Customer Service

What Does Pampering Mean to You?

Some time ago I put the word “ pampering” on the list of banned words in NAILS Magazine.

 Some time ago I put the word “ pampering” on the list of banned words in NAILS Magazine. I got tired of reading that word and I thought it was a lazy way to describe what happens in a salon. I felt we leaned on the word as a catch-all description without providing details of what it really means. Because everyone knows pampering means, right? It seems to me that “pampering” is one of the most overused yet undeserved word to use by and the salon experience. And it certainly is one of those word with a definition as broad and varied as whoever defines it. Ask one person what pampering means and you’ll hear about the chance to sit quietly  for an hour and read a magazine while her toenails are done. Ask another and it means having someone wait on her hand and foot. I’ve been enough salons and been treated royally enough at many of them to know that there really are many degrees of pampering.

The writers and editors had a hard time getting around my boycott. But as they tell as in creative writing classes, I told them: “Show the reader how the salon pampers - don’t just say they pamper.”

We had to define what pampering really meant - and what it didn’t. I think there’s the tendency to say that salon services are in and of themselves pampering. But that’s not the case. We hear about salons that describe the “little extras” they do. But the thing about pampering is that the salon client truly has to feel it - not just know that you offer it if I asked any one of you readers what makes your salon distinct, you would like be using the word pampering at some point in your description.

My challenge to you as nail technicians and salon owners is also not to fall back on the easy description. Don’t simply say pampering to describe your services, spell out exactly what you do that makes the service pampering, exactly how you do it, the environment you do it in, and how the client will feel after it.

As I sat in a luxury pedicure chair during a recent service, sipping my latte, I felt pampered, but the “little extra” that made me feel so well taken care of wasn’t the coffee or the foot massage of the cabernet-scented scrub. I was the fact that when I knocked over my drink and it went sailing, another tech came over and cleaned it up, so my tech didn’t have to break from me and so that I didn’t feel like a klutz. She swooped in and mopped it up in about 15 seconds. I made work for someone else and they just fixed it with nary a word. To be able to sit there without guilt made me feel so - oh, what’s the word? Pampered - Cyndy Drummey.

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