In the summer, business in East Hampton is like shooting fish in a barrel. Merchants can do business with their eyes closed – and some do. Just read the Letters to the Editor in The East Hampton Star . Certain Gallic restaurant owners (in Bridgehampton) obviously consider us local yokel American slobs beneath their contempt and can therefore insult us with the most preposterous pronouncements. Like the comment I overheard a few years ago in a french boutique on the Left Bank: a woman walked in and looking at a rack of skirts asked the sales girl if she has any in size 8 (40 in France) to which the sales girl responded “I’m sorry Madame, we don’t carry large sizes”.
Anyway, here is my story: I made an appointment for a cut and blow dry at a local salon – M Salon on Park Place for 2 PM on Thursday.
About 2 hours before my appointment, I get a phone call from the salon asking me whether I can shampoo my hair at home because they’re having a problem with the sinks in the salon – they have no water and don’t know when it’s going to be fixed.
Of course, I said yes, and even chuckled at the quaint problem – sending a few emails to friends informing them of this cute country thingie.
What I didn’t find too cute is this: after I got over the sticker shock of $100, I jokingly asked if this included the shampoo. The manager gave me a dirty look and said that this is the price for a hair cut implying that it is regardless of whether they shampooed my hair or I did.
Well, you know the philosophy of life: people do things for one or a combination of 3 reasons:
1) advantage - it is something that will benefit them
2) fear - if they don’t do it, there will be some undesirable consequence
3) it’s the right thing to do!
In business #3 is called Customer Service!