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Are Your Customers having a Nice Day?

Some years ago, I worked in the corporate world in the US, and after 3 years I, my wife and two kids were to be transferred to the UK. My employer had engaged an international moving company which would handle the packing and transport of all our possessions. The same company would handle the unpacking in the UK.

As we had accumulated a lot in the US (they make it really easy to spend your money there) it was to take 3 days to pack and remove everything. Each day, the packing team arrived promptly on our doorstep at 8am lined up behind their leader. They were neatly dressing in crisp uniforms. The team leader explained each day what they would be doing and they proceeded to work.

The packers, if they had a query about an item, asked politely about how we wanted them to be packaged, even our children’s precious items which to the uninitiated looked like junk. They were always polite and courteous. Each night they cleaned away any mess, and explained what would happen the next day. While moving is always stressful, they did everything they could to make the move as painless as possible.

After a family holiday in Disneyland we flew to London to be reunited with our possessions. Once we had found a house, we organised the UK removalists to deliver and unpack everything. Again it was to take around 3 days. The difference with the US team couldn’t be more stark. We didn’t know when they would turn up each day, or who would turn up. The team were constantly complaining about their management in head office. They didn’t know who was supposed to be there either. There was constant swearing. While, at my wife’s insistence, they didn’t smoke in the house, they took regular smoko’s and reeked of it. She couldn’t wait to get them out of the house, preferring to do the last bits ourselves rather than dealing with the very unpleasant employees.

The job was physical and repetitive. If the US team didn’t enjoy their work, they didn’t show it. On the other hand, the UK team resented the work, and probably us, and didn’t try very hard to hide it. While the nationalities were different, culture is still set by management.

After this experience, I decided that I preferred to be told “Have a nice day by someone who may not mean it than sod off by someone that does.”
Would you ever recommend a business with such a split personality and what are you doing to ensure that yours doesn’t have one? Every contact of your staff with your customers is a moment of truth for your business.

Are your customers having a nice day?


May Your Business Be – As You Plan It.

Dr Greg Chapman – The Profit Whisperer

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 by Helen Chapman

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 by Helen Chapman