. The usual right? I am constantly reflecting on things in the salon. What could be different or what we need to work on etc. I strive to elevate the salon industry and set standards because let me tell you the standards are set LOW. We are not "just" a hairstylist. If I had a dollar for every time somebody said "im just a hairstylist" my god I would have a few more guccis by now. Ive had stylists, aestheticians, salon owners etc say im to outspoken or im "tacky" that was a favourite LOL Amanda I hope you read that and laugh like I am right now. Maybe I am outspoken but I keep it real and if your a hairstylist I can guarantee every "outspoken" thing I have said you have felt the same way.
Anyways im getting off topic. Im fired up.
The past week rocked me and it rocked one of my stylists.
Now let me tell you quickly about how my salon is set up. Its called a "hybrid salon". This means some of my staff are my employees and some are chair renters (self employed within my salon.) Sometimes that can be tricky as I have a strict set of policies laid out for my staff/client relationships and I set the expectations high. So the story im about to share had this happened to Emily or Amanda it would have been a different fucking story. I try to not butt in with issues with my chair renters even though they get walked all over because they are too damn lenient. PS if swearing offends you I would stop reading because like I said im fired up.
We are taught the "customer is always right"
Whether this be in the beauty industry, restaurants (its your servers fault the chef fucked up right), baristas, retail etc. THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. WRONG.
Or how about "If I don't suck up to my clients and bow down to them they will post about me on the local rant and rave" what a corrupt concept.
Could you imagine if the roles were reversed.
Imagine if us as the business could rate YOU as their customer?
The first couple weeks of hair school we were taught how to interact with clients. Basically sugar coat everything, avoid sensitive topics and keep the conversation light. How ridiculous. Basically spend 160 hours of your month being fake. No thank you. Not everyone is going to like me, not everyone will like Emily or Melanie etc. Thats totally cool. There is 1000 other hairdressers you can try out. We won't be upset.
So on friday I went live on my instagram and briefly touched on a psycho client we had in the salon. Do I feel bad about calling her psycho? NO. I felt bad for all the clients trying to enjoy there appointments and were interupted by this grown ass woman. Behaviour I would expect from a child. LITERALLY.
She came in with unrealistic expectations and showed photos and I knew right away she would be a problem because basically the rule of thumb is if the consult is longer than a few minutes the client won't be happy no matter what because there is some deeper shit going on. Three hours later and Mel was done. Her hair looked great, it was super beige and blended. She didn't like it and proceeded to show completely different photos from the original and made Mel stay late to do it again. At this point we all knew there was going to be no happy outcome regardless. Mel being the nice person she is did it. Anyone who knows Melanie knows that she is so damn nice. She's the kind of girl that will check you out and skip the tip option so you can't even tip her. ANYWAYS ARE YOU READY FOR THE FIRED UP PART. The check out. The total was $250 and she was in her chair for 4.5 hours. She had the audacity to ask for a discount. Sorry we aren't first choice. Had that been my client it would have been $400+ so that was already a deal. She started to fucking cry and walked out. YES DID NOT PAY. NOT ONE FUCKING DIME. If the hair was botched then yes don't pay. Ive fixed dozens of botched hair this year alone I totally get not wanting to pay for something that is botched. Her hair was not.
Now Melanie is out the cost of the product which was over $75 in product alone and didn't make a thing for her time. A magical fairy doesn't pay us hourly when our clients decide to screw us. Not only did this person steal from her (yes not paying for a service is theft) but she belittled her so much that Melanie spent the rest of the night crying and contemplating her career. I have mutual friends with this person.. am I worried she will read this? No.
IT IS NOT OKAY TO TREAT A SERVICE PROVIDER LIKE THAT. It is not okay to yell at your server. It is not okay to bitch at your Starbucks barista because they missed one of your 15 substitutions. Its not okay to cry your eyes out and then tell your lash tech they did a shitty job and demand new lashes. It is not okay to break your nail partying and then blame your nail tech (the sunday morning text is obvy) . It is not okay to text us dozens of times in the middle of the night if we didn't reply fast enough. It is not okay to no show. It is not okay to cancel your RESERVED appointment time 10 minutes before we open.
RESPECT your service providers. We go above and beyond. The amount of times I have moved my life around to make appointments work for clients and they don't even know it. 1000s of times.
The amount of times I have seen talented hairstylists quit because of how clients treat them is insane. One of my old clients who wanted to be a hairstylist her entire life she didn't last a year because of how clients treated her and the craziest part is we are taught to deal with it and put on a smile. I refuse.
I have known Melanie for almost 10 years. We went to hair school together and she is the most soft spoken and nicest human. I know she thinks im bat shit crazy sometimes (I am its cool).. Fast forward to Saturday night.. she went Live on her Instagram and told her clients she will be setting boundaries. HALLELUJAH im rubbing off on her ! Maybe she needed that client to finally let it set in that she needs boundaries. She currently has none with her clients and some of them walk all over her. I even had one text me and call me dozens of times when I was on a family vacation and then complain when I didn't answer. So even though friday was the worst day of her career it taught her something.. so I guess thank you crazy lady.
As of 2019 we will be the first exclusive salon in Nanaimo. Period. If we don't see eye to eye we will recommend other reputable salons for you to try. If you are a new client you will be required to fill out an application that is available to fill out on our website. I will not watch another one of my stylists cry because of a client.
Melanie, I gotchu.
The outspoken crazy ass boss lady.