Sunday, July 27, 2008
Service... With a Little Somethin, Somethin
I have had a long career in Fashion, which has included working for three family businesses and 4 corporations. I have been in management and have been managed by others. The last 7 years have by far, been the my happiest and most productive.
Why??? Three words...The Mitchell Family. I don't want to gush, but the reason our customers enjoy shopping there so much, is because we love working there so much. Jack Mitchell, our CEO, has written two books, "Hug Your Customers" and "Hug Your People", outlining the company culture, for those who want to emulate it. It is a tall order, but in these challenging times, a "should" read for both management and employees.
On Thursday, I went to Billy's in Mount Kisco to get my haircut...The place has a great vibe. Billy the owner, cuts my hair. The salon has been beautifully renovated. Billy, in addition to being a great stylist, is warm and attentive. The salon is bustling and clients look happy. His staff is engaging and accommodating. As his stylists leave for the night, they give him a peck on the cheek and a warm goodbye. I know a lovefest, when I see one, confirming that Billy must be a fabulous person to work with and for. As a result, I enjoy my visits, leave happy and relaxed and have no qualms about spending money. Bravo Billy!
I don't know if my service meter is super sensitive, because I work so hard to please my clients, but, as a result, I have little tolerance, for disinterested service. There is nothing to discuss, I just make a decision that if you are indifferent to my being in your store, I am not going to spend my money there. Buh-bye.
It doesn't take much...eye contact, a smile, a greeting...some acknowledgement that they are glad I am there. I love to browse, but when I am ready and we are both free, I might need some information...Please be happy to provide it. First impressions are so important and if you diss me, I rarely return for a second visit.
I have learned so much about grace under pressure from clients...Mistakes do happen, but rarely with intent. Their kindness in the face of mishaps, has taught me to also take a deep breath, when things so awry. For the most part, it is just stuff, nothing life threatening, that can't be resolved. I love that I can tell my boss, "I've got an "Oh Sh-t", happening, and that they will help me, without any retribution, to solve it and move forward. I am far from perfect, but I am striving...
There is so much competition for our business. I hope you shop where you are appreciated, after all, the customer is Queen.