Tuesday 25 January 2011

TGI Fridays customer Service

Leaving School - a massive EVENT!! The junior schools really go to town now and watching the year 6 children coming out of school was a very emotional day to witness.
Sobbing, in floods of tears, the girls hugged each other. Boys in an almost football crowd kind of depth to their voices calling out “yeeeaaaarrrrhhhhhh” as they left the doors to close behind them. 
Stretch limos in abundance, there are proud mothers and fathers galore taking photographs and capturing the new uniform of signed shirts in different colours. 
Off to a new life, full of new challenges, experiences and valuable lessons, they head to TGI Fridays.
Ok, we know TGI restaurants are always a popular choice: I wonder sometimes if my children love it there because of the buzzer that goes off when your table is ready! 
Why is it so popular? 
It’s a very strong brand. 
At the top of this page is a red and white photograph. That was the tablecloth. Most people will recognise this as part of the TGI brand.
The staff dressed in school uniform on this special day. A minor detail but one that showed they like to go the extra mile and join in the celebrations.
Menu choice is huge, including the many exciting cocktails. Oreo cocktail?? Have you tried that? Well you haven’t lived! Try it! 
Catering for many different needs is one magnetic pull that we the public now demand in every retailer. Yet I sat at the table watching and wondering what it  is that takes them head and shoulders above others. My opinion? 
The Staff.
They are fun, they interact with diners, especially children in an almost Red Coat kind of way...one of the waiting staff was almost Disney like in the way she was speaking to one little girl of about 4. The girl was in total awe of the waitress.
When they ask, “is everything ok? is there anything else we can get you?” - you wouldn’t mind saying if there was something they could tweak to make you a tiny bit happier. This is an art form that I suspect the HR department of TGI’s have got perfect. 
As a critique, we could all find a fault in everything. Yet to be able to say out loud what that is and ask for it to be changed is really often quite a daunting thought. 
Next time you are somewhere receiving a service, make sure you feel comfortable. Nothing should be too much trouble. You have a right to expect a high standard. However, twin that with gratitude. Be very thankful for the service provided. Let them know what you have loved about the service. Watch the body language. You may have just made someone’s day: you have made them feel successful in their job, made them feel appreciated. 
In return, you should feel appreciated and taken care of. Everybody is happier, the world is a brighter Place!!!



Communicating with your hair stylist

with your hair stylist:

with your hair stylist
On occasions, some clients find it tricky to get their hairdresser to understand their request. Every salon operates differently, as does every stylist. These following tips may help: 
1. Your appointment should include time required for a thorough consultation. If you feel you may need extra time, due to being undecided on what to do with your hair, mention this when booking. The stylist may extend your appointment time. 
2. Request your required style in detail. Describe the desired result using your hands to “draw” the shape you would like your hair to be. 
3. Your idea of one inch and the stylists idea of one inch may be two different things. Use your index finger and thumb to give a guide of how much you would like cut off. 
4. Photographs are an excellent way of showing your stylist what you mean. Magazines, pop stars, even an old photograph of yourself showing how you like a style are great! Be prepared for your stylist to advise that something may need tweaking to suit you better.
5. Make sure you are absolutely clear of the stylist’s intentions. If you are not sure, ask them questions beginning with what, why, how, when and who. This will enable them to answer you more fully and you will not get just yes/no answers. If you don’t like the sound of the style, ask more questions until you are happy.
6. Ask the opinion of a professional stylist: “How do I create this style at home?” If it sounds unachievable, then this is not the style for you. Some styles will be created using hair products (wax, mousse, hairspray and various other wonderfully-named products)
However, if you don’t like using products, the style will look totally different. If you do, then make sure you purchase professional products, as you are paying for your style at the salon, before you leave. Your hair will love you for it!
7. Wash it and leave it? If this is what you want, it is of utmost importance to tell your stylist first. Talented stylists are out there in abundance, but you will need to inform them if you have no intention of taking a hairdryer or set of irons near your hair. This way, they can create a shape that you should be able to manage well at home.
8. Colours are a fantastic way of enhancing the look of your crowning glory. The stylists and technicians will work together to create the best look for you. Consider your make up, favourite clothing colours, skin tone and current hair colour. The technician will take all of these factors into consideration prior to choosing a colour. Without doing this, they will not be carrying out a professional service on your locks so allow a little flexibility. 
9. Check what price you will be paying when you book. Ask what this includes. Obviously you may be recommended a conditioning treatment which will be an added cost. Your stylist will be happy to tell you the cost if you ask. Take home professional products are a worth while investment and I recommend this for EVERY client. 
10. Stylists are very highly qualified and this will take a number of years to train. Consider all the information they have to advise you on getting the best from your hair. Make the most of every appointment by asking questions if you have them and ask advice on maintenance at home and in the salon. 
Finally, if you are not happy with a service, give the stylist or the salon the chance to put it right. They want every customer to leave 100% satisfied, return for the next appointment and recommend to all of their friends.
Submitted by Louise Usher of Strand Designs. A free advisory service is available from Strand Designs. Contact via:
Twitter: @stranddesigns
Facebook: Stranddesigns Hair

Summertime tips

This is one of my articles from last summer: I thought I would share it to get us in the mood for Spring!!! :o)

Summertime is nearly here! Take good care of yourself and make sure
you look amazing with these top beauty tips during the summer months:
* After a day at the beach, shampoo hair twice, rinse and apply conditioning treatment. Leave
treatment on for at least ten minutes before throughly rinsing.
* Once a week, exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells
* Every morning and night you MUST cleanse, tone and moisturise. Skin cells need nourishment
more than ever due to sun damage
* Wear a light foundation with an SPF of at least 15 to minimise long term skin damage. Apply
this over lips too prior to adding lipstick, this will give extra protection to this delicate area
* Before your waxing appointment, thoroughly exfoliate. This will help to minimise ingrowing
* Get your toenails coated with gel. This should last 3 weeks, won't chip and will look amazing
with your sandals
* Use Aqua cream on dry areas of the body such as elbows and soles of the feet
* Check the mirror frequently on hot days to check for creasing make up or untidy lines of
* Before your summer holiday, a spray tan will stop that "just o the plane" look. However, this
does not provide any protection from the sun
* Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise and drink plenty of water. If you are dehydrated you will
not look or feel your best.
* Wear pretty dresses. Floral prints are very popular this summer and they are gorgeous! Treat
Submitted by Strand Designs A free advisory service is available from Strand Designs. Contact via email :
Louise@stranddesigns.co.uk twitter: @stranddesigns or
facebook: Stranddesigns hair Strand
We are a branded freelance
company that provides mobile
services to your home or office.
The skills offered are all aspects of
hairdressing, beauty therapy and
holistic treatments.
Call Louise Now: 07815776037
151 Hempstead Road
Hempstead, Kent, ME7 3QG
The founder of this company, Louise Usher has been
working in the industry for the past 9 years. Prior to this
she had a successful management career working for
hospitality catering events all around the country (such as
the Grand National). This new concept combines both
careers and also a new brand to ll a huge gap in the
market - which is that some people would prefer their hair
done at home or even in their oce at lunchtime! A brand
new service which promises highly qualied and
professional sta who will listen to client needs and
advise with the expertise you would expect from a high
calibre company.
Louise has won rst class awards for her hairdressing and
even southern championship for gents hair. She is
passionate about this craft and strives to keep all sta up
to date with the latest fashions and styles and even the
latest products and gadgets. Hair, beauty and nails all
can be catered for by Strand Designs at a convenient time
to the client. Evening and weekend appointments are
available too.
Mon-Fri 9.30am-6pm Sat 9-7pm Sunday available for
session styling and weddings

Gillingham Nails

Being a hair and beauty professional, I can't help but notice people who have really gone the extra mile to take care of themselves and the image they portray.

Often I will comment "Ohh, I love your nails." To which they reply, "Gillingham Nails, Canterbury Street"

Well, during beauty school we were warned and warned again about the dangers of certain establishments using a drilling technique on your nails. That said, I have to admit that the said nails always always impressed me.

Sometimes, my job involves thinking outside of the box. I liked the image of the clients nails. Couldn't argue that, no matter how hard I try. So, I decided to walk in there and see what I could find to blog about!

I was greeted by a cat, that's right, a cat. Fast asleep on a hard wooden chair. Though perfectly comfortable. There was a kind of flanelette sheet hanging on the wall behind the cat which was clearly it's scratching mat. I actually thought this was kind of cute and in some way, having to always give off such a professional image in business is sometimes equal to loosing the "hippy" touch that I like. Yesterday I met a lady (nothing to do with being a nail technician) but she was a highly respected individual in her job who liked to work in bare feet! Love that!

Anyhow, an oriental looking lady called out to me with an accent asking if she could help me. What was the correct answer? 
"I'm here for some nails please" seemed the wrong thing to say. Would you walk into the butchers and ask "Do you have some meat please?" 
So I asked, "Can you do my nails for me today please?" Which was so much more classy of course!

There was a no nonsense approach which was not offering any tea or coffee or choice of service.....I sat down and had my nails done, end of story. The "drilling" wasn't really drilling at all in my own opinion.
It felt a little worrying yes and I must confess to sitting frightfully still!  However, it seemed to me to be a fairly kind tool to use and didn't minimise the depth of my own fingernail as I feared it might. It made an efficient job of an otherwise lengthy treatment.

As I was being taken care of I looked around taking in the scenery. The shop was a very basic one. Pink walls were well loved and although there was a minimal look to it, it basically really served it's purpose. 
The technicians are I feel highly skilled in their craft and while I went for a plain look, I have seen examples of airbrushing that is quite an art form.

So what was it about Gillingham nails that makes it so popular? I looked hard, took it all in and my conclusion is this:
It's open
You can just walk in
It's a fair price for a fair job
It's easy as they don't talk to you
Your nails look great
They are quick

So sometimes, all the fussy offerings of frothy coffee (whoops Strand Designs) may be surplus to requirements when occasionally all people want is the no nonsense service. For me, Louise, I would miss the chats from my clients and fussing over them to make them feel cared about.
I think both Gillingham Nails and Strand Designs have got it right, we just cater for different needs.

As these lovely pink and white Stacey Slater acrylics start to grow out I shall be taking care of them myself with a gel overlay in various colours depending on which mood I am in. The gels are kinder afterall and look very natural......better still ladies have a manicure........better still add on a pedicure and feel totally pampered!

Nails.......almost as popular as hair these days!
Todays acrylic pink and whites

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