THE PIZZA OF INDIFFERENCE

So I drop by one of my favorite pizza shops (which shall remain un-named but perhaps just for the time being) to find “no one” working behind the counter.

I wait a few minutes, and then ring the bell (just in case the person is out back) but no one answers. I wait for a few more minutes before someone comes over and say’s “I saw the guy walk away about 15 minutes ago”

Now, out of principle I decide to wait. More people join me in waiting.

Finally the employee shows up, and I say, “Wow, we’ve been waiting 15 minutes at least.” His reply, “What kind of pizza do you want?”

I repeat, “You know we’ve been waiting here for 15 minutes and…” He cuts me off say’s “I’m leaving the company next week so I’m on my two weeks notice…do you want some pizza or not?”

So I continue, “So because you’re leaving, your current employer is entitled to only half an employee…are they paying you half your wages? Imagine if in two years you apply for a company and I’m the CEO of that company…wow, wouldn’t that be interesting?”

At this point he won’t look me in the eyes, and finally I order my slice of pizza (which thankfully is right in front of me so I can verify no spitting has occured).

The others in the line smile widely in my direction, I’m guessing because I didn’t let him off. Now, I know confronting someone like that isn’t always wise but I guess when you get tired of employees having indifference to their customers AND the people paying their bills, every now and then you want to try to make them consider their actions.

I have also sent word into the employer of the pizza shop as I would want to know about this as a business owner, if even to try and prevent it with future employees.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, the pizza still tasted as good as always.

And so, after sharing this story, I’d like to ask you an important question: How do act when the leader is not around OR if you are the leader, do you know how your employees are acting when you’re not around?

Something to consider isn’t it?

Until Then, Yours in Success, Corey Poirier

To learn more or book Corey for your next event, please visit www.coreypoirier.com or contact us at bookings@coreypoirier.com

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THOSE FRIGGIN’ TATTOOED SERVERS…

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…
cpoirier
http://www.coreypoirier.com

UNCOVER BOSS – CUSTOMER SERVICE FOE OR FRIEND?

I just received an email this morning (Happy 2012 everyone, by the way) from someone who read my post on shopping from yourself. He said, “Do you think the show Uncover Boss has been a good example of that? Do you like the idea of Uncover Boss or think it’s just another way to capitalize on the Realty TV craze?”

YES AND YES.

Actually, I do like the idea of having a boss at a major company disguise themselves so as to work within their organization to see what it looks like from the inside out. AND, it (the show) being popular means that the average viewer gets a better understanding of what a business looks like behind the scenes and perhaps gains an appreciation for how things look (not always so rosey) behind the camera and maybe gains a bit of empathy for the business owners doing things for the right reasons.

I also think it’s great because it might give more CEO’s and Business Owners the idea that they should have a great understanding of how their business is operating from both the inside out and the outside in, and whether their customers are being served properly.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, I also think it’s another way to capitalize on the Realty TV craze, much like The Apprentice (and Richard Branson’s short lived Rebel Billionaire) was / is.

What I wonder though is how come nobody wonders why there is so much focus on this new employee, and how do they (the producers / cameramen / women) get so many great camera angles without everyone else wondering why this new employee, who sometimes holds a striking resemblance to somewho who looks very familiar for some strange reason, is getting so much camera attention…

“Ah, but the person I’m thinking of doesn’t wear a hat or have a partial beard so it must be all in my mind,” They must say to themselves.

Well, must be the same situation as Clark Kent / Superman.

I mean those Lenscrafter frames were more than enough disguise to fool Lois Lane, so how would hundreds or thousands of employees ever figure out that the boss could be posing as a New Employee?

I guess the big challenge is in keeping them (employees) from watching or realizing that such a show exists in the first place – for then, they may have a sneaking suspicion that it could be going on in their very company…

But I digress, I’d say Uncover Boss is an customer service friend, even if it just means that I don’t accidently find myself watching Big Brother or Jersey Shore…

Until next time,
cpoirier
www.coreypoirier.com

A GOOD MOVE OR BAD MOVE BY SEARS?

By now you may have heard that Sears has closed some US stores but in Canada say’s they will improve Customer Service in the stores rather than close or sell any stores.

Below you can read a column citing Sears Canada as an organization to emulate or study when it comes to serving customers effectively.

http://sbinfocanada.about.com/cs/marketing/a/custservretail.htm

Below this sentence you can read a release about this development at Sears.

http://www.therecord.com/news/business/article/646209–sears-canada-aims-to-improve-shopping-for-consumers-no-store-closures-planned

My question is whether YOU feel stating that “we plan to make the shopping experience better” is a good statement or bad statement for Sears to make? i.e. does it say that the experience wasn’t good before to customers who have been supporting them until now OR does it say we’re always looking for ways to improve the experience for our customers?

I’m not judging one way or another – would just love to hear what others thing / feel about this move?

Until then, here’s to GETTING STANDING OVATIONS FROM EVERY CUSTOMER,
Corey Poirier
http://www.coreypoirier.com

GIMMIE MY BISCUIT…

My Mother’s Mailman (well Mail-lady actually) used to arrive every-day with a dog biscuit for the Black Lab that My Mother had for 9 years.

I think it’s safe to say that she didn’t receive any financial benefit as a result of taking this extra initiative, however, she sure had fans in my Mother and my Mother’s dog.

Had she went into business for herself after all those years of going above and beyond, and had my Mother discovered this, isn’t it safe to say that my Mother would be a major supporter in helping her business grow?

Want to know why more people don’t go this far? Check back later this week for my opinion on this.

Until that time, perhaps you might like to think of a way that you can create fans for your personal brand like this Mail-Lady did with my Mother and my Mother’s dog, and also like this lady, without expecting anything in return.

Until that time, onwards and upwards,
cpoirier
www.coreypoirier.com

WHO IS REPRESENTING YOUR COMPANY

When was the last time your purchased from your own company? In other words, when was the last time you put yourself in your customer’s shoes and called or shopped (or had a friend shop and report back) at your company while looking at things from your customer’s perspective?

With a New Year upon us, perhaps it’s the perfect time to test your company’s service levels, delivery, product, and so on by putting yourself in the buyers seat, evaluating your own company, and making changes where (or if) necessary.

Until then, here’s to your greater success,
cpoirier
http://www.coreypoirier.com

ONE SECRET TO BUILDING A CULTURE THAT SUPPORTS WORLD CLASS SERVICE

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
http://www.coreypoirier.com

PROVIDING WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE LOOKING FOR…

If you want to become the supplier that customers flock to, you have to fully understand what those customers are looking for, and serve accordingly.

The following is an excerpt from my 2010 interview with Cora Tsouflidou, founder of Cora’s Breakfast Restaurants.

And when asked why customers are choosing Cora’s more and more often, she adds, “People are looking for a quality, unique and tasty food experience; and Cora’s serves that up daily. We are really just answering the demand for Healthy Food in a desirable package.”

Perhaps that explains why the Cora’s Franchise group (at the time of our interview) is comprised of 115 stores across Canada, and providing paychecks for 4,000 people.

That’s what happens when you place your focus on your customer’s needs rather than your own.

Until next time, here’s to your greater success,
cpoirier
http://www.coreypoirier.com