SLASH Your Normal Service Strategies


A couple of weeks ago, I saw SLASH (Yes, the Slash formerly of Guns N’ Roses and formerly of Velvet Revolver) perform at the Award Winning Northern Alberta Jubilee Theatre.

First, let me just say that it was a world class performance by a world class performer in a world class theatre.

These days though, with my customer service hat on, I always watch performances to see if the performer delivers on all four of my steps for delivering an A+ Customer Experience.

Let’s put SLASH’S performance to the test.

Step # 1: Making it about the customer? Yes. They played everything from GNR to Velvet Revolver to Slash’s solo CD’s.

Step # 2: Involving the customer? Yes. They continually asked the audience if they were having fun, commented on their previous experiences in the same city, and asked the audience to sing along many times.

Step # 3: Being in the moment? Yes. Didn’t see SLASH or any of the band checking their blackberries or I-Phones between songs

Step # 4: Delivering the wow? Yes. SLASH’s solos alone took care of this, but there brilliant performances of classic GNR tunes like Sweet Child of Mine and ParadiseCity (with Myles Kennedy nailing Axl’s voice to almost to a T) certainly didn’t hurt either.

So, now that we know SLASH (and many world class performers) deliver all four steps to creating (and delivering) an A+ Customer Experience, it’s time for you to ask whether you’re organization (or the company you work for) delivers on all four as well.

Until then, here’s to your greater success,

Corey Poirier

Note: To learn more about these four steps and how you can incorporate them into your company’s experience, or to book Corey for your next event, feel free to visit or contact us at




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…


I’ve seen Spoken Word Artist and Punk Music Icon Henry Rollins in Concert twice (once in a spoken word capacity and once in a performance capacity).

The former in Halifax, Nova Scotia and the latter in San Francisco, California with Rollins Band.

I then interviewed Henry for our Island Business News Publication last year.

I have also watched most of his spoken word videos.

Something I noticed is that Rollins gives everything he can during each performance to make the experience one to remember for his audience (customers).

The big question is of course, is it working?

Well, my girlfriend, who attended the Spoken Word show with me last year, and a person who didn’t even know who Rollins was months before, sat focused on every word for almost 3 hours without as much as a bathroom break, despite needed the bathroom for the last half of the show.

Just think of the impact to our careers or business community if every single company could achieve that level of interest in our products or services?

And just where did Henry learn about the importance of making it fully about his customers?

Well, I’m sure a lot of it is rooted in who he is, however, he shared a story at his spoken word show about speaking with David Lee Roth (yes, the jumping singer from Van Halen fame, and of course from The David Lee Roth band fame) about the importance of treating your customers (audience) like a million dollars during every single performance.

He said, and I’m paraphasing at best here – David said to me that “every person (aka. customer) who buys a ticket to your show is actually buying an agreement with you. Part of that agreement is that you will be fully there, in the moment, with those customers, giving 100% to every single aspect of your performance, during every show”

In relation to customer service, truer words may not have been spoken, and it may surprise you that it was Roth who passed along this insightful wisdom, but bear in mind that Roth’s participation in early Van Halen played a big part in why their concerts where among the more successful concerts (and concert experiences) of the time, and even perhaps a big part of their concerts grossing close to $100,000,000 during their recent reunion tour.

So, how can we apply this knowledge?

Once we start to realize that if a customer puts their faith in us and purchases our product (or even our brand), we have an obligation to give that customer 100% of our attention, focus, engagement, and to serve that customer with as much passion as we can during their interaction with our company, or at our place of employment, we’ll be much further along in our success in making each of our customer’s experiences all they can, and should be.

And bear in mind, we are customers too, and therefore, if we can improve the overall experience for our customers, it will eventually come back to benefit us as well.

Until that time,

Details on our new book at