Head and Shoulders Shampoo Was Right: First Impressions are Important

I recently had a Twitter discussion regarding those who judge good or bad customer service and/or food based on one visit. This all stemmed from a tweet by local bakery Bubby Rose’s Bakery. I’ve included the tweet below:

So, as a critic, am I being too harsh on businesses by judging them on my initial experience? If I had a bad experience at your business, should I be thinking: “you know, maybe the employee was having a bad day and I really should give them another chance.”

Hell’s NO!

It’s not up to the customer’s level of patience and understanding to determine if your service was crap. The fault lies with the business. If you can’t provide good to great service every single time, you need to rethink your approach. There is far too much competition out there for my money, for me to make excuses for your bad behaviour.

Like the Head & Shoulders Shampoo slogan from the 80s, You never get a second chance to make a first impression. And it is true, something may bring your customers back after a so-so experience – good food, great atmosphere or that desired “second chance” that Bubby Rose talked about. But truthfully, if you don’t impress right out of the gate, there’s no reason for your customer to return.

The only difference between me and the others that aren’t happy with their initial visit…I have a blog. They just quietly don’t come back.



  • I completely agree! I am likely to give a second chance if I like the product but there are several businesses in this city I simply won’t walk into again because of poor service, whether it was once or repeated. My husband compared it to stubbing one’s toe — it hurts and it doesn’t make sense to keep kicking the wall to see if it hurts less the second or third time.

    • Thanks for the comment Cheryl. Business can’t blame their customers for not coming back. If an employee is having a bad day and it results in a bad experience, it’s not mandatory for the customer to think this might not be usual.

  • Shocking tweet posted in your blog! Businesses are setting themselves up for eventual failure if they cannot spot a learning opportunity. I may have told you this before, but my old Supervisor used to say “Give me the angry customer. Give me the person that is unsatisfied. I will do whatever it takes to get that customer back on our side, it’s an opportunity for us to learn and improve.” He was outstanding when handling escalations. We no longer work together, but we still bounce ideas off each other all the time.

    • Unsatisfied customers provide an opportunity to correct misinformation and to learn something as a business. Great approach by your supervisor. I’m hoping he was striving to talk to fewer and fewer angry customers. 🙂

      • Sorry for the delayed reply. Yes he was striving to reduce escalations. In a sense he taught me how to de-escalate customers, how to turn things around. I’m not too proud to say I heard comments like this, “Why didn’t I get you the first time I called? Can I talk with your boss? You deserve a raise!”

  • I’m one of the ‘quietly didn’t go back’ for that exact place…

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