I think a lot about the Values that businesses have (or don’t!). Values drive behaviour, and behaviour determines how your customers feel.
Someone visited our house the other day to give us a quote for some flooring work we are having done. We’d previously been to their showroom, made preliminary selections (the person behind the desk made notes of our choices and offered to deliver them to our home so we could have a look in situ) and asked for a visit to measure and quote. The person arrived at the appointed time and measured up very efficiently. So far so good.
However nobody called us the day before to confirm the appointment, and while the sample books we’d requested were delivered as promised, the notes on which samples we’d chosen seemed to have disappeared – so we had to start again. The person who came along didn’t introduce himself, so I couldn’t tell you his name if I wanted to. I’m left feeling that the products are probably fine, and technically the firm are probably fine, but I don’t feel they really care about the impression they make on customers. Or if they care, it doesn’t show. So how do I feel about placing an order? So-so.
On the other hand Tom Bowles of Hartley Farm found himself in the national papers (Daily Mail to be exact) because one of their writers had such a good experience there. Tom’s family runs a farm, livery and farm shop/cafe at Winsley near Bath. They have around 30 in the team, many part time, and Tom has put lots of thought, effort and training into the Values that are important to him, and how he wants his team to behave as a consequence. This is what Bel Mooney picked up on when she visited, and wrote about in the national press. If you’d like to read her short article, follow this link (you have to scroll down to the bit about Turkeys at the bottom!).
Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the value, the business has just had their best ever year for sales. Well done to Tom and the whole team at the Farm.