Over the weekend I had an interesting experience that reminded me just how important customer service is to the survival of your business.

Treat people with integrity, care and respect and you will win every time. 

Treat them with arrogance, thoughtlessness and disdain and don’t be surprised if your doors don’t stay open for long.

On Saturday, my partner and I were training at our local gym. We love it there. It’s a home away from home.

We enjoyed our workout together and while sitting with a coffee afterwards talking about the day ahead, my partner received an email stating that his gym membership had been terminated.

The email cited allegations that simply weren’t true and left us both upset and lost for words.

During our Saturday workout, and on a previous occasion, my partner had mentioned to staff that one of the machines was broken and that another was not calibrated correctly.

He was pleasant in his approach, quite jovial, and was simply letting them know in case they weren’t aware.

This was perceived by staff as a complaint and bringing a negative vibe to the gym, hence the termination.

There was no phone call to discuss the “complaint”. There was no right of reply. He was terminated, effective immediately.

For the cynics, you might say there is more to the story, but I can vouch that there was no malice or negativity in his comments. He was simply letting the gym know.

This whole situation, that included a series of email exchanges between my partner and the gym, caused me to reflect on the importance of providing exceptional customer service and that clients and customers are special.

They have chosen you – your salon for their beauty treatments and time out.

Of course, it’s true that not all clients are created equal. Yes, there are those who can be tricky and some who we wish would not come back, but there’s a way to handle certain situations.

Professionalism springs to mind. And common decency to at least discuss a situation face to face or by phone – and to listen.

Failure to do this can only result in negative consequences for you – a bad review on Google or Facebook and certainly negative word of mouth.

Conflict is not something that many of us enjoy, but next time you’re faced with a situation that you deem to be an act of wrongdoing by a client, be sure to act with reason. Be calm, be considerate and be fair.

You may still choose not to rebook that client but do it with style.

Let your integrity shine through and you may even turn that client into one of your biggest supporters for life.

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ideas that you’d like us to blog about?