It is unusual that we get out early from jobs; it does happen, but very rarely. Saturday was one of those days. Mother Nature had brought heavy rains, gusty winds and falling temperatures; resulting in the event that we were working not having the crowd they had hoped for and we got out early, not super early, but early enough. Subsequently, I thought I might be able to sneak in a haircut before running some errands and heading home. This was on Saturday and we had a light schedule on Sunday, so I could have done it then but Marlene, the stylist that usually cuts my hair, doesn’t work on Sundays. Getting my hair cut isn’t something that I love to do but Marlenes personality and her incredible customer / client service make it more than bearable. If the traffic cooperated, I could have made the Framingham Hair Cuttery by about 4:40pm. Of course traffic didn’t cooperate and I pulled into the parking lot at ten of five, probably too late for her, but it was worth a shot.
When I walked through the door Marlene wasn’t at her chair. I heard her voice in the back where they do the shampooing and coloring. After a short wait, one of the other stylists came over and I handed her my client card. She asked if there was anyone special I wanted. I said that if it was possible, I would like Marlene. At this point, Marlene was heading back to her station and overheard the stylist that I was talking to say that she “was finishing up a haircut, had one person waiting and was at the end of her shift.” Without missing a beat, Marlene said “its okay, I’ll take Ken” not “I’ll take him” but referred to me by name.
Now mind you, my hair is easy to cut, clippers at 1 for the back and sides and a 4 on top with some blending. When I got there, two stylists had empty chairs, the only one with people waiting for her was Marlene. So why would I wait? In some respects I am a little like Norm and Cliff from Cheers, I want to go where people know my name. Marlene has been cutting my hair on and off for 20 years. Is she the most talented stylist? I wouldn’t have a clue. However, there are few, if any, people that I have encountered in any business who know customer service better than she does. Waiting my turn, I watched her interactions with the 2 people she worked on before me. I noticed their experience was similar to mine; she really knew them. It was never the generic “so what do you do?” or “how is your weekend?” She was asking about specific family members by name. “Your son Leon was in the other day I was shocked at how tall he has gotten.” “Bob are you going to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving this year?” It was impressive but not surprising.
When it was my turn, I mentioned that she was on overtime and didn’t have to stay, but that I truly appreciated it. She smiled, her ever-present warm and genuine smile, said it was not a problem at all. While she was cutting my hair I asked her “how many people a day she saw?” and “how many per month?” She chuckled and asked “if I wanted to know per year as well?” She mentioned that she knew what her dollar volume was, that the company had an app that tracked all of that. She went on to say that she probably worked with 15 to 20 people per day. She estimated that 85 to 90% of the people she worked with request her or are repeat customers. A significant number since this is neither a high end nor a high priced salon.
My point here is that Marlene understands great customer service and the importance of creating a warm, personalized experience. As I previously mentioned, my hair isn’t hard to cut and I have had others Stylists in the past, but it’s just not the same experience. When I talk to people about client service, the message I always want them to take away is that it’s not just the product or service that are important, it is the experience. It is making the people that you are interacting with feel special and cared for. Marlene does that to an exceptional level. It is really no surprise that when I get there, the only person with customers waiting is Marlene Rose. Frankly, most of us have to pay someone to cut our hair; I would rather give my money to someone that really cares about what they do and the people sitting in that chair. If you ever need a haircut and are near the Hair Cuttery in Framingham, stop by and see Marlene she will take great care of you.
For more information about the author Ken Abrahams or about FUN Enterprises please visit our Website at http://funent.com/ and to find out more about Hair Cuttery find them at http://www.haircuttery.com/