By: Bart Foreman – Executive Strategist @ EndGame Marketing Solutions
Cooperativeness is a wonderful topic. The problem is that not many of us know what it means, so I went to my Bible, Wikipedia, and found the following definition: “Cooperativeness is a personality trait concerning the degree to which a person is generally agreeable in their relations with other people as opposed to aggressively self-centered and hostile.”
In her June 8th article in the Career Mentor, “The Customer is Always Right, or are they?” Adriana Nakamura concluded that customers are not always right. I’d like to respectfully disagree. The customer is always right. REALLY!
That’s because we humans (your guests) are emotional. We have expectations. When those expectations are not met to their satisfaction, negative emotions kick in. And that’s where cooperativeness should kick in because it’s not about you. It’s not how well you thought you performed. It’s how well your client thought you performed. It’s just like your instructor in class evaluating your work. You may think your work is great. She doesn’t. She wins. REALLY?
The business of beauty is a relationship business and cooperativeness, as a personality trait, can’t be taught. It comes from within. Getting defensive helps no one. Whether you believe you are right does not matter. What matters is how you are going to correct whatever the guest does not like. REALLY!
I offer these tips:
Diffuse the situation immediately. Whether you are right or wrong, the client is right because her emotions tell her so. REALLY!
1. Agree there is a problem. Then find a way to fix it. I offer no specific suggestions for fixing the problem because there are too many situations, each requiring specific care. But every problem is fixable. REALLY!
2. Get your salon manager or owner involved right away. Let your client see you are taking action. She will appreciate your cooperativeness and will realize there is a solution. It may be a redo; it may be a refund. Your goal is to fix it, learn from it and move on. Your professional ego may be bruised and you may have to take a financial hit on that service or product sale. If you accept the fact that the guest was right, because in HER MIND she was, you may have a guest for life. REALLY!
3. A closing case… My curly hair blond daughter had a late afternoon appointment for a color service. It was great. That night, her husband said her hair was turning gray. Panic set in. By morning, she was gray all over. She called the salon and the front desk person said “come in at 5:00 pm this evening and we’ll see what we can do.” REALLY?
She explained she worked for the local NBA team and would be courtside at 6:00 pm and was not going to be gray. The front desk person said, “Sorry, that’s the best I can do.” She then called the owner and he asked if she could be at the salon in an hour, and then he personally fixed the problem and all was good. REALLY!
You have a choice. REALLY? (As if to say it’s not your problem.) Or REALLY! (As if to say, “Let’s make this right.”) That’s because the customer IS always right. It’s all about your attitude toward your guests. REALLY!
Beauty Industry, Cooperate