Did you see Feargal Quinn on the Saturday Night Show the week before last? He was promoting his new book ‘Mind Your Own Business‘. As you probably know, Senator Quinn is one of our heroes, we so agree with his philosophies on the need for and value of good customer service, not to mention the fact that he endorsed our book! Always eloquent, he talked about ‘What is Customer Service’ when discussing his book.
Senator Quinn provided a wonderful quote when he was on the show, apparently it is based on a Chinese proverb ‘If you can’t smile, don’t open a shop’. How true is that? I think we have all walked into a shop to be met by a scowling shop assistant who clearly didn’t want to be there. How did it make you feel? It made me feel unwelcome and unwanted and I just left, without buying anything. Staff with sunny smiles who are delighted to be helpful are a godsend!
One tearoom I love to visit is that run by Madeleine Forrest at Ducketts Grove near Carlow. Open on Sundays at the moment (all weekend soon as the weather improves). Apart from the hot chocolates being scrumptious and the cakes delicous, it is Madeleine’s smile and cheery welcome that really makes the tearoom a place to enjoy wholeheartedly. We all know what makes a house a home – cheery smiling staff can transform a tearoom, a shop, a business.
I mention this too as I’ve been keeping an eye on Cissy, Matthew’s girlfriend, who is working with us for the time being. She’s been rude to a customer already which is inexcusable but her demeanour just hasn’t been what I would describe as welcoming either. They say never work with children or animals – I think the same goes for girlfriends/boyfriends!
Back to Senator Quinn’s book ‘Mind Your Own Business – Survive & Thrive In Good Times and Bad’ – it is based on his series ‘Retail Therapy’ as well as his own valuable experiences over the years. He believes that businesses can thrive at any time, even in a recession. The book provides steps to follow and chapters include Innovation, Meeting Customers Needs and Succession. It is going on my ‘soon to read’ book list!
Good customer service (and smiling staff) are an extremely important part of your sales and marketing. Do you think your staff are your number one key to success or failure?