Tuesday, November 6, 2007

How do you treat teenagers? (TSF)

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My (almost) eighteen year old daughter came home from having her eyebrows shaped last week and declared that she was taking her business elsewhere.

Let me preface this by saying that along with being a full time student, she works 20-25 hours a week, earning minimum wage plus tips so she pays for these once a month visits to the salon.
So, why is she so miffed? Quite simply - she's tired of being treated like a second class citizen just because she is a teenager. She has found that while the technician is very courteous, the service she gets from the receptionist is just the opposite. Instead of being treated as any paying customer, her age seems to dictate that she be talked down to - almost as if she were an unwelcome nuisance.

I asked if she knew the name of the offending receptionist - and of course she did not. However, today as I had my hair cut and related the story to my stylist, the salon owner, he was (through the magic of computers) able to track exactly which receptionist she was referring to. To his credit - he took the complaint well - was very apologetic - assuring me that this was not the first complaint received about this woman. It seems fairly certain she is not long for the salon.

My teenagers have been complaining for years about the treatment they receive in various places of business in our area - everything from the local pizza parlor to small boutiques and book stores. Unfortunately for them, clearly some of their peers have left poor impressions on the local business owners and so my kids get `lumped' into the category of pest by virtue of their age. And to tell the truth when my children were much younger, I felt the same way.

My point is this, if you have teens as customers - I encourage you to extend them the same courtesy you do everyone else. They are individuals - not a demographic. And remember, most of them have money and are NOT afraid to spend it!

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