July 2013

Lisa Kind - Editor

The Mane Objective | by Marco Pelusi


Customer Service: The Golden Rule Still Stands

It's the Golden Rule we've heard paraphrased so often: Treat others as you would like to be treated. Eastern beliefs might refer to this notion as "karma." The way you treat others will eventually become how you are treated, or "What goes around comes around." But I refer to it as common sense, especially when you run a business.

With technology rapidly advancing in an ever-changing world, it's easy to forget about one of the most valuable assets of a successful business: great customer service. I bring this up because the other day, I was on hold for what seemed like hours with an Internet company's customer service department. Unfortunately, I'm human, and I tend to get annoyed, frustrated and even angry when I'm placed on hold for too long. But my mood worsened because I believed the customer service representative wasn't sufficiently doing everything they could to solve my problem.

This issue often arises for me in restaurants and other places of business — especially when I'm forced to wait. But it can be assuaged by how the individual at the business — or on the other end of the phone line — handles it. A long wait can seem easy when you're given some respect and attention.

As much as possible, I try to put out good energy with my clients, hairstylists, or anyone I do business with. My family built up a chain salon organization in Pennsylvania, and my mother's family had their own business, so I grew up hearing about how to deliver good customer service at the dinner table every night. Mom always said that even if the building was falling down, you should say to a customer "How may I help you?" These words still sit with me at my very core.

It doesn't matter what's happening around us at our business, we as hairdressers and salon owners must remember the Golden Rule on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis. We must bend over backwards and adhere to these "rules of thumb":

That's it. It's that simple.

Business today is about a feel-good experience. We all remember being treated well when we go somewhere. When you go to a good restaurant and the service is impeccable, you'll recommend it easily to your friends and family. Leave your client with a good feeling, and they'll attach that emotion to YOU and your salon — even if it's something as simple as offering to run outside and feed coins into your client's parking meter, or offering cream with their coffee. It's all about making your clients feel good. That's what matters.

I like to be treated well when I'm out and about in my everyday life — and I like to treat other people well when I'm behind the chair. All of it ties in together for me, and it can for you too. Of course, there are boundaries you must establish. You don't want to be taken advantage of or give away your services, and the exchange must feel fair on both sides. But, in general, especially on a difficult day, remember to be nice to your clients; it goes a long, long way — and it comes back to you.

Marco Pelusi is globally recognized as a leading haircolor authority, platform artist and educator, and celebrity haircolorist. Pelusi created the Marco Collagen Color Guard HairCare System, the collagen system developed for color and chemically treated hair. Marco is available for one-on-one intensive color training at his studio. For more information, visit www.marcopelusi.com.



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