Phew! Now that the big long title’s out of the way, I can excitedly say that this lady has had acrylic nails put on. Yes I know, many of you get it done often so it’s not really something to celebrate but I haven’t had them on in a little while so excuse me whilst I point, hold and tap my fingers on the table just for the fun of it.
Where I had them done
I had them done at Hollywood nails at the Metrocentre in Gateshead and although I’m quite pleased with my nails, I do have to say that I didn’t enjoy the experience of having them done. I would have thought that in the ten or so years (yes it’s been that long!) that I’ve been absent from the circuit, that the things I hated about nail salons would have ben long gone but they haven’t.
Things are still the same, nail powders are still dipped in a clear addictive-smelling liquid and plopped onto your nails and the people still behave in the same manner. The fact that I’ve moved halfway across the country adds more weight to the latter opinion. I’m not going to bore you with a really long intro but here are my reasons for finding trips to the nail salon a pain:
How time-consuming the experience is
Why is it that something that can take about twenty minutes will actually take an hour? My nail extentions actually took an hour and a half to be inserted from start to finish, can you believe it? I felt like I’d have to take a half-day off next time just so I could have my nails done and it shouldn’t be like that. I get that there may be queues or it may be busy but the business should be able to accommodate such fluctuations accordingly but they don’t. Instead they just walk around with a laissez-faire kind of attitude thinking that we have all the time in the world when guess what, we don’t. I have my toddler’s endless questions to go and answer and my partner’s ‘I still can’t find it’ to go and resolve.
Their private conversations
Ok, I hate the fact that people have to put disclaimers before touching what is potentially a hot topic but I am not discriminating and I am not racist. I don’t like the fact nail technicians tend to speak primarily in their mother tongue whilst in the presence of their bread and butter (customers). In fact, I say this in regards to any business out there that has multiple people in employment who speak the same language. Not only is this rude and not a good look but it has the potential to exclude their customers and unknowingly create barriers between both parties.
I say the above as someone who speaks Portuguese and limit speaking it when around those who don’t speak the lingo. The practice of speaking their mother tongue must be kept to a minimum if their customers are to feel comfortable and happy whilst on the chairs.
The old switcheroo
This relates to the first point above;
I was greeted by the receptionist, chose what I wanted and had a seat. Within minutes I was on the hot seat having my nails filed and clipped.
And that was it for about ten minutes. What initially was “just a minute, please madam” whilst the technician looking after me went off and roamed around the salon turned into ten whole minutes before several other nail technicians came, took a look at my hands and walked off nonchalantly. Eventually the same assistant came and inserted the acrylic onto my fingers….
And then they left. Again. Nope, the salon wasn’t all busy, there were empty chairs with no customers to serve and lots of twiddling technicians doing absolutely nothing.
After what seemed a lifetime at this stage, a different technician came and shaped the acrylic on my nails down before sending me to wash my hands and then head over to the nail polish section where I was then met and served by someone else.
Some nail salons or bars give you the impression that they can make any nail design possible and in any colour. Their shelves are stocked ad infinitum with different nail polishes but not all is what it seems. Some of the nail polish bottles are just repeats and all of those nail design dreams that you had prior to stepping foot inside the salon crumble into tiny pieces ready to be hoovered up along with your filed nail dust.
Set your expectations prior to visiting your local salon to avoid disappointment and if you happen to find a nail salon that does just as you want them to, never leave them because the acrylic grass may not be necessarily greener on the other side.
Lack of customer rapport
Does your local nail salon know who their regulars are? Do they make conversation with both old and new customers? Sure, not everyone wants to make conversation whilst having a service done because they’re being paid to be quick and efficient, not your best friend but a little conversation goes a long way and may even result in a loyal customer.
This loyal customer would most likely sing your praises not only online but to friends and family too and then boom, what started out as a conversation about what you’ll be up to later that evening has resulted in you getting multiple customers.
I see that new stylish nail bars are popping up inside flagship stores like Topshop. I’ve never had them done there but it would be interesting to do a like for like comparison.
So what say thee? Do you agree with the five reasons above? Let me know which one really grinds your gears and/or if you have any more reasons to add to the table.