Feb 10, 2016
I had to go looking for my degrees the other day to substantiate something for our RTO (Registered Training Organisation)
space. Despite my search, I couldn’t find what I have done with them in a recent move. What I did find though, in the myriad of paper clippings I have collected over the years, was a quote that I often tell people about in our Excellence in Service
course but thought I had lost. It came from an article in the Sunday Telegraph published in January 1984 (when I was at uni the first time around) and I’ll tell you who it’s from at the other end of the quote.
I am the fellow who goes into a restaurant, sits down patiently and waits while the waitresses do everything but take my order.
I am the fellow who goes into a department store and stands quietly while the sales staff finish their little chit-chat.
I am the fellow who drives into a petrol station and never blows his horn but waits patiently while the attendant finishes reading his comic book.
Yes you may say I am a good guy but do you know who else I am?
I am the fellow who never comes back and it amazes me to see you spending thousands of dollars every year to get me back when I was there in the first place and all you had to do was show me a little courtesy.
For those of you born after 1984, you probably can’t connect with the notion of driveway service at the petrol station but I assure you they used to be called ‘service stations’ for a reason. Anyway, I am sure you can all relate to the other two situations and the general sentiment.
It costs five times the amount to get a new customer as it does to keep an existing one and the chances are that the better the customer feels about your organisation the more they will spend over the life of being a customer.
Customer service people and reception staff are often the lowest paid people in an organisation and yet they are often the glue that binds customers to your organisation. An investment in their skill training is an investment in your customer retention as well as a way of retaining good staff who may burn out if they do not have the skills to adequately solve difficult situations; where the customer is then retained and happy.
So who was the quote by?
Some of you that are of my vintage may remember Tony Packard from Tony Packard Holden in Castle Hill. His catch phrase at the end of his ads was, “Up the Windsor Road from Baulkham Hills and let me do it right for yoooooooou!” I think it is now called Castle Hill Holden.
The article that the quote above is taken from was saying how Packard was an immigrant to Australia from Britain (referred to as a £10 Pom) and how he had become super successful by keeping in mind the idea that the quote puts forward.
The unfortunate epilogue to this is that Packard was busted eaves-dropping on his customers with electronic audio equipment and escaped back to England red-faced and reputation in tatters.
Perhaps his new quote was:
I hope not!
In any event, it does not diminish the message of the quote for customer service and its relevance to modern day businesses.
…oh, and we do teach ethics in our management classes!