Optimum Results

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Rose Coloured Glasses

April 13, 2023

Rose Coloured Glasses

I am reminded of an eye opening bit of research we did some years back when I viewed a short video by Denise Lee Yohn, When’s the last time you were your company’s customer”?   (‘Smartbrief on Leadership’, April 12, 2023)


In summary, our relatively informal, but sizeable, piece of research in the Retail and Service business sectors showed very clearly that there is, or certainly can be, a big difference between what managers perceive they are delivering by way of Customer Care & Service and what the customers actually perceive.  On average this was about 40% but in places it was very much higher and, the Customer Perceptions’ www.CustomerPerceptions.ie experience of nearly 2 million customer feedback over 28 years, would suggest some of the causes include:


  • Typically, managers are too busy with other duties to focus on this critically important aspect business and the real level and quality of Customer Care & Service being delivered.
  • In some cases, line managers are not the best trainers of Customer Care & Service as they do not have the necessary competencies (knowledge, skill, attitude & behaviour)
  • Working close to colleagues, many of whom are friends, it is easy for managers to observe staff behaviour and attitude through “rose coloured glasses” and not facilitate corrective interventions
  • Despite volumes of research and information, so many Retail & Service businesses seem to still not understand the power of Customer Care & Service in creating superior competitive advantage. They spend vast sums on the building, fixtures & fittings, technology, stock etc but neglect building and maintaining a Customer Care & Service Culture.


From our very significant experience working in this field, Customer Perceptions unearthing the issues & challenges and the Optimum Results’ team providing training I would highlight two additional points…

  1. Some 86% of the money spent on training is wasted! Sometimes it’s because the training is of poor quality or not addressing the specific issues in need of competencies building, but for the most part, the training is fine but we fail to convert ‘Learning into Action’ and facilitate the required change in behaviour and attitudes.
  2. Prioritising ‘best practice’ HR & Recruitment Policies & Systems, steadily building a dynamic Organisation Culture, relentless Training and constant monitoring will provide you with a superb Return on Investment (ROI), this is not a cost, it is an investment and will significantly improve your business performance in this every more competitive environment in which we operate.



Written by: Aidan Harte

April 13th 2023

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