Recently I’ve had a customer who didn’t pay some of my invoices, and then when I noticed and chased them up it was still a bit of a struggle to get the money out of them.
Over the 20 year’s l’ve been doing training, the maybe 200 customers I’ve trained, I’ve only had three who’ve done this, three cases where I’ve actually been worried that I wasn’t going to get paid. Nothing to do with the quality of the training, and probably (?) not a deliberate ploy on their part, but just inefficiency in their systems.
And it dawned on me that all three of these bad customers had something in common – they had shambolic carparks / reception areas / head offices. They would say things like “We don’t waste money on a posh head office that customers won’t even see”. The car park would have old pallets, or an overflow of work in progress, or lots of finished stock piled up, and on my next visit a few months later often the same old stuff would still be there.
So I’m starting to think that if there’s a dead rubber plant in reception it’s a sign that everything is going to be ropey.
This is not a PR photo, it’s from google street view. It’s ALWAYS this clean and neat.
The buildings are immaculate, reception is immaculate, even the bits you don’t normally see like the store rooms and the toilets are immaculate. Even the people who run those companies are always smart-looking. And sure enough, everything they do is spot on, all the staff are well trained, every promise is kept, morale is high, and the companies are a pleasure to deal with.
So I think there’s no such thing as a culture of quality that’s selective – “Our products are great but our building is a tip”. It’s all or nothing. I think you really can judge a book by its cover.
What’s YOUR reception like?