Small Things

I sent Bob Likely at Sherwood Volkswagen a note this morning, suggesting that he ask his service techs to return the driver’s seat to its owner’s position after a service call. This after having the Jetta’s 8000 km service done this morning, getting back into the car, and mungling my knees on the steering wheel.

I sent the letter only to be helpful, and because I’m pretty certain they’ll actually act on it. Since I’ve been dealing with them (largely at the recommendation of readers of this website), I’ve always found them both helpful and also responsive to feedback.

Sometimes when I wonder about why businesses don’t worry about these “little things” more, I have only to think of my own business.

I know that when things get action packed and stressful, the first things to go by the wayside are the little things: the call to a client just to see how they’re making out, the development of minor new features and conveniences in applications, never requested or even imagined by a client, but wonderful and time-saving when they see them.

It’s not that during these times I’m not offering my clients good service. It’s simply that I’m not offering them excellent, above and beyond the call of duty service. And that is the kind of service I aspire to offer. And indeed the kind of service that I hope everyone would aspire to offer.

And so a suggestion. Stop what you’re doing right now, and take 5 minutes and call one of your clients just to see how they’re making out. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to improve the service you’re offering them. Ask them how their business is making out. Ask them if there’s anything you’re not offering them that you could. Ask them how their kids are doing.

I guarantee that this will make you feel good, make your client feel great, and will probably teach you 3 or 4 things about your business that you didn’t know.

Take Off

Bob and Doug Mackenzie Although I enjoy neither beer nor back bacon, I defy anyone to say that Take Off [4.3MB MP3], by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas (aka Bob and Doug Mackenzie) and Geddy Lee is not a brilliant song by any standard. “It’s like it was sung by angels…”

Better Life

No doubt by now you’ve seen the Foundation for a Better Life advertising, either on television or on billboards. It’s easy to confuse the TV ads with those of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: they both run ads for apple pie concepts like truth, beauty and light.

An article in portland indymedia sheds some light on the big money behind this campaign.

By the way, if you’re interested in Mormonania, check out this movie about their vault in the middle of Granite Mountain.

Access PEI

Ironic given that I created the system that lets you do it online, but I have a perverse attraction to the annual trip to renew my car registration. It’s a rite of passage.

While in the USA this process is difficult enough to have become a stock item in the repertoire of most stand-up comedians, I must say that I’ve always found it goes quickly and painlessly here on the Island; the staff at the Access PEI centre in Charlottetown are pleasant and efficient and always a pleasure to deal with.

Indeed the entire Access PEI program looks to be working out very well, due in no small part to the efforts of Mark Belfry and his staff.

If you ever have a problem at an Access PEI site, or a suggestion as to how service can be improved, drop Mark a line; I’ve always found him receptive to any feedback.