Sometimes when we do the same job day in and day out our eyes gloss over the most obvious. In this story it was the golf cart that I overlooked.
Recently, I found myself doing a tremendous amount of outside site clean up after hurricane Mathew and my golf cart became the tool of choice. A “work horse” so to speak. We mostly had down limbs, leaves, pine needles and trash littering the site. The golf cart became my main tool for transporting debris back and forth to the dumpster. The golf cart hauled and towed debris for a solid 6 hours!
After the site cleanup was done and feeling pretty good about a job well done a prospective customer came in and wanted to see a 10x20. No problem I said…lets hop on the golf cart and take a ride. I try to take all customers on the lot and use the time on the cart to try to make a “personal connection”.
However, as we were climbing aboard this golf cart the customer said “boy I see this cart has seen better days”. I wasn’t sure what he meant at first? In my mind the cart had spent the last 6 hours performing flawlessly cleaning up after a major named storm. This cart has never let me down I thought? Instantly, I realized how embarrassed I was about customers riding on this filthy cart. The cart was filthy dirty and somehow my eyes had glossed over the scummy film covering the golf cart. I failed to realize how desperately the golf cart needed to be cleaned up and detailed. Though the golf cart was my tool of choice for site clean up the customer saw it when a totally different lens.
Some managers have the luxury of having two golf carts. One for riding customers around and one strictly for doing grounds work. If you are like me, and you only have one golf cart, it must do double duty! It must get work done around the site and then simultaneously ferry customers around the property. I realized right then that having a clean golf cart is another component of the good customer service experience.
Customers come to our storage facilities and expect them to be clean. They want clean in the office, the restrooms, the drive aisles, and even the golf cart! In most cases, we only get one opportunity to make a first impression. Maybe a dirty golf cart would not be a deal breaker; but after that comment I am now in the habit of keeping my golf cart clean. Of course I knew having a clean golf cart was good practice; but I suppose driving it every day made my eyes gloss over it.
My suggestion to all managers new and seasoned is to ask yourself when the last time you cleaned that golf cart. Detail the heck out of your golf cart and if it doesn’t shine or clean up nice then talk to whomever makes decisions and discuss getting a new one!