(We’re excited to welcome Ryan Patrick as a contributing editor to The Daily Blur. He’s not only handsome but a mighty fine writer. You’re going to like him. A lot. You can check out his growing archive of posts here.)
Come and listen to my story ’bout a man named Hank.
Truth be told, Hank is not his real name. I’m not protecting his identity. I simply can’t remember his name.
“Hank” owned a western store. He sold clothing, furniture, decor, and other odds and ends to folks who lived the western lifestyle (or fair-weather country music fans who wanted others to think they lived the western lifestyle).
In my previous life, when I was the production director for a cluster of radio stations, I interviewed Hank for a series of radio commercials I was producing for his business.
Our conversation kept coming back to customer service. Hank was big on customer service. He rattled on and on about how he and his staff went above and beyond to treat everyone who walked through the door like kings and (rodeo) queens. I was sold. Hank convinced me to make customer service the theme of his radio campaign.
The commercials had been airing for about three weeks when I decided to visit his store. I wanted to see this legendary customer service with my own eyes.
You see where this is going, don’t you?
When I entered the store, nobody said a word. No “Hello” or “Howdy, Pardner.”
As I walked through the store, nobody asked, “Can I help you?”
In fact, the (part-time, teenage) girl behind the counter wouldn’t even make eye contact with me. In her world, I didn’t exist.
After ten minutes of quiet, solitary browsing, I left the store empty-handed.
To this day, it’s the single-worst shopping experience I’ve ever had.
It drives me bug-nuts bonkers when a company advertises one way but then totally acts another way.
Hank was all about customer service. Sadly, his staff was not. Hank assumed every member of his team shared his passion for putting the customer first. He was wrong.
Even worse, Hank’s radio ads promised listeners they would be treated like royalty in his store. I left his business feeling like the court jester.
Hank failed to coach and train his staff in the goals values of his business. Goals and values are the foundation (as illustrated in Tim’s Soon-To-Be-Named-By-You Thing) of a successful business. Messaging is the final step. Like many, Hank did it backwards.
Goals and values come first. Your marketing must then mirror those goals and values. But, as Tim recently wrote, “None of it happens without a company surrounded by people with shared values and all eyes and hearts looking, thinking, feeling, and working their way toward the same goals.”
I wish I could share this wisdom with Hank.
But he’s no longer in business.
(Enter early. Enter often. Win an iPad Mini, books, or bacon. Go ahead. Name Tim’s thing at www.NameTimsThing.com)