5 on Your Side


Posted October 1, 2009 6:18 p.m. EDT

These days, CUSTOMER SERVICE is more important than it’s probably ever been! Businesses are feeling the brunt of the limited budgets many people now have. So they need to do everything they can to keep the customers they DO have, coming back. They also NEED those customers to spread the word about that great service to their friends, family and co-workers.

I wanted to share a story about what I believe is an example of EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE. And here’s the real kicker—the business involved is providing that great service to people who really aren’t even his customers!

You may recall, last month we aired a story when the popular Iatria Day Spa suddenly closed its doors at its locations in Raleigh and Cary. The company filed bankruptcy, blaming the bad economy. We quickly heard from PLENTY of customers who were STUCK with now worthless gift certificates! That’s where ROI Salon near Cameron Village came in. Owner Roi Parker generously offered to match gift certificates DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR for hair, nail and skin care services. At the time, Parker had no idea how many gift certificates were out there, “unredeemed.” I honestly worried about whether he and his staff could truly absorb the extra work FOR FREE. But a month into it, Mr. Parker tells me it’s going just fine. He estimates so far, they’ve “fit in” about 60 Iatria clients who, combined, have redeemed about $3,000 worth of gift cards. That’s A LOT of free services for a small business like his to take on. But he says he did it because, “It’s what you do for your community,” and that he has no regrets. He says MOST of the clients are appreciative and understand the need to be flexible. Although there was the woman who suggested he take the tip out of the gift card(remember—that card is now worthless), the customer who wanted to suddenly use a card that EXPIRED a YEAR earlier, AND the woman that angrily insisted he HAD to be getting SOMETHING out of it or he wouldn’t do it. But the fact is, what Parker and his staff are getting out of it is the satisfaction in knowing that those customers who were angry and feeling “duped,” are HAPPY when they leave his salon. And happy customers are an undisputable sign of EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE!!

About this Blog:

In addition to the stories you see on TV, Monica is always looking for ways to help consumers find deals and avoid fraud. She'll blog about what you need to know here.