It’s a normal workday. You drive to work, park your car in back and walk in through the “company” door. Just like any other normal workday but today I invite you to walk in the same way your customer does. Walk in through the “Customer Door.” Conduct a “Sparkle” inspection.
A Sparkle Inspection? What’s that you say?
Let’s step back a moment, back to your Foundational Statements – you know… your Mission, Vision, and Values. I’ll bet that somewhere in those statements there are references to customer satisfaction, quality, high levels of performance, that sort of thing. Maybe you wrote those statement because you felt obliged to impress someone, maybe you felt you were expected to mention these customer-friendly attributes, or maybe you wrote them in because you were sincere about wanting to impress your customers and prospects (or at least not turn them off because of slovenliness. Either way, it has probably been years since you inspected, really inspected, your physical location for “Sparkle.”
So, you walk into your place of business through the “public” door. Does that door have greasy fingerprints all over it or is it inviting? Does the entry look and smell like a used ashtray with cigarette butts (and their smell) sticking out of a flowerpot? Is the carpet clean? Are the plants healthy or do they look like they are about to perish in the middle of a desert drought heavy with spider webs? Does the public area appear to be part of a successful, bustling business? If not it’s definitely time for a change.
If you have a waiting area, it is clean, tidy, and orderly? Is reading material strewn all over the place or neatly arranged attractively? Are lightening fixtures clean or dusty? Are chairs lined up or do they look like a horde of teenagers have camped out for a day or two? Are there dust bunnies in the corners?
When you inspect the work area, does the work area pulsate with a busy hum with tools, work-in-progress and finished work orderly or does it look like chaos?
More importantly, once you have made any necessary changes and your business sparkles, how are you going to keep it that way? One small, local company formed a three-person committee charged with inspecting the public area the first Monday of every month. They go through a checklist and post it. Corrective measures are taken to insure they sparkle… always!