Making your customers feel like crap, a true story


Over New Year's I got together with a good friend for fish n' chips at one of the few British-style pubs here in Osaka. We were having a great time, giggling like a couple of teenagers and enjoying our once a year get together.

Returning from the bar my friend looked a bit miffed. The bartender had suggested that an 'all-you-can drink' plan might have been a good idea for us since we were drinking so much. Drinking so much? We'd only had two drinks each at that point (and a meal along with that). Perhaps it was lost in translation but neither of us appreciated the implied message that we were a couple of wino housewives shamefully overindulging in the middle of the day. 

We didn't stay for the fourth drink.

That same day my friend told me a story about a hairdresser friend of hers. "Oh I'm never going back to him again" she exclaimed loudly. She went on to explain how at her last visit he spent the entire time commenting on the poor condition of her hair, the fact that she had a lot of grey and that the short style really didn't suit her at all. Even my husband knows not to mess with the grey hair issue as we head deeper into our forties and he's not in the business of making women feel like a million bucks. 

My friend's new hairdresser understands that fact. He was just flirty enough to make her feel special without coming off as phony or sleazy. He said things that every women loves to hear: disbelief over the fact that she has grown children and even the classic 'you and your daughter could pass for sisters'. Of course she's a realist but she looked positively dreamy as she recalled the hour she spent with him being lovingly transformed into a hot mama. And she smiled and said he was expensive, especially since her ex-hairdresser friend used to cut her hair for free. 

Now here's a man who knows what line of business he is in. Yes, he's a hairdresser. A good hairdresser can make or break you. It's a big responsibility. His real job is to make you look and feel incredible.

What does your business do for its customers? How does it make them feel?

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