How Are You Showing Up To Your Customers?

By Sharon Worsley

As always, even if I am just walking down the street, or sitting on a subway, I am on the lookout for how businesses are ‘showing up’ to their clients or prospective clients.

I see too many wasted business opportunities around me to not just WOW a client, but just to give a decent level of service.

The challenge is that too many clients have accepted mediocre service and consider it good or great service. As a result, many business owners do not spend much time, if at all, considering how their business is being perceived by the outside world.

Now maybe it is just me, having worked many years ago for one of the best airlines in the world at the time (Qantas) where, when I worked in Sydney, Australia, we were constantly measured on how we provided customer service to our passengers.

From the moment someone walked into a local travel centre to book their trip to the moment they got off the plane at their destination, we (all of the employees – no matter what department) were all about the experience.

In fact, when someone walked down the street in a Qantas uniform, even if they were not a member of a flight crew, but someone that worked in the travel centre like I did, people would stop and look at you, because working for that company at that time meant something.

That something was service excellence and experience.

Experience is a word I find quite lacking in businesses these days, and that is an unfortunate scenario. I don’t even find many companies looking at the quality control of their client’s experience with their company, product and/or service.

This past week I went in to visit my local coffee shop, on my way home. This location has been challenged over the last several months due to the construction of a subway system below its location.

As such, for the next few years that area is going to see a reduction of customers walking by, due to part of the street corner being blocked off on two sides, with construction equipment and wire fences in front of this stores’ location.

If I was the franchise owner, I would be very concerned, but at the same time make sure that each customer that enters my store has a great experience.

Well, it seems that this is a low or no priority for this store because as you will see from this photo (insert photo # 1), there is a municipal garbage can right outside their front door. Due to construction, the city put a black plastic cover over the container, so that it would not be used. This is because they would not be able to come up alongside it to empty it periodically.

However, the locals don’t appear to care about this and still throw their garbage, including coffee cups from this establishment on and around the container.

Now, you might think…”what does this have to do with this franchise, they are not responsible for littering in the area?”

You are absolutely right they’re not responsible for cleaning it up. However, a savvy business owner would see the possible side effects of having such a site right outside the front door, and then instruct their staff that while they are cleaning out the garbage inside the store, that they would also now be responsible to ensure that there is no garbage outside or around their front door.

What would it really involve to have this taken care of…not a lot more work than the employees should be doing in keeping the inside of the store well maintained.

And just imagine over time how much more garbage is going to pile up in this area if no-one removes it. Right next door to this coffee shop is a major Canadian bank. Their front door is close to where you see the people in the background walking.

Even in their case, it would be wise of them to arrange for their nightly cleaners to clean the garbage away, as people have to travel that route to get to the bank, which is situated on the corner of the street under construction.

And in the case of this coffee shop there is one other photo I want to share with you. This picture (insert photo # 2) is of the buttons that operate the doors for the elderly and disabled.

The button to the outside door has been missing for several months, yet nothing has been done to fix it.
At the very least, what would it take for the store management to go to the local printer, across the street and have a laminated sign done and then hung above the missing button to advise patrons that they are working on replacing the button and apologize for any inconvenience caused.

To some of you reading this, you might think it is a small thing, but do you really want to risk showing a lack of respect or importance to your clients?

What I see in many businesses is that they don’t really have a set of standards for how they run their business, especially for the seemingly small things. They let these little things like a missing door button or garbage right outside their front door, eat away at their reputation with their clients, without considering how this will eventually affect their bottom line.

Points to Ponder:
– Where in your business right now should you be examining how you are potentially showing up to your clients?
– What types of upgrades or standards are needed right now in your business?
– Do you have a code of standards for your business, and are all your employees acting upon them?

Sharon Worsley, The Business Development Ninja™ is the creator of the R7 System™ to Flood Your Business With Clients Today, Tomorrow and Beyond, helping businesses to ‘Wake Up, Shake Up, and Show Up’. To learn more, please go to www.sharonworsley.com

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