It’s not very promising when you have writer’s cramp after doing just one small blog, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since my last outpouring (and thanks for the encouraging comments, by the way). One lovely lady who is a former CT colleague commented that I write with my voice. I liked that, so thank you, Angela Easson, and here we go with blog number two.
Today’s subject is clients. Oh lord, I hear you mutter, what on earth is she going to say? Well, for a start, I have so much to thank my clients for. I’m not particularly academic or intellectual; I choose not to read terribly much as I have concentration issues; and I’m not an avid news follower (shocking, I know), but I am rich with knowledge. And that’s because through every stage of my career and life so far, anything I want to know, my clients tell me about. I’m never scared to admit that I don’t know something I should, so when I’m deep in conversation with my clients and they start talking about world affairs or something else of interest, I get them to tell all, and I learn. So much of what I know, I’ve learned from my clients (and a pretty special mum) – from bringing up kids and dealing with awkward teenagers, to world affairs, gardening and life in general. So thank you, clients, for educating me. You probably didn’t know you were doing it, but this wee hairdresser is a sponge and I soak it all up.
Of course, in this industry, without clients we have nothing. Clients come first – always. And though I’m always aware of that fact, it’s also true that you simply can’t please everyone all of the time. Very few and far between are some clients who we have tried to please but couldn’t. The important word is ‘try’. Trying is where it’s at in a customer-led business.
Client expectations is a subject that fascinates me. I meet a lot of people who, quite honestly, have been putting up with substandard hair-dos for years. The most common scenarios include not having the right haircut for a particular face shape or hair type; having unsympathetic colour; and, an issue that affects so many people, having hair that is in poor condition or thinning. The latter is too widely accepted. If I had a penny for every woman who has come to accept that her hair just isn’t right…
So I am appealing to anyone who believes their hair is ‘not right’, but hasn’t made the move to a good salon – one that takes the trouble to make sure its team is well trained, which uses the best products and, above all, which employs hairdressers who care about hair. Of course, affordability can be an issue. Most salons now have a variety of prices on their menus depending on the experience of the hairdresser. In a good salon the standard of younger and up-and-coming hairdressers is great. I often get my newest stylist on the salon floor to cut my own hair. I was ultimately responsible for training them after all, alongside our brilliant training team.
So what is the message precisely?
Well, for anyone who looks in the mirror and gazes at their hair with disdain, ask yourself – is your hairdresser looking at the real you – the you that wants your hair to be your crowning glory, or at the very least the best it can be?
I’m going to finish with a story about a lovely lady whose hair I did recently. During the consultation I realised she had forgotten what her hair used to be like. She had a root which she described as ‘dark’ and the rest of her hair was masked with a box dye, which, quite honestly, didn’t look good. She was unhappy with her hair, and she really had lost who she was – it happens. I checked her natural colour at the root and recognised that she had been a natural redhead, which often goes hand in hand with a wonderful hair texture. To cut a long story short, over a couple of visits, I and my team restored her hair to its former glory. She had refused to believe it was even possible, so to say she was delighted with the final result was a massive understatement. Actually, it was life-changing.
I often think that scenarios such as this are as powerful as any visit to a counsellor, psychologist or doctor, or anyone who is in the business of making people better. The client is grateful, but in fact, we can only deliver that sort of care because we have been constantly learning throughout our careers, and I believe the people who have taught me the most are my clients.
So thank you, clients, for being who you are. You keep me on my toes. You give me the opportunity to carry on doing what I love, and you have taught me pretty much everything I know, which in turn has helped to make some people more confident and happy with her look.