I have just spent a week on Norfolk Island, a lovely island community with a great history, wonderful people, fine food and some of the best scenery in the South Pacific. This tiny island has survived for over 150 years being self-sufficient with its own Government under Australian administration. But something went terribly wrong, and they were forced into a situation where Australia was able to take them over completely and they are now having to deal with new laws, incoming officialdom and the Australian income tax system.
This is all foreign to the business community, and they cannot see past the end of the 30 June financial year when they will know for the first time how much tax they will have to pay. They all now need accountants to work that out for them which is another expense. So understandably, the good folk on Norfolk are worried, and it shows in their reluctance to spend money, and sometimes in their attitude to their paying customers and clients. Several times we struck some very user unfriendly people in retail and service, who seemed intent to drive custom away, rather than helping their customers to buy their products.
So what is the point of this article? Simply that no matter what is bothering you, when you are in the public eye you need to have your ‘A’ game on display every day. Like the woman who served us in a shoe store who just bubbled with enthusiasm about her products, and sat cross legged on the floor chatting to us while we tried on her shoes – or the fishing charter skipper who was easy going throughout, even when we lost some of his gear. Both of those people had the same worries – I know because I talked to them about it – but they didn’t let it detract from the jobs they had to do.
Norfolk Island is a small place - population 1700 and anything between 100-500 tourists per week. Those tourists talk among themselves and we heard from many others about the poor attitude of those same businesses.
Remember the quote from Jurek Leon in my April newsletter:
“In customer service your job isn’t to smile, it’s to put smiles on other people’s faces.”
So, no matter what is worrying you at any one time, try not to let it show because a happy face and enthusiastic attitude will endear your customers to you rather than drive them away.