A Lesson in What Not to Do

I have been wrestling with AT&T for the past week. I am in no mood for humor at this point.


After a week of phone calls, waiting on hold, being disconnected and disrespected, I am teetering on the edge of choosing an alternative option to meet my needs and telling AT&T to shove it — even if it means paying more for service from another company. The satisfaction of being able to live without a company that prides itself on its delusion of being indispensible would be worth it.


I don't understand why the phone company would choose to treat its customers as if they need the company more than the company needs the customer.


People don't like to be held hostage.


And that's what I was thinking when I started making analogies between AT&T's attitude toward its customers, and the way we treat ours.


Usually, I find myself touting the importance of sticking to your guns and enforcing your policies and I certainly don't mean to contradict myself on those thoughts, but at the same time, I can also see some of us in the nail biz who have gotten a little full of ourselves and are maybe on the brink of crossing the line between respecting ourselves and our businesses vs. respecting our clients.


Too often I come across colleagues who are desperately looking for ways to bring in new clients at the same time they arrogantly brag about how they "refuse" to do certain styles such as flared tips or thicker overlays, or offer particular products and services such as acrylic or pedicures.


It's all well and fine to choose what you want to offer, but you'll have to accept that if you refuse to offer what's in demand, it's going to be harder to build your clientele — and harder to build a reputation as being customer-friendly.


And if you want to take a lesson from the phone company, remember not to take your existing customers for granted. You want to coddle them and make them feel like their loyalty is acknowledged and prized — because there's a limit to how many new customers are available to replace them.


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