Service With a Smile

Many years ago, I was privileged to spend a week in Mauritius with my parents. One morning, my mother and I were taking a casual stroll on the beach when we were approached by this handsome, smiling turbaned gentleman with the most charming French-Creole accent.
He introduced himself as Omar Shariff and proceeded to lure us into his grass-thatched store on the beach and gave us a sales pitch that I have never forgotten. It was like being in the presence of Sher Khan from The Jungle Book, he was so mesmerising, white-toothed and sing-song voiced. It went like this…
“Ladies, my shop is your shop. Your happiness is my happiness. My wares are your wares…and your money is my money!”
He deserved an Oscar for charm, sincerity and persuasion. Despite the fact that we were wind-blown, hot and sweaty from a long walk on the beach, he made us feel like we were the only two people who mattered in the whole world. We wanted to hand over all our rupees simply for the entertainment value – sadly we hadn’t taken any money with us!
It strikes me that there are two sides to service – the person giving the service and the recipient of the service. My challenge is to ensure that I am de-serv-ing of excellent service. After all, “you never touch people so lightly that you do not leave a trace” (Joy Tabor Millin).
When I run my marketing course (Marketing Your Business Without Spending a Cent©), one of the areas that I address is Touchpoints – a multi-disciplinary strategic marketing approach that simply looks at all the points of contact that my clients or students could have with their potential target market. Just as importantly, though, we need to consider contact with those who could impact the decisions of our potential or existing target market, as well as take into account those people who could BECOME our potential target market. It starts to boggle the mind, doesn’t it?
Basically, a rule of thumb needs to be: treat everyone as being equally deserving of your respect, and be congruent in your actions.

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