A service business is only as strong as its weakest link. This is a concept I’ve known for a long time and have tried to be mindful of as Grooming Lounge has matured. But, I don’t think I ever truly realized the importance of the “weakest link” theory until a recent family trip to a “luxury resort.” It was during this trip to a much-hyped establishment that the following was fully crystallized and made me want to make certain there are only strong links (99% of the time weak links are a result of improper training and hiring — not intentional employee misconduct) at Grooming Lounge…
“The customer experience, no matter how solid a company’s facilities, protocols or training may be, is most directly affected by the individual interactions with company representatives. The key memories guests/customers walk away with relate to how they were treated by staffers and the professionalism and consistency delivered across all levels. So, from manager to maid to chef to customer services rep, etc., everyone has to be singing off the same page of music, on their toes and walking the company line. One weak link will most definitely ruin it for the whole chain.”
Why so important you may ask? Well, let’s say you come to one of our stores and the haircut and shave experience are sublime, but the individual checking you out is not as friendly and provides opposing answers to basic questions than given by the Grooming Expert or Skin Care Expert. Well, the great grooming experience you just had was wiped away because in all likelihood, your key take-away would be the weak link that bid you farewell. Everything down the drain because the staffer checking you out didn’t live up to the prior service providers. The same could go for a “hiccup” anywhere along the service time frame… not just the send off.
The real take away in all this is to further tighten up our training so every single person on our team even better understands our core values, steps of service, company history, customer service philosophy, etc. Otherwise, it’ll be like my recent trip, during which everything was above par, but the dominant memory at this point is the one staffer who “fished for tips” on every occasion possible, making me and others feel very uncomfortable and making him look quite unprofessional. He was the weakest link and despite playing just a bit part, he made an unfortunate and lasting impression. One strong enough for me to sit down and write a blog about.
One rotten egg spoils the whole bunch. Not a new marketing theory… but still a great one.
* In case you’re wondering, I think we have only great eggs working in our stores, online and in GL’s manufacturing businesses. Now though, the importance of keeping those eggs healthy is more apparent than ever before.