A few days ago, I had a crazy-wonderful, unexpected client service experience. Feeling inspired by our executive partner’s blog last week, The Desire to Serve: Are You Delivering an Unrivaled Experience?, I felt compelled to share it with you.
I have been using the same hair stylist for the past 10 years or so, but lately I’ve been less than pleased with the results and my experiences. Nervously, I made an appointment at a new salon.
When I arrived at the salon for my appointment, I ran into an accounting student I recognized and struck up a conversation. After a few minutes, I proceeded inside to check-in. The receptionist said, “Hi Rebecca, I’ve already let Mackenzie know you are here and she will be with you shortly.” Come to find out, she had overheard my conversation with the student and picked up on my name. Next, Mackenzie greeted me with a smile and brought me back to her work station. We chatted for a few minutes about what I wanted, then she applied the color and asked, “Would you like to let your color set in our relaxation room?” (Of course I do!)
The relaxation room was dimly lit with spa music lightly playing and had big comfy chairs, magazines, etc. Just a little different from being stuck out in the middle of my usual salon for the world to see me under the dryer as I sit and wait. But that’s not all. When it was time to wash the color out, I also received a complementary head massage. Once we made it back to her work station, a funny little old lady was chatting and laughing nearby. Mackenzie asked if I had met Regina yet, who lives at the Arc (a local nonprofit organization for individuals with mental challenges) and comes to work with them once a week. How neat I thought, that they would welcome her to come hang out with them and their customers. You could tell that Regina enjoyed being there and I bet she looks forward to that day each and every week.
But the fun didn’t stop there. Next, I was approached by Den, a guy from Cambodia, who asked me if I would like a complementary hand massage. I reluctantly said yes just because it seemed a little awkward, but as we started chatting, I learned that he will be going back to Cambodia in about a month. He is here through a nonprofit, faith-based organization whose mission is to fight human trafficking. His purpose for being here is to learn a trade to take back to Cambodia to teach other human trafficking victims so that they could find a way out of those terrible circumstances and have a means for survival. Ironically enough, my pastor announced this past Sunday that two or three guys from a human trafficking relief organization would be visiting with us in the coming weeks. It was Den and two of his friends. What are the odds? But, I’m not taking it as irony or odds, rather one of those “meant to be” situations. I am so thankful to have now met Den and get the chance to interact with him further and learn how to help a heartbreaking but hope-filled cause.
To sum it up, the haircut is good, the people were nice and the salon was pretty, but I won’t be going back because it was a perfect experience (it took WAY TOO LONG). I will be going back because they touched my heart (i.e. created value and made a difference in my life).
As we interact with our clients, let’s continue to keep those principles front of mind. We won’t always be perfect, but we can always strive to make a difference.
About the Author
Rebecca Geiger, CPA, is an assurance services senior manager who provides Sarbanes-Oxley consulting, internal audit and assurance services primarily to public and middle market clients. She believes in HORNE's mission and seizes every opportunity to share her passion for people and desire to make a difference.