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Qualifying the Customer

Written by John A G Smith – Fri 07 Oct 2016

There are many techniques used to provide good customer service. Our blog writer John A G Smith is a fountain of knowledge and using his experience tells us about just one of these........ if you want to learn more enquire about one of our private customer service courses.


No problem.  When you stay in ‘Business Hotels’ this is a familiar scenario.  Each morning, in a very short time span, a hundred business people arise from a hundred (or maybe fewer) beds and head for the showers.  The hot-water storage tank gives up its contents in short order and those at the back of queue, or the top of the building, go cold.  But good hotels, understanding this high demand, will have boilers that can cope so within a few minutes a heater with the power of a small thermonuclear device will restore the status quo and my day’s business will be back on track.......

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Leathered Alex Polizzi Helps Businesses Get Their S**t Together

Written by Heather Buckley – Fri 24 Feb 2012

I really enjoyed watching The Fixer last Tuesday on BBC2. With her usual style and panache, Alex Polizziadvises a failing family car repair garage, Guidebridge MOT in Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester.


Honestly (some would say brutally) she administers her hard truths about customer service, organisation and marketing.

When the fleet inspector arrives (fleet work is the name for servicing done for companies with many vehicles to service), he tells her that he likes to find the s**t in people! This is apparently an acronym for:


  • Sincerity
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Trust

With usual sharp wit, Alex responds “so you want me to help them get their s**t together.”

Customer service has never been more important in my opinion. The family were under the impression that their customer service was good. They then demonstrated otherwise by keeping customers waiting without any explanation of when their vehicles would be ready. Not only that, but customers were made to wait in an area that in her own words “one would want to slit your wrists in”.

In the training business, there are times when clients need answers to questions that only trainers can respond to, so sometimes although we prefer to give all clients immediate responses to their questions we may need to wait for a response ourselves. It is important at all times to keep the customer informed of progress. A polite email or phone call is all it takes to explain any delays so the customer knows exactly when they can expect what they are looking for. It is imperative to keep communication going, nobody likes to be ignored.

A lack of marketing seems to be a common theme in the series. Alex suggests to the garage that they revisit an old idea “Women at the Wheel” where women were invited to a free session enabling them to learn to change a tyre, fill their oil and water etc. Everybody loves a freebie, and if it encourages potential clients to revisit you, even better.

Once customers receive a great or free deal, you have built a relationship with a potential paying client - you now have their trust and have gone a long way towards sorting your s**t out!  These potential clients are much more likely to come back, and loyalty is what you are looking for especially in the service industry.

The highlight of the programme for me was when Alex turned up to the “woman at the wheel” event dressed in leathers.

Alex Polizzi in Leathers

I loved the look on the daughter's face when she emerged from her car!

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