Tuesday, April 06, 2010

How to lose a long-term loyal customer in 2 brief emails…

I haven’t had my hair done since December, what with all the drama surrounding the move and all. It is now getting unmanageably long and the dark ribbon of dishwater blonde hair…my roots…is starting to become entirely too obvious. Monday was a public holiday, which meant that people with non-retail jobs were off work and the retailers had extra customers…or at least in theory that’s how it is supposed to work. It doesn't, but that's a tale for another time.

Before we left Cape Town, my hairdresser gave me a business card with the formula for my hair colour written on the back of it. My hair has a large amount of red in it (even though it is not visible to the naked eye) and requires an unusual amount of toner added to the colour to keep me from coming up with orange roots. Most hairdressers don’t believe me when I tell them this and, afraid of my turning up with purple hair (what you get when you use too much ash toner), they go conservative the first (and even subsequent) time they touch up my roots. The result is blonde hair with a brassy orange stripe along the hair line. My Cape Town hairdresser took about six months to come up with the right formula (which uses an unusual amount of ash toner) and for the past 5 ½ years we’ve rubbed along famously. My natural hair colour is not dramatically different from the blonde shade I ordinarily wear, so even having it grow out a month or so isn’t a problem. But it’s been more than three months and it is time to find a salon that can touch me up.

So, despite my feeling like hammered horse hockey (I was coming down with this flu), we trundled all over town looking for a hairdresser that carried the brand of hair colour I have used faithfully for nearly six years. It is a German brand and virtually every salon in Cape Town carries it…imagine my surprise at arriving home yesterday afternoon, still shaggy and two-tone. We went to several independent salons and three malls, and not a one of them carried the brand I was seeking! I was shocked, as I expected it to be as ubiquitous here in Joburg as it was in Cape Town!

When we got home, I got on the web, looking for a salon that used this brand…no luck. So, then I searched the brand name and came up with their website in Germany…apparently they don’t know their product is used in South Africa, as this country was not on their list of countries they serviced! With a bit more sleuthing...and a fever starting to cloud my vision…I came upon a South African site for the product line and decided to ask their customer service for a list of salons in my area that used their products, expecting a quick response with a list attached. That’s not exactly what I got…
From: Sweet Violet
Sent: 05 April 2010 02:19 PM
To: Customer Service, HairCare Division
Subject: HairCare Enquiry - General Enquiry

I moved to Joburg from Cape Town in January. I have been unable to find a salon in the Sandton/Morningside area that uses your hair colouring products. I am so desperate for a touch up that I am considering switching to Redken or L’Oreal just so I can get rid of the contrasting stripe down the middle of my head.

Please advise how to find salons in my area that use your colouring products ASAP.
From: Customer Service Liaison
Sent: 05 April 2010 07:31 PM
To: SweetViolet
Subject: HairCare Enquiry - General Enquiry

Dear SweetViolet,

Thank you for contacting us with regards to your enquiry.

Are you referring to HairCare Salon products or HairCare Retail products (Spectrum Hair Colour available at local stores)?
From: Sweet Violet
Sent: 06 April 2010 06:19 AM
To: Customer Service Liaison, HairCare Division
Subject: HairCare Enquiry - General Enquiry

I am looking for a salon in Sandton, preferably near Morningside, that uses HairCare hair colouring products. My hairdresser in Cape Town uses HairCare exclusively. When I moved to Joburg she gave me the formula for my hair colour, but I cannot find a salon in Joburg that uses your products. I thought perhaps you would have a list of salons in Joburg that stock your products.

Thanks for your time
From: Customer Service, Hair Care Division
Sent: 06 April 2010 09:21 AM
To: AnotherPerson@websiteforanothercompany.com
Cc: Yetanotherperson@yetanotherwebsite.com; sweetviolet
Subject: HairCare Enquiry - General Enquiry


Could you please assist with this enquiry?

Thank you kindly,

Customer Service Liaison

In the meantime, while I am still waiting for the company to provide me with a list of who in the area stocks their products, two of my friends have found salons where I can go (at malls near their homes). Gee, if I didn’t already have friends here to pull their bacon out of the fire, if I was newly moved here with no prior local contacts, the company would have lost a loyal customer, someone who ordinarily spends about R500 every six weeks ($66 USD) or so on her hair…a good bit of which goes for the purpose of buying their hair colour!

I dunno…I’ve been contemplating going red lately and there apparently is no salon using these products near my new house, so I just may bite the bullet and try something new…whattaya think? Red? or stick with the old faithful, blonde?

Let me know what you think…

1 comment:

  1. I saw SCREW EM and go red! You'd make a fabulous redhead, SV (personality wise). I always loved red hair and wish I had it (truly). But being half Egyptian--with my coloring--I don't think so!



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