Experience is everything.

Experience is everything.

I have been reading recently how when it comes to business relationships can  be less important than the experience. I do not mean to say that being recognized and remembered when you go someplace isn’t comforting. It would be great if everyplace we went every employee knew us by name and remembered us from previous visits. The truth is that is hard to find and honestly thats not treating everyone equally.
Jeff and I went to dinner last night at a restaurant his family has been going to for over 50 years. (its crazy but true) Obviously the same people cant be working there. The servers and staff have changed many times over. We choose to go there because of our relationship with the place. We know the owners, a husband and his wife. His son is often a server, or behind the bar.
Last night was different. The owners were there but we did not concern ourselves with announcing our arrival and saying hello. It just was not important to us last night. We had a long day and were excited to enjoy the restaurant. The usual staff was not there which was fine with us. (like I said before that was not why we were there last night)

First we were told we could take any table we wanted rather than to be shown to a table. At first this didn’t seem to be a issue but after a minute or so of us not being able to make up our mind we decided on a seat only to realize that a better one was available.(next to the radiator, I was cold)

Thats when I realized the experience would have been much better had the hostess been the ambassador of the dining room and been able to make suggestions such as “here is a nice table if you want to be by the radiator because its a cold night”. This may seen trivial but it all adds up. Now that we had our table after a move from our first choice, she informed us that she was just the hostess and she couldn’t get us anything and our server would take our drink order and tell us the specials.

So we sat and waited for someone to acknowledge us. We sat for over 10 minutes with three servers mulling around us and none of them ever acknowledging us. The restaurant was not very busy, four tables, three servers and a hostess. Two of the tables were larger parties but not anything unmanageable. Finally after waiting with nothing but water the waitress that was servicing one of the larger parties paused at our table and said she would be with us shortly (remember this was after at least 10 min of waiting)
Let me stop here for a moment. I am in the service business so I give a wide girth to anyone who also works in the service business. I do not want to seem critical. We had no problem waiting it was the fact that no one acknowledged us and there were plenty of other service providers that could have helped to make our overall experience better so far. The hostess could have taken our drink order. Another server could have done the same or even brought us bread. Our own server could have paused much sooner to let us know she would be tending to us soon.
When our server finally came to take our drink order she didn’t bother to tell us about the specials and when we asked she had to read them (there were three) and rather than to get our drinks started while we pondered our new choices (obviously we had ample time to look at the menu) She wanted us to proceed with ordering. At this point I took control. I ordered appetizer and requested that she get that started as I would have that while Jeff enjoyed his cocktail. The inexperience that she had a a server was now very obvious to me. I knew that we wanted a experience that she and the other staff were not capable of delivering. Even with my attempt to orchestrate our experience. My appetizer arrived with Jeff’s cocktail, but our soups that were included with the meal also were there immediately. We didn’t have time to enjoy our fist course before our second and third were on the table.
The food was AMAZING! Its true! The soup was delicious the chicken and artichokes french was perfect. Thats all I can say about that.
The rest of the experience is all we talked about during the dinner as well as the car ride home.
The next time we think about going there we will recall this EXPERIENCE, and think twice about going, or not go at all. Because we know the owners we are not going to write a bad review, or even tell them about it. In my opinion if they are not paying attention to the experience at the level they use to do than they do not want to hear from me.
This is the point I am coming to. I own a salon and Spa so that is what I relate this too. We perform AMAZING services! Much like the amazing food we were served, but the experience we provide is what you will remember. From the greeting when you walk in the door. Someone offering to take your coat. The fresh tea or cucumber water that we offer. Taking you on a tour of the facility if you are coming for the first time. Consulting with you before your services. Checking in on you during your services. Making suggestions of products to care for your skin, hair or body after you leave. Helping you to book your next visits. All this time getting to know you.
If you come to r Salon & Spa, or if you plan to you will see that we do care about our relationship with you. What you will most definitely see is that we care more about the experience you have and continue to have. This way if the next time you are visiting there is someone new that you do not know you will have the same experience you have come to value and expect.

I think this is why I have been reading more and more about the experience verses the relationships when it comes to the choices we make with the places we choose to do business with.

We are implementing a new faster, safer and easy way to check you out while you are at the Salon & Spa. You will be asked if we can put your credit card on file for your purchases. This is a service that until now was reserved for only a few of our guests. This will allow you to prepay for your services, check out during your services or even cash yourself out. It makes for a super easy and personalized experience, simply tell us use my card on file and your done! This is so much faster and safer than swiping your card each time you visit. Of course if you prefer not to that is fine as well. This is just another way we are improving your experience at r Salon & Spa.
We always strive to give you a elite experience at r Salon. We know you have a choice so thanks for choosing us.

Thanks for making r Salon your salon.
Yours in service
Scott

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