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Old 05-23-2008, 11:40 AM   #1
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More about customer service

Most of you probably know that I'm a stickler when it comes to customer service. I'm in the industry, so I get the part about being overworked, underappreciated, etc. I also know some people can be unreasonable. I also believe that 'unreasonable' cannot often be described in black and white terms, and to attempt to do so is an effort in futility.

I always expect great customer service and am dissatisfied when I don't receive it. I'll express it verbally or financially. Either way, I'll express it.

I've been in a search, lately, for a suitable place for my bi-weekly manicure and pedicure. It's usually cleanliness or poor customer service that sends me looking for a new place. I thought I'd finally found a place I could be satisfied with, until yesterday.

I had a 4:30 appointment. I called at 4:25 to alert them I was stuck in traffic and would be 5 minutes late. "No problem" was the response I received. I arrived at 4:37 to discover that my manicurist was doing a pedicure on the owner's feet. I had to wait till 4:45 before she was able to take my appointment. (that may not seem like a lot to some people, but, when I still have 6 more things to do before I can get home for the evening, every minute counts.) While the manicurist was in the midst of my manicure, a woman entered, desiring an eyebrow waxing. The manicurist put my hands into the 'ezbake' oven, left me to attend to the new customer. My hands were ready in 90 seconds. The manicurist didn't return for 5 minutes. While she was doing the waxing, her cell phone rang. She returned to me, picked up her phone, and returned the call.....for 10 minutes, while working on my hands.

The cost for the procedure I had yesterday was 30$. Normally, I leave a $5 tip. I left nothing. My pedicure was $18. I left a $5 tip. I scheduled an appointment for 2 weeks because I like the way my hands look when she is complete. The way I look at it, I can live with paying for the cost of the procedure, but I won't tip for customer service that I didn't receive.

I could go on for another three or more paragraphs about how the manicurist(s) don't even attempt to make conversation with me or anyone other customers. They seem more content to speak with the other staff members in their native tongue. I know they can speak English...they do answer the phone and discuss the finances....

I'd rather this not become another thread about how people deserve tips, or how overworked service workers are. Rather, how about discussing/ranting about reasons you haven't left a tip, or a miniscule tip...

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Old 05-23-2008, 12:02 PM   #2
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the reason they don't speak english is that they are insulting you for your consumption of milk products and lack of ancestor worship! (i'm guessing they're asian)

j/k.

i find that rude too.

umm, not when i get a manicure.

'cause i don't. i don't get manicures.

OR pedicures, sheesh!

i mean when people speak foreign languages when they are in "mixed" company. i've found that the proper thing to do is if you wish to have a conversation with someone in a group that speaks a different language than the rest, you should excuse yourself first by saying to the group, "if you don't mind, we are going to speak yada yada", and then yo may continue.

this has happened to me at various meetings and parties at work, where 2 or more of the engineers were from foreign lands, and wanted to speak in their native tongue. i've heard many, including korean, japanese, russian, spanish, and german, mixed in with the technical words that i could understand.

it alwyas struck me as polite, and it made notice of when the more well mannered and educated engineers would excuse themselves before speaking as such.
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:05 PM   #3
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When I am at Nick's mother's house with his brother there sometimes it is habit for them to go off talking in Greek. I pick up things here and there, but not enough. They always translate for me though.

I think it is rude for a business like the one you described (an asian-run nail salon) to speak in anything but the language of their clients. It shows a great disrespect for the clients, for all they know they could be talking about them. If they want to speak it together, let them speak it away from work.
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saphellae View Post
When I am at Nick's mother's house with his brother there sometimes it is habit for them to go off talking in Greek. I pick up things here and there, but not enough. They always translate for me though.

I think it is rude for a business like the one you described (an Asian-run nail salon) to speak in anything but the language of their clients. It shows a great disrespect for the clients, for all they know they could be talking about them. If they want to speak it together, let them speak it away from work.


totally agree with you. and then there are the service people such as a hair dresser. who have not bothered to learn english. they say they haven't but sometimes i think they do, just want to tweak you.

hair dresser i just had , had been doing hair for 12 years. i was not sure she got what i wanted done. very aggravating.

it is especially bad here , because we are so close to the mexican border.

i used to go to a nail salon where they all spoke some form of oriental language. had their children there either in cribs or running loose. needless to say, i don't go their anymore.

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Old 05-23-2008, 03:40 PM   #5
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VeraBlue, I've been in the business since '83. I know about times constraints, overworked salon people etc. To me, customer service is everything. If a patron doesn't get what they came in for, they go elsewhere. I know I have.
I know some have been annoyed by me as well, BUT NOT many times. I kept my apts on schedule and on point. If I didn't, I expected you to be upset. I'd drop a price, say no tip today, or something close. It's inexcusable in my opinion to keep customers waiting while the hairdresser or nail tech talks on their cell, just inexcusable.

I myself, have walked out.
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:41 PM   #6
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Hi, Vera. If I had had that experience, I would not have left a tip, either, and I would probably have mentioned to the owner that I thought it was unprofessional for an employee to answer a personal call while they were with a client.

About the language, when I was in college, I worked in a restaurant that employed a lot of Filipinos. Once, when we were folding napkins getting ready for a large banquet, they started speaking in their language. I asked them if they would please speak English. One asked me if I thought they were talking about me. I said no, I felt left out of the conversation. They spoke in English after that.

Saphellae, I wouldn't assume that if people are speaking in a language you don't understand that they are talking about you. It's common, I think, to think that they're talking about you because it's an uncomfortable feeling not knowing what's being said. No offense, but they're probably talking about something more interesting to them - children, dinner, what they're doing this weekend, etc.
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:59 PM   #7
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This foreign language is really starting to affect me too. My mom and dad both only knew foreign language. They HAD to learn English. Why has the rules changed? In the house, they spoke their native tongue but outside the house they spoke English the best way they could.

It is true some are in the customer service type of work and that is really hard to take. I just wonder if they try to get you confused that you will get frustrated and forget about whatever.

Customer service is what makes this country thrive and if you don't believe it look what is happening around you. Most Wal Mart stores do seem like most of the people try to help, at least the store I go to.

Sorry Vera Blue you had bad experience. I thank you for sharing. It does make you feel better when someone comments on your experience, doesn't it? I know I complain plenty around here and always feel better after I did.
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Old 05-23-2008, 04:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Saphellae, I wouldn't assume that if people are speaking in a language you don't understand that they are talking about you. It's common, I think, to think that they're talking about you because it's an uncomfortable feeling not knowing what's being said. No offense, but they're probably talking about something more interesting to them - children, dinner, what they're doing this weekend, etc.
I agree, but like I said, some clients may THINK that. All I was saying is it gives off the wrong message, whether on purpose or not, or if they are talking about someone, or not.
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Old 05-23-2008, 04:35 PM   #9
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I make an effort to remember names. It's a way both to compliment or complain. If I receive poor service my preference is to complain directly to the person responsible. I'll say something like "I am not leaving you a tip today because...(reason)". Mostly, their responses have been sheepish or apologetic. Mostly they already knew they screwed up.
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:01 PM   #10
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There are a couple of "wrongs" here.

First customer service. Vera, you were right not to tip. a tip is a thank you for extra service, it dosen't seem like you got that. I also use a tip for a thank you. I am in a service business as well, tips are not involved, but, in a service business, if you do not take care fo the customer, they go elsewhere, which you are doing.

Second, language, It is normal to think people are talking about you when they switch languages. I know that is not happening all the time, but, human natuer is human nature. It is definately rude to carry on a conversation in a language that is not understood by everyone, if a common language is available. With that said, I was once working in Holland for a few days. I entered the office and everyone was in a circle speaking Dutch. When I came in they stopped and one of them turned to me and said, "We appologize for speaking Dutch around you, but, we are planning a surprize for you and we want to keep it a surprize". I was honored. That is the only time while I was there that they did not switch to English when I arrived.

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