June 14, Friday – A lesson in customer service.

By Tiffany Abera

I’ll just cut to the point in this post.  I spent my morning and afternoon google scholaring sources about foster care.  As a reward for our hard work, Neti and I wanted to get our hair done at a well known salon, Boston Salon.  We went in to make an appointment and were told to come back at that time.  We arrived early just to make sure everything was set.  When we arrived it was packed in the lobby and even better we were then told that they didn’t make appointments for hair.  In addition there were 6 people in front of us. You can imagine what I was thinking in my head.

The more I sat and watched other people go in before me the more impatient I grew with the situation. We waited for almost two hours before we went back.  At that point of the night I was livid and incredibly close to losing it.  And to top it all off my hair turned out terribly. I was traumatized by the whole experience. I mean I paid 67 Birr (that’s almost $4) for something that should have only cost 50 Birr which is quite a lot here for the average person.  I felt take advantage of just because of their fancy name.

You see, customer service hasn’t reached Ethiopia yet. I wish that I was joking but I am serious.  It is a shame that business owners and their employees do not respect the value of the customer and their time and money spent at their location.  Many small business owners have never been formally educated about best management practices or how to build a loyal customer base.  The locals seem to expect the rather rude treatment and go on about their day even though they may be upset.  There are no refunds and little dialogue between the consumer and owner.  If you are lucky, there may be a suggestion box located near the front door, but good luck seeing that suggestion implemented.  However, if you are a foreigner the odds are highly in your favor.  The more money that you are perceived to have, the better treatment that you will receive.

When I told people where I got my hair done they were in disbelief.  They knew the reputation of the salon and how people’s hair should look and my mess was not what they were expecting.  At the end of the night and many jokes about my hair I was ready for retribution!  I vowed to myself and Neti that I would correct the situation tomorrow.

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