Giving A…

This morning I had breakfast with a mate who is the CEO of a fast growing business. We were discussing the many aspects of success and agreed that, in the same way that our waitress enthusiastically sprinkled the pepper over our poached eggs with a smile, the essence of success in business is giving. Not the giving of advice, freebies, or of giving more than a client expects. These are accepted standards. The giving we were talking about was far more fundamental. It’s the “giving a tinker’s cuss” attitude that permeates all other forms of giving.

As clients and recipients of any service, we’re always aware of how we are being greeted and treated.

Recently a friend of mine, Noel, was asked to undertake a mystery buying exercise for a medical practice. The practice was getting negative feedback on its overall service standards and wanted to get to the heart of the matter. When Noel entered into the practice it didn’t take long for him to identify the first point of failure. He walked up to the reception desk. The receptionist was on the phone. Noel waited patiently but the receptionist did not even smile or in any way acknowledge Noel’s presence. She just kept talking.

What was worse was that the call was clearly a personal and social one and had nothing to do with the practice. Noel waited patiently. He got to the magic two minute mark – still no acknowledgement. He leaned over the counter and spotted a pair of scissors in the stationery caddy. Grabbing the scissors, he took hold of the phone cord and cut it. The receptionist was clearly shocked. “Now that I have your full attention I’d like to make an appointment to see a doctor please” he asked.

The total lack of care given by the receptionist is just one of the many examples we all experience or hear of every day. It’s the grunt instead of the welcoming smile, it’s the follow up phone call you are promised but never get. It’s the small things that make the biggest difference.

But to do the small things, you have to give a tinker’s cuss.

You have to care.

You have to adopt an attitude of “How would I like to be treated?”.

Every business is a service business. As owners we service our staff, clients, shareholders, etc. As staff we service the business, clients, colleagues, and so on.

If we give a care we get it back. Clients return. They begin to rave about us for the right reasons. But we have to give. And a tinker’s cuss is where it begins.


Ak Sabbagh

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