Make my day!!

Having a bit more time on my hands these days I have the pleasure of helping one day a week with my daughter’s school crossing.

This week I asked my youngest daughter Edie and her friend to say good morning to everyone who crossed.

Though both were anxious at first, eventually they got into the swing of it.


Simply because being outwardly friendly to someone, even those they completely did not know, got an outwardly friendly response and more – smiles, changes in demeanor, changes in body language; ‘the works’ really. No negativity whatsoever.

kia oraReally it’s not hard.


Say hello the first time.

Try and get their name in as well the next time.

And then move on up to asking how they are doing or wishing them a pleasant day.

At no cost, you feel better too.

Observe carefully and you’ll notice most awkward moments are created by what we don’t say rather than what we do – it’s just that we take more note of the few awkward moments we create when we say the wrong thing.

Little things that can have a big impact.

What’s your ‘school crossing’?

Who can you share this simple gift with?

If not this, then how will you Make ‘my’ day?





Authenticity keeps the buck coming

Wise and Authentic
Contrariwise (hat’s off to Lewis Carroll) to my earlier post on poor service (see ) this post outlines great service.

Recently I was boarding an Air New Zealand flight on a small plane. We had been delayed some 30 minutes. The co-pilot greeted us in typically awful Wellington winter weather with a cheery smile and personalised greeting (which I was so surprised by it only registered as I boarded the plane).

Once everyone was onboard the co-pilot then came down the aisle checking seat belts and stopped at the woman in front of me and asked if she would like him to place her suit bag in an empty seat.

Then through some form of telepathy by the co-pilot the conversation went

“ Is it a dress?”


“Is it a wedding dress?”
[pullquote]His ‘clients’ were moved, mostly, without knowing why.

Passengers/strangers were still talking as we walked to the terminal at the end of the flight.[/pullquote]

“Yes” Big smile

“When is the big day?” ( 4th June )…

By this stage all 16 people on board had forgotten they were 30 minutes late.

There was laughing and smiling and for me it was the most relaxed I’ve ever been on a delayed flight.

This guy shouldn’t be trying to get his pilot’s stripes, he should be head of customer relations!

This wasn’t canned “have a nice day” this was authentic behaviour and it shone through. His ‘clients’ were moved, mostly, without knowing why. Passengers/strangers were still talking as we walked to the terminal at the end of the flight.

They’ll all come back to Air New Zealand

And it is that simple.

Be authentic and you can change all manner of things.

Be authentic with your reports, your peers, your clients, your not-yet-clients.

Look out for people like this co-pilot in your organisation. Recognise the value they bring by being who they are. Do all that you can to keep their spirit alive and well. Help them to make it viral.

(Incidentally this all happened on the same morning as the coffee incident in the post referred to above)

The buck stops here

Ringing or not?
No customers. I thought this would be easy. Rising from my seat at one end of the counter;

“Hi”, with a pleasant smile and my $5 in front of me, “could I have a flat white please?”

“You’ll need to come down to this end of the counter where the till is (10 metres away).”

Possible responses:

1. Certainly, my apologies, I didn’t realise I was inconveniencing your business so much by bringing my custom.

2. Would it be possible for you to bring the till down here?

3. I’m sorry I must have misheard you I thought you asked me to do something for you?


The last of these – I say nothing. I’m walking away. The person behind the counter thinks I’m the one with the problem. This is my clear favourite.

Businesses excel when they relentlessly lookout for their customers and ensure their personnel do as well.

‘Front of house’ can be the first or last hurdle in your business, either way it is critical. Invest, train and reward well. It is integral to your product (cars, professional services, industrial equipment, coffee – no difference).

Clients know this. If you ignore it, you’ll never know who you never knew.

Imagine if the response was:

Big smile –

Certainly Sir, have a seat I’ll bring your change. How about a yummy warm muffin with that?


A large one today Sir? (Gee, do they recognise me?). Can I get you anything else? It’s a bit quiet today (Actually this wouldn’t happen; everyone would be in line for the great service).

The outcome:

You double your sale.

The customer is guaranteed to return.

Clients buy service, if you don’t believe me go and buy a new Mercedes.

Why create exceptional and sell ordinary (or worse)?

Be clear about where and how your product/service is sold – make sure the buck doesn’t stop there.

No thank-queue

The Ghost of customers past

Ever been pleased to be in line?

Not likely.

Hospital surgery waiting lists are a rare example where queues have a benefit – in this case priority treatment, though renaming them ordering lists may be appropriate.

Ironically the most obvious example of frustrating queues is the doctors’ surgery.

For example – If a patient at the doctors is kept waiting for 10 minutes and this continues throughout the day (4 patients an hour for 8 hours), this totals 5 hours and 20 minutes of client waiting time , daily per doctor.

No wonder we are called Patients!

It’s easy to fall into the trap of giving extra time to clients when you think you have a bit to spare, but the point is – you don’t – and certainly your ‘other’ clients don’t!

The twist is – the problem is often phasing (you got behind once) not supply (Doctors) or demand (Patients).

Re-modelling the doctors’ surgery;

You ensure the first client finishes on time, the next client is quick saving you 5 minutes, the third client who could do with a bit more got 20 minutes as you got underway early, you still finish on time.

And so it goes; at the end of the day probably everyone got what they wanted, got what they needed and many will be delighted, no-one actually waited for their appointment.

It’s the same practice, clients, length of day; just a truly customer centric model. I’d go back to this one and tell my friends.

Where is the waiting room in your company?

• Unanswered phones?
• Orders not fulfilled or taken?
• Calls not returned?
• Queues?
• Appointments not honoured?
• Customers waiting for an update?
• Customers who don’t know you care?

Find your bottlenecks. Address them and you may well create a supply and demand problem!

The remedy is seldom as difficult as you think.


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Il blog (allargato) di Marco Angeletti