I was recently standing in a hairdressing salon (Hair Matters) in Clontarf, speaking with Joe Bell (the owner). Earlier that day Joe had been to a training session with Liz McKeown who’s described on social media as a ‘Beauty Business Expert.’ Joe and Liz had spent the morning mapping the customer service experience. Each contact point that a client has with a hairdressing salon, from initial appointment through to the goodbye, was sketched in some detail. Turns out that even a simple issue like having your hair cut offers 11 ‘contact points’ where the service provider can be a hero or screw up in the eyes of the customer. It’s hardly a new idea. The legendary book ‘Moments of Truth’ by Jan Carlzon, detailed the business turnaround enacted at Scandinavian Airlines Systems (SAS) and was on the executive best-seller bookshelf in the late 1980’s. But, for me it’s never about whether an idea is new or old; it’s whether it adds value or not! Consider the following:
Arrivals Hall: We were standing at the carousel in Terminal 2, waiting to pick up bags. An older man standing beside us realized he’d left his mobile phone on the plane. He mentioned it to a stewardess who was waiting to collect her own bag. She immediately went back to the plane (10 minute walk) and retrieved the phone for him. Great service. Low key, simple, effective. A short time later we were standing in the taxi queue with our youngest daughter, Nicole. 3 adults plus 2 bags. The taxi guy ‘gave out’ to me about the hard shell suitcases we were using. Apparently they are “a taxi man’s nightmare” (who would have known?). When we told him we were going to Clontarf (a €25 fare) he went into a complete meltdown. On the drive home he told us how long he’d been waiting at the airport for this “tiny fare.” I was trying to make eye contact and warn him ‘not to mess with Linda’ when she’s in the throes of jet lag. She said: “I didn’t realize we were causing such inconvenience. Drop us back to the airport and we’ll get another cab.” There wasn’t too much small talk in the cab after that intervention. Within the space of ten minutes, we’d witnessed two extremes in customer service.
Old Stuff: Maria Antoinette supposedly said: “There’s nothing new in the world, except what’s been forgotten.” Being easy to do business with is hardly a revolutionary new idea. But it is a great old idea. How long is it since you took a hard look at how your business interfaces with customers? Now here’s a thought. One definition of a customer is ‘someone who hasn’t found a better solution yet.’ There’s a ready-made New Years Resolution right there!
On a warmer note, Happy Christmas to you and your family. Thanks a million for keeping up with blogs and the various rants throughout the year. I hope Santa brings you something nice. Enjoy the time out with family and friends. Remember to keep focused on health foods i.e. lorry into the Red Wine and Dark Chocolate.
Next Blog: January 1st 2018. I know – you can barely contain yourself!
Focus Ireland: Tom Jordan has contacted me about a Focus Ireland initiative to raise money to build 31 family apartments in St John’s Lane, Dublin 8 for people who are homeless. You might be having an event over Christmas and decide to do something. Full details of the project are available at: https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/let-s-house-a-family
PS Lighter Note: Could a single glass of wine offer a peaceful, uninterrupted nights sleep? Life is sometimes stranger than fiction. There’s a new Wine for Seniors (I kid you not). Clare Valley Vintners in South Australia produce Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio wines. They have now developed a new hybrid grape that acts as an anti-diuretic. It’s expected to reduce the number of trips older people have to make to the bathroom during the night. Perhaps the new wine will be marketed as Pinot More? Yes, you heard it through the grapevine.
Q: Why do they put barcodes on the sides of Norwegian military ships?
A: To help ‘Scan-da-Navy-in’ (say it fast).
Christmas Bonus: Matthew Ladrigan sent on the following observations just in time for your Christmas Crackers….
“Hardback?” she asked. “Yes, and small heads”, I said.
Q: What do you call a cow that can’t produce milk?
A: An udder failure.
“Dad you haven’t listened to a single word I’ve said, have you?” What a strange way to start a conversation I thought.
A friend of mine lost his job at the mint factory….His wife went absolutely menthol.
Never trust someone with graph paper. They’re always plotting something.
Dad: “Son I don’t think you’re cut out to be a mime artist.”
Son: “Was it something I said?”
Dad: “Em, yes.”
Somebody complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note saying ‘parking fine’.
6.30 is hands down the best time on a clock.
I just made up a new word. Plagiarism.
Don’t you just hate it when people answer their own questions? I do.
Check our website http://www.tandemconsulting.ie or call 087 2439019 for an informal discussion about executive or organization development.