Bad Haircuts and Bad Customer Service

Do you remember the “cold war” concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.)? Essentially, this military strategy suggests that when two enemies point weapons of mass destruction of such high-yield and volume at each other, it creates a natural deterrent to pushing the LAUNCH button. If either side were to attack, the other would launch an immediate counter-attack which would result in the complete, utter and irrevocable annihilation of both the attacker and the defender. Lose-lose.

Since the “cold war” is over, I want to make this concept more personal and relevant to you. So I want you to imagine that you and your significant other were to enter into an agreement to cut each others’ hair every three weeks. Now let me ask you a few questions:

  • Assuming that most people could develop some level of hair-cutting talent, how would your hair look right now?
  • Thinking about your relationship with your significant other at this very moment in time, would you want him or her to pick up the scissors and start cutting your hair?
  • Do you think you might tend to act a little sweeter, a little kinder, as the hour of your haircut approached?

The Moral: Be nice to those who have the power to make you look good or make you look bad.

Let me relate this to leadership. Imagine if you were to enter into a relationship with your employees at work by which employees would interact with their customers with the same level of enthusiasm, passion, and engagement that you gave to your employees. Now let me ask you a few questions based on that:

  • What kind of service would your customers receive?
  • If the CEO of your company were on Undercover Boss working alongside your employees, would you be proud?
  • Do you think you might tend to be a little more engaging with your employees if you were conscious that they could make or break you?

The Moral: Engage those who have the power to make you look good or make you look bad.

According to Gallup, disengaged employees cost US companies $350 billion each year. In other words, how you engage your employees matters to your business, because how you engage your employees will either…

  • Increases or decreases your costs
  • Increases or decreases your productivity
  • Increases or decreases your quality

And if you’re in the business of customer service (and every business is in the business of customer service), keep this in mind: How you treat your employees will directly increase or decrease customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

The Tip: Today, wrap your head around this one simple mantra—I will treat my employees like I want my employees to treat our customers.


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