Thursday, November 6, 2014

Perception and Pulling the Weeds

Perception . . . it's what ultimately may make or break you.

What customers see, hear, touch, and smell may be the things that put your organization over the top of another.

A good example.  Have you ever noticed the hitching posts on Main Street of Walt Disney World?  Probably not.  That's because they paint them every night if needed.  They're nicely painted, no scratches, no gouges.  Do you think you'd notice them if they were all beat up?  Most likely.  Disney wants to be known as a clean and well kept destination.  And they are.

How many times have you walked into a barbershop, Doctor's office, restaurant, or other business and the first thing you see before even entering are weeds in the planters - that are supposed to hold flowers?  You may also see signs falling down, cigarette butts on the ground, filthy windows, portions of lighted signs that are burned out, hand-written paper signs on the doors and windows, employee vehicles parked where customers should be . . . the list goes on.

The point is, that this is part of the businesses Brand (good or bad), and all of these things form your perception of the service and leadership of the establishment before you even enter!  But it doesn't stop there.  The interior is just as important, if not more.  You may have the better service or the better food, but the guy across the street with the more cared for appearance may have more customers.

Put yourself in a customer's shoes.  Make a weekly walk through with a clipboard and make a list of everything that needs attention.  Better yet, create a checklist of things to look for so you don't miss any.  Just remember that none of this does any good unless you actually tend to the difficiencies.

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