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Finding the Sweet Spot

InTouch - Newsletter - #83

Welcome to the eighty-third edition of “In-Touch”. As always, I would love to continue the conversation so please hit reply and let me know what you think.

Story of the Week: "Finding the Sweet Spot"

Sweet spot [noun]
“The particular situation, quality, combination of things, etc. that is the best or most effective possible.”

Two weeks ago, our house echoed to the ceaseless crying of our almost three-year-old twins who were determined to start their day with ice cream, despite our refusal.

In the end, deciding that it was easier (and quieter) to give in, we headed to our favourite patisserie, hoping to appease our little ones without indulging them in too much sugar. This is the same patisserie from where we recently bought our 11-year-old his special Paris Saint-Germain decorated birthday cake, where we almost exclusively buy delicacies to take to friends and relatives when visiting and where we really love the available selection of ice cream flavours.

As part of an ongoing effort to minimise the twins’ sugar consumption, we asked the customer representative if it was possible to split a single chocolate scoop into two smaller portions, one for each child. To our surprise, she informed us that this was “against company policy.” Our supposedly smart idea had hit an unexpected obstacle.

Undeterred, we opted for a very simple solution – one that only a patient and experienced mother could come up with! – and asked for just one scoop of chocolate ice cream, before requesting a second (empty) dish. The customer representative obliged and we then agreed proceeded to divide the single scoop into two portions ourselves, saving the day and pacifying our children.

The million euro question is: Why couldn’t the customer representative have done this herself?

This incident – amusing in retrospect but quite annoying at the time – serves as a reminder to us all that a company's character and philosophy is reflected in the personality, engagement, judgment, behaviour and interactions of its employees.

Those who are obliged to say, “I’m sorry but this is company policy,” will probably be the first to move to a more customer-friendly employer. When it comes to customer service, it’s all about finding the sweet spot.

Words of Wisdom

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”

Simon Sinek

A Question to Ponder, dear friend.

“Have you ever been told, 'I'm sorry but this is company policy,' What did you do?”

Hit reply and let me know.

Best Regards,

Michael R. Virardi