Monday, January 27, 2014

Another Reason to Be Nice

Last Friday, I did something I haven't done in years--an eyebrow wax. I returned to a spa I used to frequent in my 30s, assuming the same woman would still be working there. She wasn't.

Instead, the aesthetician was a very nice woman in her 40s. We had a great conversation while she was working her magic and I was overall pleased with the service. I was so caught up in our conversation, I barely paid attention to the finished product when she handed me a mirror. I paid, went to my car, and looked in my rearview mirror.

My eyebrows were uneven.

It probably isn't noticeable to most people, but after paying $20 to have someone professionally fix them, I expected them to look better than they would if I'd done the work with tweezers.

Did I complain?

No.

Why?

Because she was nice.

Granted, I'll definitely never return. Like most people, I'm usually one who simply stops doing business with a place, warns all my friends...and the place never knows why business is dropping. But as I was thinking about it the next day, I realized something.

If the customer service is good, I'm far less likely to complain. It made me think...maybe customer service is the most important factor. A nice person can do a so-so job cutting your hair or washing your car and, unless the errors are dramatic, you'll probably leave quietly.

I once went to a hair stylist who did a great job but had horrible people skills. The entire half hour was awkward and tense as she barely spoke a word and acted inconvenienced by my presence. I may have revisited her once, but never again after that.

Ideally, you'll find someone with good customer service skills who also has talent. But if you work in a job where you service the public, take note. It's never a bad thing to be great at your job...but even if you aren't, a big smile will go a long way toward avoiding complaints.



9 comments:

  1. I wonder if that is more of a Southern thing? Since I am from the South, I am more apt to be like you with nice people. The Mrs. from the Northeast is much more direct and abrasive...

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  2. I think it depends on your personality. Im nice to nice people even if things didnt go as expected, especially in the nail salon but my bf often tells me i should complain or get my money back etc.

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  3. I agree. When the person is nice, I tend not to complain. I often wonder if it would be better for the store if we did so in a nice way. Like a "I love your customer service, but my eyebrows are crooked." This way they understand when business has dropped. I always think I'll feel like a jerk if I do though.

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  4. Being polite does make a huge difference. Last time I went to get my haircut the lady (who has been cutting my hair for years) randomly cut some bangs. I didn't want bangs, I hadn't told her to cut bangs but she did anyway. (my hair is layered a bit around my face but is otherwise very long and I cried when I went home)I didn't say anything to her. Why? Because she's nice. The sad thing is that this wasn't the first time she had done that. I won't go back, but I often wonder if I should have said something to her, just so she'll pay more attention to people in the future.

    PS I live in the south too.

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  5. I have a hard time complaining when people are nice, too. Sometimes I wonder if they do it on purpose so that people won't complain...

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  6. I'm the same way - I won't say anything but won't return. Sorry they didn't do a better job. I get mine waxed once a year - when they do this spa night deal w/ the parents of multiples club.

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  7. LOL. Unless you live in NYC--then that uppity attitude is a sign of your professionalism. I'm always a fan of great customer service. It's true.

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  8. I tend to choose my battles in this department. Sometimes I will speak up, it just depends on what it's about. My husband and I have been self employed for over 30 years, and when something isn't right we like to know so we can fix it. I take this into consideration when mentioning a bad meal at a restaurant, bad haircut, etc. It's not always so much that I expect the business to do something as much as I think they might want to know. I'm nice about it, because a) I think it's the right way to be, and b) having been on the other side of the fence, appreciate it when people are decent to me.

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  9. Oh this is interesting. I have never had eyebrows waxed or anything like that but I imagine it would be distressing to find out that the professional didn't do a great job.

    I agree that nice is always a good thing. I suspect that unless she had done a horrendous job, I would indeed return and at that time express that I'm a bit tentative about getting the waxing done again because last time I noticed that they were uneven. She'll try harder and probably get it right. If not, then I'd walk.

    I think most people want to know when they've done something that caused their customers to not return. I don't think it helps anyone to not say anything when we're unhappy with the work... unless it's a really minor issue.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

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