The Salon Puts the Customer First

KARA Blog - puts the customer first puts the customer first

Putting the customer first is something that every business knows to be a priority. But my experience as a Change Agent and as a consumer is that common sense is not always common practice.

It’s quite shocking to find that as a customer, the number of service providers who treat the conept as a mere cliché – rather than a basic ingredient for doing business in today’s changing world.

Feargal Quinn has been advising us for years about the boomerang principle where organisations should treat customers so well that they’ll want to come back. And indeed for those of us who can remember, he lived it and led it every day in Superquinn. Their mantra of the time ‘come for the prices, stay for the service’ rings true today, more than ever.

I’ve seen it in so many industries, whether B2B or B2C – that the organisations that prioritize the customer get more sales. There is an intrinsic link between the two. But that has to be deeply rooted in the organisation culture. And that starts mostly at the top.

One more recent example is in my local hair salon in Leixlip. For more than eight years I’ve been going to The Salon on a regulr basis. Still having a thick head of hair on me, I give the owner Pat Byrne a run for his money. Apart from the banter and craic that I have with him and his wife Anne-Marie, I do get a decent haircut!

Leaving that aside, I’m always impressed with the level of premium service given to all customers. I try to arrive early to soak up the atmosphere in the salon and watch how customers are treated. From the time they arrive to the time that they leave, I’m always inspired with how each and every one is made to feel special.

From Ballygowan Water in a glass bottle to barista coffees by Lavazza, customers are made to feel comfortable and almost at home. There is a friendly familiarity with regular customers that is not intrusive. They never seem to feel rushed, and are listened to intently. And that is consistent. I see it on every visit and from every member of the team.

On a recent visit I observed a difficult customer complaining about a cut that she had received recently. I listened as Annmarie initially empathised with the customer… probed for more information about her expectations and what she felt was wrong with the cut. She then agreed a way of correcting the bad cut and sent the customer out smiling.

What’s more impressive is that I then discovered that the client was a new customer that had never been in the salon before. That’s putting the customer first – and that starts at the top.