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One of my oldest and best customers has a vehicle hire business. He started trading the same time I started and has built something¬† imprtruly impressive. From just a few vans, he now has many hundreds, spread across five depots all over Lincolnshire. On top of all that, he’s also a really nice guy.

We do spare keys for his vans and are always impressed with how new and clean they are when customers hire them. On top of this, his staff wear uniforms, are professional and helpful. I gush about this because it’s rare, and his company stand out by a mile.

However, there’s a problem that every customer see’s, feels, experiences, that really let’s the business down.

His main depot in Lincoln has a standard UPVC door, that’s looks in good condition, but it’s been well used. It’s the original door from when he started out, used by many thousands of people. When you turn the handle, it gives way, as if broken. This sloppy,¬† wobbly handle has been like it for two years. Every customer experiences this, it’s one of the initial contact points, even before meeting the staff.

Does a wobbly handle really matter?

Well, yes I believe it does. I noticed this because the rest is so professional. However, this wobbly handle stands out every time I visit.

We all have wobbly handles is our business, I certainly have them in mine and not just the one. Our reception has seats for customers to sit and wait. The chairs rub on the plaster board wall leaving a gouge along the wall. I see this every day and it would take nothing for me to sort this out. However, I’m blind to it. Likewise, the van has a piece if side skirting missing, the unit door needs painting, but again, I don’t see these anymore.

When you start your business, try and think what your customer will see and hear on contact with you. Will it impress them? Will it make them question whether you care at all about how they see you?

This month is for spring cleaning. I’ll be looking at wobbly handles in every part of my business, it’s the little things that people notice.


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