DURING the holidays one of my business partners and I went into a branch of a major bank to deposit funds into our joint bank account.
The teller would have taken first prize in the incompetence and rudeness department - not only was she surly, she was also unable to handle a simple transaction.
Fortunately for us, the adjoining teller became aware of the situation and volunteered to take the transaction over.
She was absolutely wonderful in every way.
To cap it off, an hour later we got a telephone call from the bank manager apologising for the treatment we had received.
By this stage you may be wondering about the point of the story. It is simply this - if we had experienced only the first teller we would have said the bank offered terrible service, if we had experienced only the second teller we would have said the bank offered brilliant service.
It doesn't matter how big or small your business is, the staff that your customers encounter will be the perception they have of your business.
There are many businesses that I deal with on a regular basis, and one of the main reasons I continue to return to them is that the staff treat me well and handle everything efficiently.
This year may be a tough one, but no matter how bad conditions are, the businesses that thrive will be the ones with the best trained staff. It is well recognised that a good person on the front desk can double the turnover of a retail business.
The lesson is simple - this year make sure client relations are your main priority.
Noel Whittaker is a director of Whittaker Macnaught Pty Ltd. His advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions. His email is email@example.com.
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