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If the heart of all really valuable business is referrals, then “Hire for Nice” makes sense. Consider it the foundational policy for any company wishing to survive in the blizzard of noise that is the competition for customers and clients.
I ran across an article this week on NBC News called “One CEO’s Secret to Success: Always Lead with Kindness” that triggered a distinct memory of this for me…
My family moved here a couple of years ago and the search for new services to replace the old began (you know: doctor, grocery store, barber, pizza delivery, pet sitter…). It had been awhile since my last haircut, so I looked up the local spots using Yelp and found Bon Cheveux with good reviews. I called and got an appointment for the next day (this would not happen where I lived before…if you didn’t book at least a few days out, you were out of luck). I arrived a few minutes early and was met by the friendly concierge at the front desk. As a newbie, she asked that I fill out a very short form for customer information. I then sat down with a cold glass of water for about 3 minutes before Tarra came out. I was ushered into the actual salon area and commenced the actual haircut. Since I was new, I had to try a describe what I was looking for, which isn’t easy for me (“Four weeks shorter than it is now” isn’t really much help…). Tarra was very patient and we worked through the process collaboratively, which was good. We also engaged in the usual chit-chat conversation, but it wasn’t forced and was enjoyable, especially when it would lapse for a few minutes into silence…..I’ve been to other barbers who are VERY uncomfortable with silence.