A Lesson From Tabitha's Business Take-Overs

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Criado Realty 0548772

Salon Take Over is an awesome show for all business owners. It's funny, interesting, and sometimes unreal - an excellent small business strategy show. Tabitha takes over a hair salon to uncover the operational mess and provides solutions to revolutionize the way they do business.

Tabitha helps owners discover their personal faults, then she works on the technicians and the salon itself. The hardest part is allowing a stranger to come in and take over, the owner loses all power - as an Independent Broker I relate to that. There is usually a struggle, some more so than others, but in the end, most find her ideas incredibly better than theirs. Most keep or expand her ideas. My favorite part is the 6 month follow-up that showcases the growth of the owner's insight and the success they achieve by continuing the ideas.

I was due for a salon visit so I scheduled an appointment for 3:00pm yesterday. I arrived at 3pm, on-time, just to find my chair filled with a new guest, just getting started. Juana said, "Give me 5 minutes" - cool, no biggie. I ran next door to buy a snack. When I came back there was another person in my chair. HUH!?!?! She said, "I'm sorry, I just need to cut his hair it will only take 10 minutes." I replied "I'm so terribly sorry but I have a five o'clock appointment so I don't have time to waste." She apologized to him that I couldn't wait and unseated the man. She did my color. She rinsed out another lady's color. She cut the man's hair. Then she cut and styled the first lady's hair. Finally, she proceeded to me when my timer buzzed. There was the usual chit-chat but intermittently she commented, "It was only going to take 10 minutes" - twice!  At least 3-4 times "You have so much hair" - I always hate it when a stylist says that because it's a "duh" statement and its a complaint. I know its more work and I pay for it - there is an up charge for an exta box of color and for longer hair. She made me feel like an inconvenience.  To make matters worse, it was a horrible cut! I even gave her a photo! She finished at 5:14pm. I had to re-schedule my phone appointment while I was in the middle of the cut. I paid and left, I wasn't in the mood for a battle but was terribly upset.

I came home and even my 15 year old son commented on it - "Mom, what happened to your hair?" I thought, that's it! I'm going back to talk to the manager that I want my money back. I don't want them to fix it because I lost their trust even though I've been going there for five years!

I'm expecting resistance so I'll use Tabitha's approach. I'll just ask Juana and the Manager, is this a cut and color worth $120? Would you post my photo on the front of your store as a model?  Were you respectful of my time?  Did you make me feel special and valuable? You violated my trust. I deserve a refund don't you think?  

So, back to my point - Tabitha is a great business strategist and gets right to the source of the problem. She provides outstanding customer service and quality of service. She isn't afraid to face a challenge. I think you should watch her show and evaluate how you run your Brokerage. Do your agents make clients feel #1? Are your agents skilled? Are they presenting the right image for you? Are they trainable? Are they willing to change? 

Watch it and tell me what you think!

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Posted by
Cathy Criado President & Founder
Published Author
Your Real Estate Consultant!
999 E Basse Rd. #180-425, ​San Antonio, TX  78209​
​Direct:  (210) 560-1891
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Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Tabitha is all about professionalism and customer service.  If you want a good laugh though, check out the episode when she visited the Bed and Breakfast in Hollywood..................hysterical!

Aug 22, 2012 10:24 PM #1
Lucas Taylor
Keller Williams Miami Beach - Miami Beach, FL
Thank you for the great education. I learned so much from your post.
Aug 22, 2012 10:31 PM #2
Pat & Steve Pribisko
Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West - Westlake, OH

I think part of your problem could be that you ceased to be a regular (you said you had not been there for months).

Aug 22, 2012 10:32 PM #3
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

When I find a nail tech and hair stylist, I keep them and I tip them well and I treasure them.....sometimes I do wish I was treated like I want to treat my clients....it's a process!

Aug 22, 2012 10:36 PM #4
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

Pat and Steve - That's a weird comment.  Being "a regular" has nothing to do with professionalism and respect. 

It's always best to ask questions before assuming. Over five years I have visited this salon every 2-3 months for myself, I take my son every 6 weeks and just took him 2 weeks ago.  I take my daughter every 2-3 months. Women only do hair every couple of months so while I was a month behind, I was still regular.  As a result they are losing 3 regulars, and I tip 15-20% always.

Aug 22, 2012 10:40 PM #5
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Good Morning Cathy, well first I wish you louck on your refund. no one should be treated like that ever. It does remind me how some agents take care of their clients here and why those clients leave them for full service. No matter how big or small teh customer is, they should all be treated like they are royality if yo want them coming back.  Have great Thursday. and again... good luck

Aug 22, 2012 11:19 PM #6
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

Scott - Hah! Gonna be a not-so-fun day! Thanks!

Aug 22, 2012 11:24 PM #7
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Cathy - That's just bad, disrespectful customer service, and you're right to want your money back. Mary & I have been using the same stylist to cut our hair for years, although she doesn't need much in the way of talent to deal with my head, and we both book first appointments of the day, and book a year in advance, so we never run behind schedule.

Aug 22, 2012 11:28 PM #8
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

A year in advance? Wow!


Aug 22, 2012 11:35 PM #9
marti garaughty
garaughty.com - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...

garaughty, abstract art, graphic design, WordPress consultant

Aug 23, 2012 12:44 AM #10
John McCormack
Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com - Albuquerque, NM
AlbuquerqueHomes.com, Albuquerque Homes Realty

You Go Girl!  Stand up for what is right, make the complaint and be heard.  Too many would never say a word and the service continues to spiral downward.  Wake them up and put them on the right track.  If they are that busy they need to hire another employee..and that helps lower the unemployment rate. 

Aug 23, 2012 01:25 AM #11
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Cathy: Sorry to hear about your experience (been there)...a good lesson though that when clients do not feel like they are #1, they will not come back.

Aug 23, 2012 03:49 AM #12
Emily Read
Salt Lake City, UT

Oooooh - that would have made me nuts!! Customer service is so so important - it takes years to create a client and only seconds to lose them...

Aug 24, 2012 04:08 AM #13
Stephanie Stringer
First Choice Loan Services NMLS#210764 - San Antonio, TX
Mortgage Loan Originator

Oh Cathy-  That is one of my favorite shows.  My husband thinks I crazy watching this reality show but honestly there is a lot of good within the show about running a business.  Tabitha takes NO bull and she lays it out there to the business owners.  Some of the business owners on the show, are lazy, have no motivation and managment skils,  I love when Tabitha rips a new one in these bosses.... Great post.   See you later!

Aug 29, 2012 12:51 AM #14
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

This post should have been featured because the essence is good customer service which is so lacking these days. I used to watch the show all the time. It's very good. I just wonder if you ever made it back there and employed any of her techniques?

Sep 01, 2012 11:15 AM #15
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