When you’re sitting in front of a customer, are you focused on who is front of you, or on who’s NEXT?

High achievers (including high achieving customer service providers) are present and in the moment during every interaction; especially with their customers?

Food for thought, isn’t it?

Until next time, here’s to your success, Corey Poirier

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Recently, I was speaking to a group about Getting Standing Ovations from Every Customer and an attendee asked me, “…and don’t you hate how every second server today has a friggin’ tattoo?”

Now, this may be a controversial answer to some (and this blog may be as well) – but I replied, you know what I hate more than tattoos? Someone who is dis-interested in whether or not I, as their customer, walk away from their business with a smile on my face.

To go one step further, what’s on a person’s body is less important to me than how that person makes me feel (insert pun here) and someone having a tattoo, or many tattoos, in my opinion, has very little to do with my experience at their business.

Why I bring this up is I was in a drive-thru today and I noticed the server had a large gawdy looking white band-aid on, and I recalled that she had it on during my previous visit over a month ago – I thought to myself, wow, that is taking a long time to heal and then I realized her employer had her covering up a tattoo. I asked her to show me the tattoo and to be honest, in my opinion, the band-aid looked much worse than the TAT itself.

I next thought to myself, interesting how they’ll let staff members walk around with a frown on their face, dis-interest in their voice, and a poor attitude, but make the best server they have cover up a tattoo.

I’m not judging them or saying it’s wrong to have them cover it up, as that depends on the nature of their business, but perhaps at least a skin coloured band-aid at least.

My next stop was at a service station where the friendliest employee had a tattoo on her inside finger. I just noticed it barely and most wouldn’t have, but I asked her to show it to me as well. Anyway, coolest tattoo, super friendly employee – I’ll be back.

As you can tell, in my opinion, an employee having a tattoo has little to do with my experience as a customer, and in fact, often, the person with the tattoo has me leaving with a smile on my face more than ones without.

And besides, I think if you’re bothered by someone having a tattoo also having a job or career, you’re going to have to start staying at home more often – because it’s becoming much more accepted.

I stopped by a pharmacy the other day and the head pharmacist had a large tattoo right there on her wrist running into her forearm. My doctor has a tattoo on his ring finger.

As the picture for this post indicates, I now have tattoos on the tops of my feet (all in the name of getting the story).

And one of my fav. tattooed women (Kat Von D) has become a very successful (and respected) entrepreneur, and even gives talks to troubled youth and so on.

IMO, The bottom line isn’t whether or not an employee has a tattoo or not, it’s whether that tattoo impacts their level of service (not your perception of whether it does) and I have yet to see a case where the tattoo itself has negatively done that.

Besides, I think it’s difficult to argue that Tattooed business people have received standing ovations from their customers for many years.

Think Ozzy Osbourne, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, Spoken word artist and Punk Legend Henry Rollins, Pink, Lenny Kravitz…most of these performers (whether you’re a fan or not, or whether their off-stage antics are questionable or not) have been receiving Standing Ovations from “Their Customers” for years – tattoos or not.

So perhaps a good summary would be – maybe it’s time to start worrying more about the employees with the frowning faces and poor attitudes than the ones with tattoos.

And if you’re worried that having employees with tattoos with impact your business in a negative way, show your customers you care and ask their opinion?

I’m not saying to then let go of a good employee with a tattoo if your customer is bothered by it and if there is a solution (I don’t want to get the human rights orgs. after me), I’m just saying at least then you’ll know whether a solution is needed (like covering the tattoos with a gawdy band-aid!), and you can act accordingly.

But just make sure you also consider doing something about the dis-engaged employees who don’t want to be there in the first place at the same time (or before)!

Just one man’s opinion mind you,
Until Later, have a Rock N’ Roll Day…


The Following is an excerpt from our 2010 interview with Customer Service Guru John Dijulius of the Award Winning John Robert’s Salon.

Noted John, “From the first day, we knew we wanted to be completely focused on our customers, and that it was the best way for us to launch and grow the business, and that was partially driven by my desire to understand how an organization like Disney could engage a staff of close to 50,000 people on a daily basis. Once I got my feet wet in the business of serving with excellence, I started to understand that the companies that get it right more times than not, these organizations are typically the ones who are already good at it, and they are obsessed with serving the customer effectively. The funny thing is, the ones who need it most, those are usually the ones who won’t invest in it, and feel it’s a waste of money. It’s kind of ironic, isn’t it?”

Isn’t it funny how the organizations who are already doing a good job at serving with passion continue to invest and those who may be struggling don’t see the value?

So what’s the secret I’m referring to? Invest (personally or professionally) in creating a world class level of Customer Service.

Food for thought, isn’t it? If you want to be and operate at a world class level, you need to emulate what the world class providers do.

Until then,
Corey Poirier


I recently interviewed New Brunswick based speaker, and branding expert Gair Maxwell, for an upcoming edition of Island Business News.

As a side-note, Gair is opening for Gene Simmons along with Nova Scotia based singer / songwriter / social media speaker Dave Carroll this coming Friday in New Brunswick at Gene’s only Atlantic Canadian Appearance on his branding talk tour – how cool is that? More details about Gair’s involvement can be see at the link below:

Now, back to the task at hand. Before interviewing Gair I picked up a copy of his new book Nuts, Bolts and a Few Loose Screws, and after the interview I read the book from cover to cover. In the Mid-Feb. Edition of Island Business News I’ll be reviewing the book.

In the interim, let me just say that a quote in the book really speaks volumes about the power each employee has over the customer experience. It’s actually a quote by branding guru Seth Godin.

The Quote: “All the magazine ads in the world can’t undo one lousy desk clerk”

Wow. Powerful. And best of all, true. My question to you is, does the experience you deliver (at the front end or the back end) match the expectations promised to your customers in your company’s ads? If not, what can you do to change that? And yes, this applies even if you don’t own or run the company – your actions should still match your customer’s expectations.

And why did I go through all of the trouble to mention Gair and his book when the quote was by someone else (and reprinted in the book)?

Because all of the brands that Gair singles out in the book (almost without exception) have more than just a great, well defined brand in common – they also obsess about customer service and do their best to ensure that they don’t have many (if any) lousy desk clerks.

To that end, it’s a great read if you want to learn more about how great brands become great and how they also serve with excellence.