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  • Writer's pictureDJ

What Else Don't They Care About?

Several years ago, on a flight from London to Rome, I found myself sitting next to a lady whose final destination was a capital city in Eastern Europe. In the course of our conversation I asked why she’d taken this route when she could easily have flown direct. Her choice had nothing to do with cost, convenience or the charms of an Italian detour. This option cost more and took longer, bringing inconvenience and no pleasure.

Her explanation was illuminating. Some years before, this lady had flown direct from London to the same Eastern European city. Shortly after take-off a meal was served, and she gently twisted the latch to release the table on the seat in front. To her shock, the latch twisted right off into her hand. She told me the next three hours were the most uncomfortable travel experience of her life, and she swore never to fly with that airline again in any circumstances.

Because if the airline didn’t care about the quality of a seat fitting, what else didn’t they care about?

It’s a familiar theme for many of us in service industries. Whatever the client’s line of work and whatever their specific needs at any given moment, it’s a service partner’s job to deliver seamless, unobtrusive support. In many cases, the good service provider is happy to go unnoticed. If you’re managing a company payroll, the less you hear from the workforce, the better. When people are paid accurately and on time, they go home quiet and happy. Take money out of their pockets and you’ll soon hear all about it.

And it’s not just the big mistakes you need to avoid. It’s the little ones too. Because you don’t want your customers asking what else you don’t care about.

If the restaurant menu is tatty and stained, how do I know the food will be cooked properly?

If there are typos in this contract, how can I sign it with confidence?

And if there’s anything sub-standard about this airline’s facilities, how do I know the plane will stay in the air?

Successful service providers don’t make unrealistic promises to give customers a false sense of security. We offer an authentic sense of security by paying attention to detail. And we don’t get to choose which detail is important. That’s up to the customer, and it’s out job to deliver start-to-finish quality that gives them no cause for concern.

What else don’t they care about? That’s a bad question to have people asking about you. Luckily you can fly safely above it.

A customer’s train of thought can lead them to positive places and negative places. And once the train starts moving in the wrong direction, it can be difficult to turn it around.

People will pay more and wait longer for a professional service if they can see that the alternative is something unsafe and damaging. Customers don’t always want the spectacular. Often they don’t even want the noticeable. Never underestimate the value of simple, unobtrusive competence.


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