How good is your receptionist?

I go to a lot of different salons as a client and very rarely do I go to the same one twice, because ‘I like to be a client and experience what clients experience’.

Recently, on the spur of the moment I decided to go back to a barbers that I’d been to before, so I phoned up to make an appointment and a very pleasant receptionist answered.

I explained that I knew it was short notice but I asked her if I could get an appointment with a specific stylist anytime that afternoon. The receptionist said that unfortunately the stylist I wanted wasn't in that day as it was her day off.

You gotta understand that I am in full client mode here, walking down the road, back pack and coat on with a ton of things to do, so when the receptionist said; ‘she wasn’t in that day, she’s on her day off’, I did what clients do and said, ‘Okay I’ll call back’.

What she should have said was something like, ‘Sorry she’s on her day off, but John has a free appointment and he would love to be able to look after you’. Or  ‘She’s on her day off, but she has a spare appointment tomorrow at 6.30 would that work?’ But she said nothing, so I just did what clients do and said I’d call back… which is code for, ‘I’ll try another salon.’

But, I rang back! 

It’s a good barber shop, and they cut hair well, so I figured I will call them back and I will take the initiative to ask who else is available?

So I call back, the same receptionist answers and I explain that I had just called and couldn’t get an appointment with the stylist I wanted so was there someone else available that afternoon anytime before 6pm. She explained that the first available appointment was at 6.30, but unfortunately I couldn’t take it as I would have missed my train. So I hung up and thought I would just try somewhere else.

But, I rang again!

Now a normal client would have given up, but I knew that they had just opened another location nearby, and chances are that as it was new, that maybe they would have had an available appointment. So I rang her back and said, ‘I know you have recently opened another salon could you find out if they have any spare appointments?’

Now the receptionist was very nice and said that she could give me their number and that I could call them. Now that’s not totally unreasonable but neither is it exceptional customer service.

I explained that I was walking down the road, and I didn't have a pen or paper on me and could she call them and then call me back, to which she replied that it was probably easier if she gave me the number and if I called them.

It might have been easier for her, but it wasn't easier for me. So I went somewhere else!

What did that cost them…

If I was a normal client, I definitely wouldn't have persevered as long as I did, but the real issue here is that it wasn't just £50 that the salon lost.

It was the £50 that would come every 4 weeks, that’s 12 visits or £600 a year! And maybe I would have been a client for 5 years, now it’s £3,000!

And maybe I would have recommended a couple of friends… and maybe we would all have purchased retail…

You see very quickly it turns into thousands of pounds that was lost because although the receptionist was polite and friendly she sure as hell wasn’t focused on going the extra mile to get me booked in.

So what would have happened if it was your receptionist in your salon?  

Train everyone on your team [not just the front desk people] to go the extra mile, train them to tell clients what they can have, not what they can’t have! Train them to give exceptional customer service!

Thank you for watching…

Have a great week! 

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