Yelp most certainly is a blessing and a curse. Never has there been a better platform for showcasing your love or hate for a business to the masses, than Yelp. Yelp has made it as easy as a couple clicks of the mouse to tell the world about the great meal you had, or the horrible customer service you had. Businesses who do the right thing receive praise, and businesses who are shady are rightfully exposed.
We're fortunate at Frends Beauty to hold the highest overall rating (4.5 stars as of writing this) between all of our local competition. We have achieved this result because we believe that if we do not service our customers, someone else will. And while we always try to do our best, we don't have a perfect record. We are human. I know, it's hard to believe. And as humans we have our bad days. Sometimes those bad days end up on Yelp. When they do, we see them, and I always reach out to the customers who have had a legitimate bad experience. It's my honest concern to make things right. And 80% of the time, we can. From time to time though, there are false claims made, but that is just something you have to deal with as a business owner. We let our high ratings drown out the fake low ones.
But what happens when you are a freelancer, and someone in your 'group' messes up, and you are named as part of it? What happens when you are named as the savior, but most people skim through the long review and see your name and associate it with the failure? It becomes your best worst Yelp review ever...
Check out this blog post from our friend, master barber Cassondra Kurtz, author of Her Chair His Hair.
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.
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...
Sometimes there is a little blessing hidden in that curse, you just need to notice it. Check out Cassie's blog at www.herchairhishair.com.
Until next time!