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Attention to Detail

Laurel Nelson | July 10, 2011 | 8:14 PM

How many times have you looked over at your front desk only to see a client patiently waiting to check out while your receptionist answered the phone? posted by Laurel Smoke

I recently asked friends and co-workers to tell me about a good or bad customer service experience they’ve had. Most of them immediately began telling me their latest horror story about dealing with a computerized phone system for hours on end or nightmare flights with long delays and surly employees. One person even had a story about a teenager at a fast-food restaurant who pulled a hot dog out of a microwave, shoved it in a bun and then touched the hot dog with his bare fingers to make sure it was done before handing it over.

A Lost Art?

Unfortunately, these types of incidents have become par for the course. Businesses are booming, and for many owners in both small businesses and large corporations, it is more efficient to have an automated phone system, or require employees to multitask to the point of distraction. But these conveniences come at the expense of personal attention to the customer.

How many times have you looked over at your front desk only to see a client patiently waiting to check out while your receptionist answered the phone and booked appointments? When was the last time you saw one of your stylists sit down with a long-time client and do a 10-minute consultation? How often do your assistants offer up complimentary massages to waiting color clients, or check to see if they need a drink refill?

These are small things, but they will be the details that set your business apart from the competition. This month, our feature story, “Customer Service Challenge,” on page 38, highlights all the stages a client experiences from the moment she enters the salon through her service all the way to the checkout. At each stage, we examine standard customer service procedures and how you can turn them into stellar client care practices.

Also this month, don’t miss our “Front Desk Exposé.” We talked to the front desk staff at four different salons to check up on their customer service skills. Turn to page 48 for the results!

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