When times are tough like now do you remember the business that gave you an ok product but left you feeling a little let down and tell your friends about it? Or do you think of the companies who gave you that little bit extra and made you smile?
Even the smallest company can do a lot to ensure that their good deeds are passed on. Here's a small example of how a humble fish and chip shop could have left a great impression on my friend but instead left her really annoyed.
Feeling peckish she entered the local Fish and Chip shop, which by the way has a great reputation for good food, and sat at a vacant table. After sitting a while she was asked to move tables as they were expecting a lunchtime rush and as she was sat alone the tables wouldn't be used efficiently. A simple enough request. Just badly handled by the staff member making the request. Because as it turned out the rush never happened.
My friend ate her fish and chips and left, there was no apology for making her move for the phantom lunchtime rush, no free cup of tea, no extra slice of bread and butter, no voucher for her next visit, nothing other than a disgruntled ex-customer who may well have gone on to tell all her friends about the amazing way she's been treated in the Chip Shop.
But now what does that chip shop have? One less customer who's already started telling people about her experience. And each one of them will think twice before visiting that chippy again.
I guess the lesson is when times are tough turn up the service to 12. Empower your staff to go that extra mile because every customer counts now. There's no room for bad products or service anymore.