Striving for SH**T!

You’ve really got to wonder what sort of company claims that it looks for the SHIT in people as a measure of their customer service!

I wonder if you happened to see Alex Polizzi’s The Fixer on BBC2 yesterday evening.

In brief, Polizzi the famous and successful hotelier visits small family run businesses in need of some “common sense” and home-truth style mentoring in a bid to turn them around.

It’s pretty entertaining and refreshingly short on the sort of schadenfreude which so often accompanies these kind of programmes.

Last night focused on a small family run garage in Manchester Much like many others in the same boat, Guide Bridge MOT were struggling to win and retain new customers. Their revenues came from part “Retail” and part “Fleet” contract work.  Clearly the Fleet element, being under contract, was the most readily addressable.

As luck would have it (!) Polizzi just happened to be there when the fleet contracting company’s inspector was doing his regular quality and standards check on the garage and the operation. Polizzi clearly spots the (only real) opportunity for a quick win solution to the garage’s woes (other than the more obvious one of laying off /reverting to zero hour contracts for the family workforce currently at less than 33% ulitilisation!) and asks what it would take for the garage to get more fleet work.

The inspector tells us it’s all about standards. Standards of quality, service, cleanliness etc. He then goes onto explain that in order to recognise and identify this in people he looks for the “Shit in them” (sic). Yes, really.

He does go on to qualify that by this he means: Sincerity, Honesty, Integrity and Trust.

I’m no psychologist or NLP expert , but I can’t imagine that at any point in his training the company he works for would be drilling into him that we “strive for SHIT”.

In my company I think I’d struggle to get across what I really wanted from people if I told them I wanted to see a lot more SHIT from them, that when it comes to customers they should first think “SHIT”.

And equally having achieved the requisite level of SHIT, I’m not sure how I would feel about it.

Polizzi went on to help them smarten up their act, get the laziest one working, get the finances in order and revitalize a previous idea and USP about focusing on women. Well done all (seriously – and good luck to you all).

The real cliff hanger was whether or not Guide Bridge MOT was to receive the seal of approval from the Fleet contractor which meant they qualified for more work.

They did and Polizzi revealed the certificate to prove it. Excellent.

We didn’t get to see what it said on the certificate but the standard they had reached was “Classic” . So pride of place on their wall now must be certification that they have demonstrated the right level of Classic SHIT. That must look great and they must be very proud.