Customer service that money can’t buy


A photo of a cup of coffee.
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Do we really believe in customer service strongly enough to take the actions that are required to make the changes?

In my experience, the answer is that in the majority of the cases, unfortunately not. And the reason for not making the changes is not because they shy away form doing the hard things necessary.

It is because people (managers, executives and staff) think their service is OK when it actually sucks.

Moonyeen and I witnessed the rare exception.

We took a break from our office and had a quick bite to eat at Red Rooster. (I know, I know…)

We were planning g on buying a roll there (each) and then have that and our coffee as a lunch in the park. (If you have been to Kiama, you know what a treat it is – even if you live here.)

I bought the coffee from our favourite coffee shop, while Moonyeen got the rolls. We then headed to the park. As it happens, it started drizzling, so we headed back to Red Rooster where we could sit al fresco, bit under their awning.

An elderly couple were trying to cross the street, when the owner came out from behind the counter. She approached the passersby (note – they weren’t even customers) and:

  • warned them about he slippery paving

  • offered to them to sit down to wait out the rain

  • AND specifically said they did not have to buy anything


In the meantime, we were sitting there too. We had a coffee form a different shop; and while we were eating her rolls, I know of many places who would not hesitate to move you on if you dared bring food that was not purchased on the premises onsite. She did not blink an eye.

On the other hand, we went shopping for some new beds. We were in a hurry and had limited time to make comparisons. We had been into 2 shops when we walked into a national chain, where we proceeded to wander through the store.

My 12-yo son was walking down another aisle, and his eye was caught by a touch screen unit. He pressed it and looked at what was on offer. (We were buying him a bed as well, and in our family he would have some say about the final purchase.)

BEFORE we were even approached by a staff member, one of them chastised him for touching the unit – which presumably was installed for that very purpose. I know that kids can run riot in a shop, but you will just have to take my word for it that his behaviour was in fact no different than mine would have been if I had used the unit.

My wife and I turned around in unison, called him over and walked out of the shop. No scene and no fuss. We returned to shop 1 and promptly spent $7k.

  • What is REALLY the difference between these 2 businesses?

  • How many times a day does that happen in your business?

  • And do you know if and when it does?

  • Or do you just think… good riddance?


I know which of these two people I would rather have working in my business.
Because the honest truth is, an attitude like that is something money can't buy.



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