I think everyone has caught on to the fact that I write about what occurs during the week in my shop and chair. It's inevitable that an idea will spark from what I deal with every day but I want to put it out there that it is the strangest thing for me to write and think half the people reading will care. It also needs to be said, though, that every article and topic I write, every Lady Barber I feature, and every event I report, are integral parts of each Barber's career in our industry. Whether it's color, consultation, struggles, or successes, we as Barbers can all relate with sympathy and interest.
With that being said, I wanted to touch on a topic that has increasingly been the cause of success or demise to a Barber (and every other business) in the past decade. Yelp. I have worked as a bartender, in retail, as a makeup artist and now a Barber so I have always known the mantra 'The customer is always right'. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that we as professionals would be so susceptible to a disgruntled clients' complaint. Do we always aim to please every one? I'd hope so, scratch that, know so. But more and more we are finding people are lashing out for things beyond a company's control; like the unhappy customer who wanted to take food to-go from a fine dining restaurant.
This is the story of the best one star review I will ever hope for in my career.
Picture a quiet, rainy evening in the shop. You know the kind where you had a few reschedules and nobody is venturing out in that weather on a Monday. I was quietly working on a colleague's hair and discussing new products that we had just received; no big deal. Remember when I discussed a few weeks ago how Your Clients Hair Is Not A Coloring Book? Well this situation definitely validates that article.
To give a quick run-down: a client was given to a stylist, instead of me, the Barber, because my price-point was a bit higher. No big deal, it happens and I'm okay with that. But in this particular instance, the stylist was given quite a few men that day and I had noticed a certain lack of joy when it came to cutting men's hair. None of my business, I have my clients and this was her walk-in. What resulted from this appointment could either help or hurt me because most people do not read a full Yelp review and only look at the rating and the name.
So as you can see this client was extremely unhappy given his rating and narrative in the beginning. Where do I come in to play you ask? That follows soon after...
Luckily, I was available to assess the situation. How nice of him to say! So why is this bad? Because each person that reads this review has the opportunity to actually read it in entirety or see the one star and only my name because he was protecting the negligent party. Sigh...
Overall, he put really positive comments about me and luckily at the end as well so hopefully the people skimming will be confused and read in detail.
So why is this the worst and best review of my career? Because I'm crazy quite frankly. I only see the good in things and refuse to feel bad that my name is associated with a one star review. The people who choose to skim are like the lady who chose to ignore the fact that a fine dining restaurant does not do delivery or to-go orders. More than likely you don't want them in your chair anyway.
As for the other people who do their research and don't disqualify you based off one review are the loyal clients, the long-timers. They are the guys who show you photos of their kids growing up, ask for your opinion on a sticky situation, and take care of you after all the times you have taken care of them.
Next time you have someone in your chair that you think is a 'Yelper' and may wreak havoc, remember this article. If you can do something to achieve a better result or outcome - do it. But let's not forget that not all bad reviews are truly bad. *wink wink* Catch you Thursday 11 AM EST!