The Most Important Person in Your Company?

Who is the most important person in your company?

Hint: It’s not the CEO, the CFO or even the CMO.

It’s the receptionist.

Come again? You heard me.

The receptionist. The person that greets people as they enter your office or when they call on the phone is the person who sets the tone for what the brand is about.

They are one of the most important people you can hire. And they are the first person you should fire if they are not embodying your brand values.

If you are considering hiring a company, or perhaps working there, spend a few minutes lingering in the reception area. I guarantee you will learn more in a few minutes than you would during hours of pitches or interviews.

A few weeks ago during my first visit to a particular agency I had an experience

When the Customer is Wrong

Usually the mantra is “the customer is always right”.  Great brands go out of the way to resolve issues…often bypassing the details of who is wrong and who is right in a quest to prove customer love and win long time loyalty.

Well, one brand, Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, took a decidedly different tack.

Not only did the call out their customer for bad behavior. They made a public (albeit anonymous) spectacle of her.

The offense? Texting in a movie. Take a look at this video posted on YouTube which features the angry customer’s call to the cinema’s voice mail after she was ejected from the theatre for texting. I promise it’s worth watching.

In this case, the theatre made the conscous decision to sacrifice the love of one customer to gain the respect (and business) of many.

As someone who abhors the glowing lights from texting in my movie watching experience I applaud their efforts.

Given the amount of views from YouTube (2.5 million at last count), I’m guessing the “customer is wrong” strategy paid off in this instance.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

Was the Alamo in the right or should all customers be treated with respect?

Feel the Love

What do a camp counselor, a massage therapist and a an admissions nurse have in common?

They love their jobs.

How do I know? Well I don’t exactly. I didn’t ask them. But I did interact with each of them recently.

And I walked away feeling that they did.

Because their enthusiasm, attention to detail, and thoroughness completely transformed my experience.

And it reminded me of the simple, but nevertheless true,  fact that more than anything, people matter.

Make Every Job Count

Here’s a great story about the power of one person to brighten the day of so many others. It’s about Johnny, a supermarket bag boy, who decided to make a difference in his customer’s lives and inadvertently started a movement within his store.

Warning, put this on mute while watching. The story is told in screen titles and the music is so cloying it undermines the message a bit.