Customer Service: Talk to Me – Don’t Talk to Me

Here’s a little checklist for every Customer-facing business. Nothing on the list costs very much money (just commitment, and time); however everything on the list will definitely make you (more) money. And – before you read it – please don’t assume you do all this already, or do it well enough. With the greatest respect, I’ve read too many Customer Promises and experienced too many one-sided Service encounters to believe that there isn’t a single business that couldn’t benefit from reviewing this list.

Attention To Detail

On Sunday I spent a very pleasant hour in a local café – inserted into the crypt of a stunning renaissance church, the café offers period ambience, wholesome, tasty food, great coffee, the papers, and fast, friendly service. Every detail has been carefully considered to create a memorable, highly recommendable, venue. Attention to Detail

Whilst I was queueing for my lunch, however, I noticed one small detail that wasn’t quite right:

No Training? No Gaining!

This quote by Tom Peters sums it up:

“Why is your world of business any different than the (competitive) world of rugby, football, opera, theater, the military? If people/talent first and hyper-intense continuous training are laughably obvious for them, why not you?”

It seems so obvious, and yet, in “our world of business” we face a daunting obstacle to greatness: our own attitudes, and those we accept from others. When it comes to Customer Service, we accept mediocrity, and, too often, we deliver mediocrity.

Trust and Thomas Cook

The news that Thomas Cook has donated £1.5m to Unicef in connection with the deaths of two children during one of its package holidays in 2006 may abate the media storm surrounding the company. On the other hand, the cost to its reputation over the past nine years is incalculable.

Awakening the High Street – with a SPACE MAN

So my bottom line is that people are the key variable in any High Street regeneration initiative, and will ultimately determine the success of that initiative. At this point it seems appropriate to point out what happened to Tesco when it forgot that!

It’s my contention then that, the foundation of any High Street strategy or action framework – be it Portas, Grimsey, POSITIVE, a Town Toolkit or whatever – needs to be a SPACE MAN: