Keeping Up Appearances

When Jan Carlson took over the reins of Scandinavian Airlines, he identified “Moments of Truth” –the moments when customers form an impression of the business. If a customer saw a coffee stain on a tray when it was pulled down from the seat back, Carlson knew that the person’s first thought would be, “Oh my goodness, I wonder if they remembered to service the engines.”

That same attention to detail has taken many companies from also-ran to extraordinary. And ignoring those details can take you right back into the pits just as fast.

One of the most profound impacts an employee can have on customer perceptions is their own personal appearance.

It’s true that looking your best takes effort. But more importantly, it shows effort. If you greet a customer with your hair uncombed or your clothes wrinkled, it speaks loudly of a lack of effort. The customer can’t help making the subconscious connection between that moment and the rest of the company. If no effort goes into the appearance of the front line, I wonder if any effort goes into the products and services?

So each morning on your way out the door, take a quick glimpse in the mirror. If the face staring back at you is not the image you want to be promoting, turn around and make it right!

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