Sunday, March 21, 2010

Have Fun, But!

For the last year, I have been getting my haircut at a well known national haircut chain. I get a decent hair cut at a reasonable price. While I don't expect a lot in the way of customer service, the experience I had this past week was somewhat disappointing.

I walked in late in the afternoon. There was one customer in the store and she was just leaving. As she left the girl at the counter checked me in by taking my name. As I took a seat, she informed me that it would be just a couple of minutes. She then went off to sweep the floor.
As I sat there, the only customer in the store, one other girl was counting her tips and the other two were chasing each other around the store trying to untie their aprons.

I sat there for about five minutes and was about to walk out of the store when one of the girls finally came up and invited me back to get my hair cut. As we were discussing what I wanted, another girl snuck up behind her and untied her apron and they started all over again. I was about to walk out again when she finally started cutting my hair.

The whole time she was cutting, she seemed impatient and almost annoyed that I was there and taking time away from her play time. I was very disappointed in the experience.

Now, as a practitioner of the Fish! Philosophy, I am all for Play at work. Having fun at work is imperative for keeping the energy flowing and keeping morale high. But, not at the expense of customer service.

Ideally, we should look for ways to include the customer in our play. No, I'm not suggesting that I wanted to chase the girls around and try to untie their aprons. I'm suggesting that they could invent fun activities that make me, the customer glad that I am there, and encourage me to come back time and time again.

Since I am not a haircut expert, I will not try to suggest ways for them to run a haircut business. However, in this case, I would suggest that they keep inappropriate activities out-of-site of the customer.

I expect that if Southwest Airlines can make the pre-flight safety talk interesting and entertaining for their customers, the haircut professionals should be able to do the same. Just once, I'd like to feel like I am the most important person in the cutter's life for the 10 minutes I'm in the chair.

Playing and having fun will continue to take top companies to high levels of success. Look for ways to include your customers in your play. If this is not possible, remember that giving your customers world class service should be your top priority.

No comments:

Post a Comment