Twenty-two years ago I walked into a hair salon to get a haircut.
I didn’t give much thought to the experience as a haircut is a haircut is a haircut and I had had many of them before.
I did not realize that entering the salon that day would mark the beginning of a friendship that is still going strong today.
The owner of that store is a man named Mike Nasser and for more than 30 years he and his delightful wife Randa have been providing wisdom, insights and terrific customer service experiences to their thousands of satisfied clients.
Not once in the years that have passed since that first visit has my hair been cut by anyone other than Mike, Randa and more recently, their son Hassan. My loyalty to them has been reciprocated many times by the sheer enjoyment I experience each time I visit their salon.
Mike and Randa have long understood that in order to build a successful business in a highly competitive industry they needed to offer something far more than extraordinary skill with scissors. They needed to find a differentiator – something that would set them apart and would keep their customers coming back.
They are the differentiator. Customers entering their store are welcomed with the same warmth usually reserved for close friends entering our homes and, once inside, clients and are showered with genuine attention, warm friendship and sincere interest.
That Mike and Randa care about their customers is undisputed. They go out of their way to ensure that all expectations are met (usually exceeded) and that each visit is filled with meaningful, interesting and pleasant conversation.
They are both perfectionists and no customer leaves the salon until they have satisfactorily passed Mike or Randa’s quality control inspection.
I have long felt a sense of loyalty to those places that provide quality service and have always believed in rewarding that service through repeat business and by referrals to friends and colleagues.
With Mike and Randa my penchant for referring is different than from any other place I can think of. I feel a sense of obligation in referring their salon to my friends as I want these friends to enjoy the same great customer service experiences that I’ve been spoiled by for the last 22 years.
I think many of us share a common trait. When we have poor experiences we tend to tell many people of those experiences, when we have great experiences we tend to keep them to ourselves.
Gimalle, my wife, and I have long made it our practice to reward great service by contacting and sharing our experience with the bosses of the service providers as well as passing on the good news to our friends.
I have seldom used this space in my blog to promote any particular businesses but after 20+ years of so many great visits to their salon, I thought this to be the perfect time to do so.
I have only one complaint. The price I am required to pay for my haircuts has increased over the years at a frequency that is roughly proportional to the rate at which my hairline has receded. This means that Mike is doing far less work each time I am in his chair and charging me more money for the privilege of doing so.
If you would like to experience firsthand what exceptional customer service is all about I encourage you to visit Mike, Randa and Hassan at their salon – Avalon Salon & Spa, 1516, 11 St SW, Calgary.
But be warned. Don’t go there if you don’t want any more great friendships.
Till we read again.
P.S. My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.
Robert French – an accomplished author – recently posted a flattering review of my book, Life Sinks or Soars, the Choice is Yours. Please click here and take a moment to read it.
Here is another review of my book by Actionable Books.
– My company, Strategic Pathways, recently introduced our newest Personal Coaching experience called Boot Camp for Your Brain. Please click here and take a peek at our Ebrochure
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