How to lose a loyal customer in less than 30 seconds

How to lose a loyal customer in less than 30 seconds

How to lose a loyal customer in less than 30 seconds As every business should know, customers are hard won and easily lost. So how is it that awful customer service is still so common?

Take my own experience last week at a hairdresser’s in Tunbridge Wells, to which I’ve been going for the best part of a decade. I arrived to see an empty salon apart from two staff sitting down, facing away from the front entrance and tapping on mobile phones. They didn’t look up as I entered, and only did so when I said hello. One of them, whom I hadn’t seen before, slowly got out of his chair and said in a bored voice, “What can I do for you?” The conversation then went like this:

Me: “Can I leave my bag here?” [It had my laptop in it, and I wanted it to be next to me where I could see it.]

Hairdresser: “It’ll get covered in hair if you leave it there.”

Me: “Oh, OK, well I’ll leave it here then.” [I had to put it behind me, out of my line of sight, and then sat down in the chair.]

Hairdresser: “How do you want it?”

Me: “I’d like a number eight, but I do like it kept long at the back, and then I’d like it thinned…”

Hairdresser: “I can’t keep it long at the back with a number eight.”

Me: “Really? I’ve had it done like that every other time I’ve been here. Can’t you do that?”

Hairdresser: “I can’t do it long at the back with a number eight.”

Me: “Well I’d like it kept long at the back, so could you do that please?”

 Hairdresser: “I’ll do it, but if you want a number eight it’ll take about an inch off the back.”

 Me: [getting out of the chair]: “Look, let’s leave it, I’ll come back another day.”

 And that was it. In all, I’d been in there for less than a minute. Back home I told my wife, and she recommended I try another hairdresser she knew. I did so the following day, received excellent service (including a number eight, but long at the back, with my computer bag in front of me covered in a plastic sheet) and will carry on going there from now on. 

Thirty seconds was how long it took a small business to lose a loyal customer. If I were the owner of that hairdresser, with staff like that, I’d be pulling my hair out.

Article date

June 18th, 2013

Robert Taylor

Media Trainer

@RT_MediaTrainer

My main passion is media training, and I’m proud to be one of the UK’s most experienced and successful trainers in this field.

Please Post Your Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 + 9 =