Influence being what it is, I was not surprised to find myself at the manicurist, even after denying it as an ‘artist date’ in my previous blog entry. And, being an observer by nature and profession, I found the need to record the experience, then and now, too hypnotic to resist.
Be aware! What you think, say and especially write can be a powerful taunt to what I have always called ‘your silent partner’ – your subconscious – into action.
Once in your head, that suggestion does what it can to fulfill what Captain Picard exhorts on board his starship: “Make it so!”
Furthermore, foolishly adding a restriction pushes your mind to manifest .. things… in my case, a desire to have my first manicure since moving to Vancouver.
The salon I chose was empty of customers and apparently staff. In the echoes a young man who looked like he was surely just en route to a parking lot, assailed me and asked what I wanted. He answered my query about the service I wanted, the price and then availability of someone….. I looked around… anyone?
On my hesitant acceptance to come up the stairs and get started, I was pointed to a static display to pick an enamel colour. No one:
* Smiled in greeting
* Indicated which empty seat in the long row was to be mine
* Actually said welcome, we’re glad you’re here and want to serve you
….. Much more was missing from my ‘experience’. What was added, even before I even took my jacket off, or found ‘my’ chair, was a series of upsells. They were delivered in a staccato screech, in broken English and mostly directed to other staff.. somewhere with no notice of my linguistic or situational discomfort.
“Why don’t you want a pedicure too, it’s only $19 more.”
“Oh you look tired, do you have a sore neck? You need a massage.”
Details that normally assure me of operator skill, implement hygiene, or service details such as complying with what I want, explaining procedure and offering warm soak water were in short supply.
I won’t be returning. Inattention to customer needs and focus on a vendor’s bottom line in delivering a luxury and non-essential service, isn’t smart business, or even courtesy.
Language, or cultural layers should never be a barrier to genuine welcome, knowledge of the niceties to help people know, like or trust you in an effort to deliver an experience that turns a single sale into a loyal client.
It took three times as long to get half the service I was accustomed to. Mesmerized by the marketing mish mash of it all, I stayed for the ‘full treatment’. It is possible that my next writer’s date will be with a therapist.
Perhaps it’s best to quote Nora Ephron’s mom’s advice to her famous writer daughter on life’s events: “It’s all grist for the mill.”
Have YOU got an experience where the marketing message and the service follow through matched? Or not?
Tell me. Soon. Once my nails dry, I’ll have to go.