Customer Service

Ask the Manicurist: December 2008

Ho ho ho. Tee hee hee. The Manicurist — aka Rebecca Seals — offers her unique take on holiday happenings at the salon.

Q: I am so mad at my nail technician I don’t know what to do! I have had a regular standing appointment for 15 years. During the holidays, when I needed my nails done the most, I showed up for my appointment, and my nail tech had put someone else in my time! She said the holidays were hectic and I’d missed often and hadn’t confirmed this appointment, so she’d given my time away! How dare she do this to me? I was so embarrassed! How should I handle her?  

A: I’m sorry, nincompoop, but it sounds to me as if your nail tech has finally after 15 years been the one to handle you. And it sounds to me as if it was about time. Now, let’s be honest here. You’ve been a client for 15 years and your nail tech has replaced you. This tells me that you have probably been replaced by a safer, more dependable bet. Look back at your track record and think about how often you’ve missed and how courteous you were with notice. Have you missed so much that your tech is losing serious bill money? Have you called with at least 24-hours notice so that she could replace you with a paying customer?  

The lowdown: Missing a standing appointment so often that someone replaces you is reason enough to admit you’ve caused your own embarrassment. It’s time to call back with a heartfelt apology and a newfound attitude toward a nail tech who must be darn good to earn 15 years of patronage.


Q: I have patronized the same salon for a short while now, and I am a stickler for time. I really enjoy the services at this new salon. It is very clean and well organized, and the tech’s work is impeccable, but I am my nail tech’s first appointment at 7:30 in the morning and I always have to wait on her! This is particularly irritating now with the crunch of holiday time. I could be shopping for Christmas at Wal-Mart! On my job in advertising, I am always at least 15 to 20 minutes early to start my day to ensure that my first appointment doesn’t have to wait. Shouldn’t my nail tech give me the same courtesy? She is rarely if ever in the chair before 7:30 on the dot. She barrels in at 7:25, flies in the door, flips on the light and the coffee pot and falls into the chair barely in time. I think this is careless and rude. What do you think? 

A: I think that if I’ve read all of your “stickler for times,” “on the dots,” and “barely in times” correctly, your nail tech hasn’t done a thing wrong. All the clues in your question tell me that she is an incredibly hard worker who appears to be very organized, albeit probably exhausted. I mean, if she “flies in” by 7:25, she’s definitely made it in time. And if she is able to just flip on the lights and coffee pot and fall into her chair (on time) then she obviously does some preparation before she leaves the night before such as cleaning, preparing coffee, etc. I’m proud of you for being a “stickler for time” because I agree with Dr. Phil that to do otherwise is saying you don’t value other people’s time, but come on, doesn’t demanding being 15 to 20 minutes early say the same thing? It sounds to me as if there are two people here that could care and share in each other’s dedication and diversity of style. Give this some thought.  

The lowdown: You obviously have a dedicated nail tech (making appointments at 7:30 a.m.) who you said yourself is “very clean, organized, and does impeccable work.” Do you really want to whine about waiting a few minutes before she sits down to serve you? I didn’t think so.   

Keywords:   Ask the Manicurist     client issues     client relationships     client scheduling     customer service     gift certificates     holidays     humor  

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